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How to stop condensation

Affecting an estimated one in five UK properties, condensation is perhaps the most common cause of damp problems in our homes. Our guide to stopping condensation and preventing associated problems like damp, peeling decorations, unhealthy living conditions and black mould growth will explain what condensation is, the causes, and how to deal with problems in your home

If your home suffers from persistent and resilient condensation issues, then take a look at our condensation treatment units page. Alternatively, contact our condensation specialists using the form below.

What causes condensation?

To understand what causes condensation and how it affects our homes, we will first begin with a definition: Condensation is caused when warm, damp air (humidity) is released into the atmosphere of our homes and is unable to disperse outside.

This normally happens because a lack of ventilation in the property allows this water-laden air to come into contact with cold surfaces such as windows and walls where it will condense and release the moisture it holds onto that wall or other surface.

black spot mould lower wall

Does condensation cause black mould

If left to fester, condensation can lead to the growth of black mould around walls, ceilings, around windows and in the loft. Some types of black mould are known to cause health issues including respiratory problems, skin irritation and nausea.

Health risks from black mould will only affect certain vulnerable groups of people and you can read more about this on our page about black mould on your walls.

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How to get rid of condensation

Thankfully there are a number of simple techniques you can try yourself to stop condensation developing into a problem in your property. Read on to see our list of recommended FREE DIY tips to combat condensation.

Unfortunately, serious condensation problems may be resistant to these simple fixes. If that is the case then you may wish to visit our condensation solutions web page to learn what other solutions you can put in place to stop condensation.

1. Keep windows open to remove condensation

It is essential you have adequate air ventilation so the moisture in the air can escape outside and does not build up inside your home. With modern occupancy styles such as double glazing it is harder for air to move freely in and out of your property.  Therefore it is recommended that you keep your windows open as much as possible to allow additional airflow into the building, especially when cooking, showering and drying clothes.

2. 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. Clearing airways will prevent moisture laden air from being trapped in rooms and help prevent moisture from condensing on your walls. 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 and wet rot.

3. Do not press furniture against your walls

If possible, leave a small gap of at least 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.

4. Dry your clothes outside - not on radiators

If possible dry your clothes outside. If this is not possible put them in an enclosed room with the window open.

Drying clothes on radiators can add litres of extra moisture in your home. If there is no ventilation, the moist air will eventually escape into the property and condense on cold surfaces such as walls and ceilings. Also if you have a tumble dryer make sure that the ventilation pipe runs outside your home as it can also be a common cause of condensation problems.

What causes condensation on windows

Whilst condensation occurs in every home, the leading cause of condensation developing is a lack of proper ventilation and circulation in the property.

As we increasingly look to insulate our homes through double/triple glazing, draft proofing, etc; it has the knock on effect of trapping moist air within a property. Without a source of air ventilation that would help to naturally push the damp air out of the property, it instead becomes trapped. 

Eventually, the moist air will come into contact with a colder surface long enough for the dew point to drop, resulting in condensation water beads forming.  Given time, this condensation moisture will develop into property problems like black mould.

Typically moisture and condensation in the home originates from unavoidable everyday activities such as:

  • Cooking
  • Boiling a kettle
  • Taking a shower
  • Washing and drying clothes
  • General washing
  • Certain forms for heating such as paraffin and gas heaters
  • Even simply breathing adds moisture to the air

Using ventilation units to stop condensation

If you have attempted to follow our recommendations above yet your property is still displaying the signs and symptoms of excessive condensation then it is recommended that you should discuss the problem with one of our condensation specialists.

It is often the case that repeat, persistent and serious condensation and black mould problems will only be solved by installing ventilation units. Our specialists are equipped with whole house ventilation units and heat recovery units, designed to be deployed in high humidity rooms like bathrooms and kitchens.

Positive pressure ventilation
Our positive pressure ventilation units will eliminate condensation worries by effectively ventilating every room in the house from a position on the landing or in the hallway of a property. The system operates at a whisper quiet level circulating clean fresh and dry air around the building, transforming stagnant and stale environments into healthy, refreshing rooms.

Heat recovery ventilation
Our heat recovery ventilation units are the perfect solution for combating condensation in high humidity areas of the house. The units not only extract damp moist air from the room, but the state of the art heat exchange system means that up to 75% of the heat that would be lost to the outside with conventional fans is actually recovered allowing you to save on energy costs. Style and innovation combined, yet so simple and incredibly efficient, our heat recovery ventilation units are ideal to prevent condensation in bathrooms and kitchens.

Why is condensation a problem?

  • Mould - The biggest problem of condensation is the presence of black mould in your property which is not just unsightly but can also be a potential health risk.
  • Wall and Furniture Damage - Condensation often forms on windows and it is not uncommon for damp patches to appear on nearby walls. This can lead to further mould growth and also cause paint to discolour peeling wallpaper. Mould can also begin to form on nearby furniture, causing a damp and musty smell.

Why is condensation worse in the winter?

Condensation is more likely to appear in the winter and this can be attributed to cooler temperatures. As temperatures begin to drop, colder windows and walls will result in warm air condensing faster and more abundantly than it would at other times of the year. Also, people tend to stop opening windows in winter, making it increasingly difficult for excess moisture to escape and therefore condensation is more likely to occur.

Contact us for condensation help and advice

Peter Cox is the market leader in the industry with over 65 years experience helping our customers tackle their condensation problems. Our fully trained and qualified surveyors are equipped with a variety of condensation solutions to help restore your property to its natural fresh and dry state.

If you own the property and feel that you are in need of professional ventilation solutions or help and advice on any issue related to condensation in your home then we have a local team of specialists at hand to offer the advice you need.

Next Steps

*Survey enquiries for your local branch will be directed to our dedicated central survey control teams across the UK. Calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers are free unless you are calling from a business phone, in which case the rate will be set by your provider.