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How to stop condensation

A build up of condensation in the home is perhaps the most common cause of damp problems in our homes; our research* indicates that up to 30% of Brits report seeing condensation and mould in their home every day during the winter months.

Our expert guide on how to stop condensation will explain what causes condensation and how to deal with associated problems like damp, peeling decorations, unhealthy living conditions and black mould growth.

This page covers short term and long term solutions for condensation in the home, but If your property is suffering from persistent and resilient condensation issues, you can book a survey with our condensation experts by clicking the button below.

*Research carried out by Mortar Research on behalf of Peter Cox between the 21st and 23rd November 2023, amongst 2,080 UK respondents who own or rent a home. 

Managing condensation in your home

In the short term the best approach is to try and reduce the levels of moisture produced in your home. From how you dry your clothes or how you use extractor fans, our 10 top tips to manage condensation below will show you how to improve your indoor air quality at home.

You can also check out our How to Stop Condensation video for more information.

10 Ways to manage condensation in the home

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.

1. Keep windows open to remove condensation

Double glazing, installed in our homes for comfort, can actually make it harder for air to flow in and out of your home. It is essential you have adequate ventilation so the moisture in the air can escape outside and does not build up inside your home. For this reason we would recommend that you keep your windows or trickle vents open as often as possible to allow optimal airflow.

2. Do not block airways, air vents, air bricks window trickle vents or chimneys

Make sure your property’s airways are clear. Vents blocked by furniture or air bricks clogged with dirt and leaves will prevent air moving freely and lead to moisture build up in your home.

3. Install an extractor fan

Proper ventilation is essential to allow the moisture to escape from a property before it turns into condensation. Installing a mechanical fan in moisture producing rooms like the kitchen and bathroom will improve the humidity levels and prevent condensation. This can be as simple as an extractor fan or something more sophisticated such as a PIV unit or heat recovery ventilation.

4. Do not press furniture against your walls

Where possible, leave a gap of at least 10cm between your walls and furniture. This will allow air to circulate in the room and also prevent any vents getting blocked. Moist air lingering and stagnating can lead to black spot mould growth.

5. Dry your clothes outside

Drying clothes on radiators can add litres of extra moisture in your home. If possible, dry your clothes outside. If this is not possible, put them on a clothes horse in an enclosed room with the window open.

6. Ensure any washing machines or tumble driers are vented

If you have a tumble dryer or washing machine inside your home that doesn’t collect condensation then you need to ensure it is properly vented. A single load of washing has the potential to release high volumes of water vapour into the air.

7. Close bathroom doors

Bathrooms are the main sources of water vapour in the home and it's no coincidence it is the room you will commonly find mould. The excess moisture created by taking a bath or shower is unavoidable but it can migrate to other cold spots in your property. One simple way to do this is close the door and open the window when engaging in these activities.

9. Use pan lids when cooking

Boiling water when making pasta or other dishes expels a lot of moisture into the air and if there isn’t adequate ventilation in your kitchen, or a functioning extractor fan, then this moisture will settle on cold surfaces. Using lids can help contain this.

8. Turn on your extractor fans

Whether you are cooking in the kitchen or taking a shower you should be sure to turn on any extractor fans available to direct steam and moisture outdoors as soon as it is generated.  This is especially important in winter when the temperature in your home is lower.

10. Consider your pets and plants

It may seem silly, but your pets and houseplants also expel moisture into the air and doing something simple like moving a fish tank, houseplant or dog bed from a poorly ventilated room in the house to one that isn’t as affected by condensation can make a difference.

What causes condensation?

Normally moisture will remain in the atmosphere, but as the room air temperature drops, the ability of air to hold moisture reduces, and the air becomes saturated. Condensation is caused when humid air meets cold surfaces, like walls and windows.

When airborne moisture suspended in this humid air comes into contact with a colder surface it reaches dew point and turns back into water droplets. This is why you often see water collecting on windows when you have a condensation problem.

Wiping away water droplets from windows isn’t too much of a chore, but if condensation is allowed to sit on surfaces like window frames or walls for long periods of time it becomes a bigger problem causing unsightly damp patches, peeling paint and wall paper and black mould growth.

The main condensation solutions are managing temperature to keep surfaces above the dew point and ventilation to expel the warm, moisture-laden air to the outside.

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Fixing condensation in your home

Unfortunately, serious condensation problems may be resistant to the simple tips and tricks above. If that is the case then you may wish to consider the long-term condensation solutions below.

Long term condensation solution: Whole house ventilation

Improved ventilation is the key to fixing condensation problems long term. Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into reducing the moisture you create, condensation and black mould problems will simply persist.

Improving ventilation can be as simple as opening windows but sometimes a built in solution is better.

These can include:

  • Installing air bricks into walls
  • Installing ventilation units such as PIV Units
  • Fitting roof ventilation tiles to allow air through the loft
  • Adding trickle vents to window frames.

The options above require some expertise in building and mechanical installation. If you want to discuss these with a professional we would recommend getting in touch with the experts at Peter Cox today.

Insulation and thermal plaster - Another condensation solution

Temperature is another factor in controlling humidity in your home. Loft insulation and thermal plaster will help to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from your property. In turn this can keep the temperature of the walls inside your property at a higher level. This combined with adequate ventilation will allow moisture to escape your property and avoid settling on cold walls.

As an added bonus, insulation and other thermal solutions will make your property more energy efficient and heating bills lower.

Contact us for condensation help and advice

Peter Cox is the market leader in the industry with over 70 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.