As we head into winter and the temperature drops, many householders will face the annual challenge of how best to keep on top of condensation.
It’s a very common issue and, left unchecked, too much condensation can lead to mould appearing on walls.
That creates potential risks not only for the structural integrity of the property but also for the health of occupants.
Your lifestyle and daily routine can play a large part in the emergence of condensation and mould in a property.
In a property that is generally in good repair, mould will not tend to be an issue of building defects.
Mould is a landlord’s legal responsibility to fix when it is due to problems with rising or penetrating damp as opposed to the lifestyle habits of the tenant. However, in our experience, most landlords and agents are here to help when problems occur and will work to resolve it with a tenant.
In a nutshell, condensation happens when warm wet air meets a cold surface. This could be a window, the corner of a room or an external wall behind a wardrobe or other piece of furniture.
If the moisture becomes trapped for a length of time, an instance of what may be temporary condensation can easily develop into mould. This can be a serious issue as mould contains allergens and toxins which can be harmful for people at risk of lung disease, asthma, eczema, bronchitis or other conditions of low immunity.
How then can you prevent condensation occurring and leading to a mould issue? Here are our top five tips –
- Implement a ventilation routine: It’s best to let moisture escape. Keep air moving freely by opening windows so that you replace ‘wet’ air with ‘dry’. Ensure you are opening windows after showering, cooking and within rooms with washing drying as these will significantly increase the moisture level within a property. Extractor fans and Positive Input Ventilation units can help automate this process.
- Tackle humidity sources: Hang your washing and bathroom towels up to dry outside or in an airy space instead of in a warm room. If you have a tumble dryer, it’s best to vent the used air outside. Beware of steam becoming trapped in a kitchen when cooking or a bathroom after a warm bath or shower.
- Keep temperatures consistent: A home that is routinely warm, as opposed to going from extremes of cold to hot, is better at combating condensation. This is because the walls of the property will not fall in temperature. A consistent temperature will reduce the amount of condensation which occurs.
- Insulation: Double glazing, wall insulation and draught-proofing are all recommended to improve the thermal performance and reduce the cost of heating your home, but if not combined with a ventilation routine, can lock moisture in the home which can result in a greater risk of condensation issues and mould. Given the cost of heating your home has become more expensive in recent years it is understandable that opening windows to ventilate is not high on the agenda. However, the health risks of living in a space with mould can be severe. As such a ventilation routine which focuses on venting the property after significant moisture events and minimises heat loss at times of the day that you will be using your home is of paramount importance. It is about striking the right balance.
- Act straight away: If you do spot mould, clean the affected area carefully with an anti-mould solution. We recommend HG Mould spray which is formulated to kill the bacteria rather than bleach the area. Always use products in accordance with manufacturer instructions.
As in so many aspects of life, early prevention is the key to tackling condensation and preventing mould.
These simple steps should help you keep your property safe and mould-free this winter.
Our highly experienced Lettings and Property Management Team can help you with any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us on 023 9282 6731 or visit our ‘Let’ pages.