What is condensation?

We quite often come across properties where the tenants are concerned about condensation. Some tenants panic, thinking that the condensation is in fact damp or a larger underlying issue.

Here’s how you can distinguish between condensation and damp and what you, as a tenant can do to ensure your home stays as condensation free as possible!

Condensation occurs when warm or hot air collides with a cold surface or when there is too much humidity in your home. It is a more common occurrence in the winter when the central heating comes on early in the morning and late in the evening. Everyday activities such as showering, cooking and drying clothes can be a contributor towards the amount of vapour that is in your home. When the warm air comes into contact with a colder surface, water droplets form and either sit there until they are wiped away or run down the surface.

Though a little bit of water may seem harmless, if you do not keep on top if it you may start to notice small patches of black mould forming on ceilings and walls around your home. Having an excess amount of this in the home can lead to unpleasant health problems including sinus problems, skin rashes and even bronchitis. These issues are uncommon and when kept under control, condensation causes little to no problems.

HOW DO I DEAL WITH CONDENSATION?

The first step is to try and control the amount of condensation in your home. Where you see water droplets forming, use a window squeegee to clean the droplets away. For example, after a shower, wipe down the shower cubicle and if you notice water droplets on windows do the same.

You can purchase from most diy stores, a dehumidifier for a few pounds. These trap excess moisture in the air and draw it into the tub. You could place one in any room that gets hot or steamy e.g. kitchen/bathroom.
You can also start to tackle the problem without spending a penny. When cooking, avoid excess steam being released into the air by keeping lids on your saucepans and making good use of your extractor fan. If you don’t have an extractor fan or it’s not the most effective, try to keep a window open when cooking, using the tumble dryer, or taking a shower. Whenever you use the kitchen or bathroom, it’s important to keep the door closed. Although it might seem counterintuitive for ventilation, keeping the door closed is better for your home as it stops the humid air travelling to other rooms.

It’s also a good idea to try and avoid condensation from forming on cold surfaces in the first place by making sure your home is heated evenly. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature in every room, and if there’s a room in your home that you don’t use often, keep the door closed. You should also try to open the windows in that room for a couple of hours each day to prevent condensation and damp from forming.

IS THERE A LONG TERM SOLUTION TO CONDENSATION?

As is the case in many things, prevention is far better than a cure. The only way to avoid it in the long term is to remember…VENTILATION, VENTILATION AND MORE VENTILATION!

Ventilation is the key preventative here. keeping windows open during the day and allowing air to circulate through the property will help enormously. using a tumble dryer with a vent is much better than a condensing or box vent tumble dryer. If clothes are drying on an airer or radiator, keep the closest window open to allow the warm air to escape. Ensure the extractor fan in the bathroom is on when using the shower or bath if there is one available to use and leave a window open where possible. Keep lids on saucepans when cooking and use overhead cooker hoods for extraction.

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