For many people condensation can be a real problem, as if the property has a large amount of condensation and is uncontrolled, then this can lead to ongoing issues for both the occupant’s health, and the actual property itself, as it can lead to dampness and mould, both of which are less than ideal for anyone living in the property.
Condensation is not a rare problem, but it can often be one of those “I will just live with it” issues, but over time, it can lead to damp problems, mould growth and health issues for the occupants of the property. So, whilst it might only seem like an inconvenience at the moment, if you do not deal with the condensation problem, you might end up with far more than wet windows and misty mornings in your home.
All homes will, at some stage, suffer with condensation, but for most it is just on occasions where there is cooking going on, hot baths being enjoyed and the morning shower, as short burst of condensation are both common and not harmful. But, excess condensation can lead to damp and as we say, mould, and this is when it needs to be investigated to find the original cause and also present the solution, as unlike what many people think, you can put measures into place to stop condensation becoming such an ongoing issue.
The Cause Of Condensation
A concise answer is the when the warm air containing moisture hits a cold surface, condensation is formed. This is why condensation in homes is most common in the mornings, as the heating has been off all night, so therefore the windows are colder due to the temperature dropping and as you probably know, people breath for 24 hours a day! The human body contributes a large amount of moisture every day to the air around us, and then when you add in cooking, making a cup of tea, running a bath or shower, the moisture in the air just continues to grow and grow.
The air that holds moisture hitting a cold surface is when the condensation appears, which is why quite often the problem in the winter is more of an issue than in the summer, when all round temperatures are normally much higher and more consistently level.
Why Is Condensation A Problem?
Condensation is one of the most common forms of dampness and over time, this can lead to mould growth, which is not only just unsightly but can have big problems for health, especially for those who suffer from breathing problems or the young / elderly. It can also lead to the property starting to smell of a musty, horrible smell, but above all we need to be concerned about long term condensation and the mould it can cause due to health issues it can aggravate, trigger and create.
And of course, it also looks horrible. Windows constantly wet, puddles forming on window sills, black mould starting to grow on the lining of the window seal and eventually spreading to corners of the room where it starts to become a visible and horrible problem to live with. This can lead to dampness, which can affect the property by leaving mould growth, damp patches and things like wallpaper hanging off the walls of plaster issues where it is just constantly wet.
Minor condensation is not a problem, but heavy, ongoing condensation really does need to be looked at and sorted.
What Can You Do About It?
If you are seeing signs of either black mould growing, or the condensation seems far too much to handle, then you should be contacting your letting agent or landlord. They will advise what you can do, but generally, there are many things you can do yourself to keep the problem down.
The first is through ventilation. Keeping a window slightly open (safety locked of course) can have a massive impact on condensation in the property, and whilst this is not massively ideal during winter months, it does help, in fact, it helps a lot. Where possible dry your washing outside of the property, as drying your clothes in your home is a massive contributor to condensation. Also, where possible, try to keep your home constantly heated, as once again, this helps to stop surfaces getting so cold that they make the perfect location for condensation to appear.