Dealing with condensation

These three steps will help you reduce the condensation in your home.

  • 1. Produce less moisture

    Some ordinary daily activities produce a lot of moisture very quickly.

    • Cover pans and do not leave kettles boiling
    • Avoid using paraffin and portable flueless bottled gas heaters as these heaters put a lot of moisture in the air
    • Dry washing outdoors on a line, or put it in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or fan on
    • Vent any tumble dryer on the outside, unless it is the self-condensing type. DIY kits are available for this.
  • 2. Ventilate your home

    You can ventilate your home without making draughts.

    • Keep a small window ajar or a trickle ventilator open when someone is in the room.
    • Ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when you use them by opening the windows wider. Or use an extractor fan.
    • Close the kitchen and bathroom doors when you use them, even if your kitchen or bathroom has an extractor fan. This will help prevent moisture reaching other rooms.
    • Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes. Cut a ventilation slot in the back of each shelf or use slatted shelves. Cut breather holes in the back of wardrobes and leave space between the back of the wardrobe and the wall. Where possible, put your wardrobes and furniture against internal walls.
    • If you replace your window units at any time, make sure that the new frames include trickle ventilators.
  • 3. Insulate, draught-proof and heat your home

    Insulation and draught-proofing will help to keep your home warm and will also cut fuel bills. When the whole home is warmer, condensation is less likely.

    • Insulate your loft. Remember to draught proof the loft hatch but do not block the opening under the eaves.
    • Consider cavity wall insulation.
    • Consider secondary and double-glazing of windows to reduce heat loss and draughts but you must ensure that there is some ventilation.
  • Do not:
    • block permanent ventilators.
    • completely block chimneys. Instead, leave a hole about two bricks in size and fit a louvered grille over it.
    • draught-proof a room where there is a cooker or a fuel burning heater, for example, a gas fire.
    • draught-proof windows in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • How to tackle mould

    First treat any mould you may already have in your home. If you then deal with the basic problem of condensation, mould should not reappear.

    To kill and remove mould, wipe down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash, which carries a Health and Safety Executive approval number. Follow the manufacturer's instructions precisely.

    Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets. Disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning can increase the risk of respiratory problems.

    After treatment, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould recurring. Note that this paint is not effective if overlaid with ordinary paints or wallpaper.

    The only lasting way to avoid severe mould is to eliminate dampness.