As the winter nights draw in and the temperature outside drops you may start to notice condensation on your windows and across cold surfaces in your home. Moisture is caused by everyday living, from cooking to having a shower, and will remain in the atmosphere naturally. It has been calculated that a typical family of four can create up to 17.5 pints of water per day.
As the temperature of the air in your home drops, the ability for the air to hold moisture reduces, meaning the saturated air causes water droplets to form on cold surfaces. Although moisture may seem harmless, if left it could lead to black spot mould and health problems and potentially other issues such as timber decay and woodworm infestations.
Here are 5 top tips to help protect your home from excessive condensation problems:
1. Adequate Ventilation in your kitchen and bathroom
Whether you’re boiling potatoes or having a bath, it is essential you have adequate ventilation so the moisture in the air can escape outside – and doesn’t build up inside your home. Make sure you open windows to allow additional airflow, and keep extractor fans on high power when you’re cooking or bathing, and leave them on afterwards to help remove any moisture you can’t see. Ventilation is key to remove excess moisture from your home during the cold months.
2. Dry clothes outside – not on radiators
If possible dry your clothes outside – if this isn’t possible put them in an enclosed room with the window open. Drying clothes on radiators can add litres of extra moisture in your home, so if there is no ventilation this is going to appear on cold surfaces. Also if you have a tumble dryer make sure that the ventilation pipe runs outside your home as this is a common cause of condensation problems.
3. Do not block airways, air vents, air bricks window trickle vents or chimneys
Make sure your property’s airways are clear to allow airflow through your home. With modern occupancy styles such as double glazing it’s harder for air to move freely in and out of your property. Clearing airways will prevent moisture laden air from being trapped in rooms, and help prevent moisture from condensing on your walls.
If possible also leave a small gap of just 100mm between your walls and furniture to allow for the air to circulate. If air lingers and stagnates it can lead to perfect conditions for black spot mould to form.
Cleaning air bricks with a bottle brush once a year will greatly improve sub-floor ventilation and reduce the possibility of wood rotting fungal decay like dry rot.
4. Stop leaks in your roof, and make sure guttering is working properly
It’s possible that moisture may be entering your home through damaged guttering and downpipes causing the external wall to become wet – and cold! Check the guttering is working correctly, taking water away and that it isn’t damaged or blocked. This could also cause other structural issues such as penetrating damp and wet and dry rot.
5. Constant temperature in the home
As the temperature drops you turn on the heating – but you should try and maintain a constant temperature in your home. If the temperature reduces the ability of the air to hold moisture in the atmosphere (relative humidity) also reduces. Retaining an even gentle temperature in your home greatly reduces the potential for condensation.
Peter Cox offer a full range of ventilation systems along with anti-condensation paint products. For more information please contact us to book a survey appointment or call us on 0808 273 2138, and we will be more than happy to help.