14 Tips to Help You Reduce Condensation in your Property
This blog article is written by Envirovent
Condensation occurs when warm air collides with cold surfaces, or when there's too much humidity in your home and creates water - water which collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air is in contact with it. This is especially common in winter, when central heating systems come on in the cooler hours of the mornings and evenings. While condensation itself isn’t a problem, if it's not treated, it can cause damp patches to form where mould can grow and this can be bad for your health as well as your tenants', as well as damaging the fabric of your properties.
If your tenants have told you that they are seeing a lot of condensation in their homes and are worrying about it developing into damp, a free home survey by one of Envirovent's ventilation specialists can help get to the bottom of the problem.
Envirovent has compiled a list of tips to pass on to your tenants so that they can reduce the amount of condensation forming in their homes.
1. Use Pan Lids When Cooking
When cooking ensure that pans are covered with a lid to reduce moisture being created from the water boiling. Also, ensure that an extractor hood is used if there is one above the cooker or an extractor fan if there is one installed. These are designed to help reduce moisture created when cooking.
Remember, don’t turn off the extractor fan as soon as you finish cooking as the moisture can still be in the air even when you have finished. Instead, leave it on afterwards for 10-15 minutes to help to clear the humid air. Another option is to purchase an extractor fan with intelligent humidity sensors which speed up when you start boiling water and slow down once humidity levels have returned to normal.
2. Close Kitchen & Bathroom Doors
Bathrooms and kitchens are the worst culprits for condensation. When cooking food, boiling the kettle, or taking a shower, ensure that the kitchen or bathroom door is kept closed to prevent the moisture in the air from going into colder rooms which will cause condensation to form if it touches a cold surface.
3. Dry Clothes Outdoors
Where possible, try to dry clothes outdoors to prevent excess moisture from building up in the property. If unable to dry your clothes outdoors, then keep them in a bathroom with the door closed and windows open until the clothes are fully dry.
4. Turn on the Extractor Fan When Using the Shower
Similar to when cooking in the kitchen, when taking a shower or having a bath ensure that the extractor fan is turned on to remove the steam and moisture that is created when running warm water in a cold environment. This will help reduce the amount of condensation that appears on your bathroom windows and walls.
5. Ensure Washing Machine is Correctly Vented
If there is a washing machine or tumble dryer in the property, ensure that it is vented correctly. From just one load of washing, two litres of water is emitted into the air. This effect is only magnified if the machine is fitted in a kitchen as cooking will only add to the condensation.
6. Move Furniture Away from External Walls
For the same reason as above, make sure that furniture is at least 50mm away from the surrounding walls so that air can circulate around the property. Try to ensure that wardrobes are placed against internal walls in bedrooms which will be less cold than external walls and less likely to cause damp and mould problems.
7. Install an Extractor Fan
Adequate ventilation is essential to allow the moisture to escape from a property before it turns into condensation. Installing an energy-efficient extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom can improve the humidity levels and prevent condensation.
An alternative approach would be to have a whole-house ventilation system installed. ATMOS® can provide a condensation-free environment and can help reduce the moisture levels throughout the property.
8. Open Windows When Weather Outside is Warmer
If a room is used on a regular basis, such as a living room, and the weather is not cold outside, open a window slightly to improve the ventilation in the room. Breathing is a major cause of condensation so this will help to improve the ventilation in your property.
9. Wipe Down Cold Surfaces
If there's no extractor fan in your bathroom or kitchen then make sure that cold surfaces are wiped down when you have been cooking or taking a shower to remove any moisture that may have settled on the surface. This excess moisture in the air sits on the surface and will quickly turn to mould if left untreated.
10. Ensure Your Property has Adequate Heating
Ensuring an adequate amount of heating in the property will improve the internal temperature of surfaces in the house and reduce the likelihood of condensation. Also, make sure the property is energy efficient by ensuring there are insulated walls and double-glazed windows installed so the heat doesn't escape from the property.
11. Don't Overfill Wardrobes & Cupboards
Do not overfill wardrobes or kitchen cupboards. A lack of ventilation and air moisture trapped in warm overfilled cupboards can become a breeding ground for mould as the air is not able to circulate freely inside. There might be a musty smell or find that clothes have a damp feeling to them which is a sure sign that the cupboard is overfilled.
12. Stop Using Portable Gas & Paraffin Heaters
Portable gas bottles and paraffin heaters produce a lot of moisture, along with a lot of toxic fumes. Not only is this form of heat causing excess condensation in homes, it is also a health and safety hazard which is stated in most tenancy agreements as not allowed in rented properties.
13. Install Double Glazing, Loft & Wall Insulation
Double glazing, loft insulation and draft proofing will help to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from a property. Installing insulation will help to keep the temperature of the surfaces inside the property at a higher level.
14. Cover Up Fish Tanks & Aquariums
Many families have house pets and plants which produce a lot of moisture. Make sure tenants cover up aquariums or fish tanks to prevent excess moisture. If damp patches start to appear on the walls or they start to notice more surface condensation on the windows and walls near to the house plants, then look to move them outdoors.
Find out More
Contact Envirovent today to book a free home survey – our local ventilation specialists can visit your property and assess the cause of any condensation or damp problems and give advice about the best way of preventing any problems getting worse.