Avoiding condensation

Feb 10, 2014

By Mark Healey, Site Manager

Some social housing commentators have reported an increase in the incidence of mould and condensation complaints from residents and while some believe it’s due to people not being able to afford to heat their home, others say the situation can be improved by a few lifestyle changes.

Black-spot-mouldThe vast majority of social housing residents now live in properties that meet the government’s Decent Home Standards. These well insulated properties may stop heat escaping but they also prevent water vapour escaping too – which will increase condensation.

Condensation is caused when water vapour comes into contact with cold surfaces and condenses to form water droplets.  There is always moisture in the air in our homes, even though we can’t see it and in fact the warmer the home, the more water vapour there is.  An average family of four – through activities such as washing, cooking, and drying clothes – can produce as much as 26 pints of water vapour every 24 hours!

We usually see condensation on windows, colder parts of walls and around external doors and if it keeps occurring in the same place, it may cause black mould growth.  However, there are some really simple ways to prevent condensation, namely:

  • Open the window slightly when cooking and put lids on bubbling saucepans.
  • Don’t dry laundry on the radiator, but if you must do this, open the window.
  • If you are having a bath or shower, open a window to let the hot air and steam escape.
  • When you do see condensation, mop it off the surfaces quickly..

If you do make these simple lifestyle changes, any condensation problem should be significantly reduced.  For further information on this issue visit the maintenance section of your landlord’s website or read this useful guide provided by the NHBC http://www.nhbc.co.uk/NHBCPublications/LiteratureLibrary/HomeownerDocuments/filedownload,31929,en.pdf

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