What is condensation?

Condensation is caused when warm vapour-laden air meets a cold surface such as windows, mirrors, walls and tiling. When the air cools it can’t retain the moisture and some of it condenses into small droplets of water of these cold surfaces. It can also form moist patches. If not treated properly, this condensation can lead to mould and damp.

Damp in a property is most commonly caused by condensation that has turned into damp or mould. Tenants are responsible for managing condensation in the property during the tenancy.

Steps you can take to minimise condensation:

  • When washing clothes, hang them outside to dry if you can. If this is not possible hang them in a room with an extractor fan, such as a bathroom or kitchen. If you have a tumble dryer put the vent pipe outside unless it is self-condensing (meaning there is no visible pipe). Hanging clothes on your radiators will cause damp air as the heat causes the moisture within the clothes to evaporate fast and this moisture-laden air will travel to the coldest part of the property and condense. If you can, hang your washing over a clothes-rack near a window or in a well-ventilated room.
  • Make sure your home is properly ventilated. Wherever possible leave windows open to allow the air to circulate. Make sure your fans in the bathroom and kitchen are working effectively. If you see any mould growing in your bathrooms or kitchen, clean it off straight away to stop it from spreading.
  • Keep your home adequately heated. The colder a property is, the easier it is for water vapour to condense. Keep some windows open to allow the air to circulate. If you have a trickle vent on your window, keep these open at all times.
  • When cooking, cover pans and switch on the extractor fan. When using a kettle and other heated appliances, keep them away from the walls.
  • Don’t place furniture such as wardrobes, cupboards and bed right up against the walls. Keep a small distance to allow the air to circulate.
  • Don’t store wet clothes or shoes, always allow them to dry out first.
  • Always open your curtains and blinds each day and dry your windows if you see any moisture on the inside. If you leave curtains closed and moisture sitting, this can lead to mould growth in the window seals and on the curtains or blinds.

For more advice on preparing your home for winter read our tips here, or give us a call.

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