Property Management: How Can I Prevent Condensation?
10 Feb 2017
There is more to Paramount Properties than just sales and lettings. Did you know that we have our own management department? They ensure our tenants are happy in their property and that everything is functioning as it should.
Condensation: It is a word we are all familiar with but what exactly is condensation? Put simply, it is the moisture caused by everyday living. Moisture is absorbed into the warm atmosphere of your house and when the house cools down the moisture condenses on cool surfaces.? The result is condensation, an extremely underestimated cause of damage to our homes and one of the most common forms of dampness within a building.
Condensation can be attributed to a lack of balance between heating and ventilation, resulting in a rise in relative humidity. Essentially, air can hold more water vapour when it is warm than when it is cold. When the warm air is cooled, such as when the heating system is switched off at night, it will deposit the water it can no longer retain as condensation on a cold surface.
An average person produces up to 3.7 litres of water vapour a day. This can be from drying wet clothes on radiators or using the tumble dryer, having hot baths or showers, boiling kettles, cooking and of course breathing. The evenings are chilly; the heating goes off at night and the air temperature inside the home drops. Cool air cannot retain the same amount of water vapour as warm air and when the warm air comes into contact with a colder surface, such as an outside wall or a window, it will deposit the moisture it cannot hold onto that surface. This means you then get misted or streaming windows, and in extreme cases walls that are wet to the touch and black mould growth.
What does condensation look like?
The common sign of condensation is water collecting on the inside of windows or on the window sill. It is generally noticeable where it forms on non-absorbent surfaces, i.e. windows or tiles, but it can form on any surface and it may not be noticed until black mould growth, rotting of material, peeling of decorations or damage to clothes occurs. This is also normally coupled with a strong musty smell.
What can I do to prevent condensation?
- Maintain the property to a minimum temperature of 17-18 degrees.
- Leave doors throughout the internal parts of the property open to create airflow.
- Close doors, open windows and turn on the extractor fan when cooking.
- Keep lids on saucepans when cooking.
- Leave windows slightly open where possible, or open windows slightly when you are at home
- Pull wardrobes and furniture away from walls, and keep tops of wardrobes clear, to allow air to circulate.
- Keep bathroom doors closed when bathing, and open windows slightly afterwards. If you have an internal bathroom without a window, leave the bathroom door open after using the shower. You need to ensure that the windows in the property are opened even more than if you did not have an internal bathroom.
- Do not dry clothes on radiators, unless ventilation is increased.
- If you are not able to aerate the property sufficiently, you may need to run a dehumidifier to take the moisture out of the air.
- Wipe down surfaces affected by condensation regularly, to prevent mould growth.
- Mould can be removed by washing the surface with a disinfectant or a fungicidal wash.This must be used in accordance with the manufacturers' instructions.