Condensation occurs where moist air comes into contact with air, or a surface, which is at a lower temperature.
Air contains water vapour in varying quantities, its capacity to do so is related to its temperature - warm air holds more moisture than cold air. When moist air comes into contact with either colder air or a colder surface, the air is unable to retain the same amount of moisture and the water is released to form condensation in the air or on the surface.
Condensation is generally noticeable where it forms on non-absorbent surfaces (i.e. windows or tiles) but it can form on any surface and it may not be noticed until mould growth or rotting of material occurs
So now knowing how condensation occurs, what are the best methods of avoiding it? Hopefully the following information will help the battle with condensation.
Produce less moisture:
- Do not hang wet clothes around the property, particularly in front of or over heaters or leave wet clothes lying around particularly in areas where condensation is bad. Should you have to dry clothes in the property then please use an adequate clothes drier and ensure a window is open during this time.
- Keep the kitchen door closed when cooking.
- Keep lids on pots and pans when cooking.
- Keep the bathroom door closed and windows open or fan on when running a bath.
- Don't overfill the cupboards and wardrobes - ensure that the air can circulate.
- Don't leave the kettle boiling too long.
- Dry your windows and window sills every morning, as well as surfaces in the kitchen or bathroom that are wet.
- If you have an extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom make sure you use it.
- Don't keep furniture and beds hard against the walls - make sure the air can circulate
- Adequately heat and ventilate the rooms at risk.
- If using a vented tumble dryer make sure the hose is put out of the window or door.
Keep your home warm:
- Try to keep your home at a constant temperature rather than having large temperature differences such as heating on high during the day and turned off at night. Keep your heating on low throughout the cold weather.
- Don't trap heat - avoid placing large pieces of furniture in front of a radiator.
- Keep curtains above radiators.
- Close curtains at dusk - thick curtains will stop heat escaping.
- Keep curtains open on sunny days to help warm rooms.
- Keep doors open in rooms that get lots of sunlight - this will allow the warm air to circulate in your home.
- Fresh air also helps dry out surfaces - but do not over ventilate your home when it is cold as it will cause the temperature inside to drop and make condensation likely. It will also increase your heating costs.
Dealing with mould growths:
- To remove and kill mould, wipe down or spray walls and window frames with a fungicide solution. These are readily available at most supermarkets.
- Wipe the area again after a few days to stop the mould growing back.
- Dry clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets. Do not try to brush or vacuum the mould away.
By adhering to the above advice you will find that the condensation will be kept under control. If this advice is not adhered to then you may find yourself liable for any charges incurred in rectifying the repairs due to condensation issues.