Condensation occurs in nearly every property and is the most common cause of excess moisture in properties. Condensation is so common due to the fact it is caused by excess moisture from everyday living such as cooking, breathing, and washing. It occurs when cooler air or a cooler surface comes in contact with warm damp air. The cool air can not retain the same amount of moisture as the warm damp air which leads to the water vapour in the air being released to cause condensation. When this excess moisture lands on surfaces such as walls and ceilings, it can cause unsightly damp problems such as mould.
In addition, many rental properties were built when 'central heating or double glazing' had not been heard of, so they were not designed for this type of heating indoors, ultimately those issues need to be addressed prior to a rental taking place, often they are not....
HOW TO TACKLE EVERYDAY LIVING CAUSING CONDENSATION
Washing Clothes - In order to avoid potential damp problems, the safest method of drying clothes is to hang them outside. Unfortunately, the weather in the U.K does not always permit this so if drying clothes inside, it must be hung in a room with the door closed and the window open to allow the room to remain ventilated. It also recommended using a tumble dryer so long as the ventilation pipe runs outside the building.
Cooking - It is important to always turn on extractor fans on a high power when cooking. Fans should remain on for longer than you are actually cooking as there will still be excess moisture that cannot be seen. As well as using extractor fans, opening windows while cooking will help ventilate the kitchen even further. When cooking, it is important to always have lids on saucepans to prevent the moisture from escaping from the pan.
Showering - Condensation is often found in bathrooms due to excess moisture formed from showering. When using the shower, always have an extractor fan turned on and the window open with the door closed. This will prevent the excess moisture from spreading around your home.
Furniture - Condensation can be caused by furniture positioned too close to walls. It is important to always keep a small gap between furniture and walls. Otherwise, air can get trapped and condense onto walls which may eventually cause black mould.
Roofs and Gutters - The roof should be regularly checked to ensure there is no water ingress into the property. Gutters and pipes can become blocked which prevents water from being carried away from the building but instead may result in the external wall being soaking wet. It is important that gutters and pipes are regularly checked and cleared to prevent this problem.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A CONDENSATION PROBLEM?
A condensation problem in a property means there is not enough ventilation to tackle the excess moisture that occurs from everyday living. It is important to follow the above tips and to regularly open windows to ensure all areas of the property remain sufficiently ventilated. It may be necessary to purchase a dehumidifier for homes that are unable to tackle the excess moisture. Keeping homes at a consistent temperature will also help eliminate condensation as it means there is no excess moisture in the property. If you can not eliminate a condensation problem in your home, it is recommended to have the problem examined by a damp surveyor for expert and professional advice.
By Jake Ryan of Peter Cox