Condensation affects your home in more ways than just your windows. Dampness caused by condensation is an issue that bothers many UK households and can lead to more serious problems that can cause damage to your property and health. Your home will be more prone to condensation if it is poorly heated and insulated. You can read more about what causes condensation and the effects it has on your windows by clicking here. As condensation is one of the most common forms of dampness, it’s important to look out for signs of it developing and also know how you can prevent it.
Signs of condensation
1. Water gathering on windows - The most common and initial sign of condensation is water streaming on windows. If you’re finding that there is excess water collecting on your windows and dripping down it indicates that you may have a condensation concern. Water on your windows is to be expected from time to time but if you have a regular issue with excessive moisture levels it indicates that your property may have problems with air ventilation.
2. Wallpaper and paint peeling - You might think that your wallpaper peeling off is down to a bad DIY job but it could actually be a sign of condensation and damp within the walls. If the walls are affected by condensation then any paper or plaster that has been applied to them won’t sit properly and is likely to peel off.
3. Mould growing on window frames and ceilings - Perhaps the most unpleasant and obvious indication of home ventilation and condensation issues is mould growing between the window frames. Condensation allows mould to develop by providing a suitable level of moisture for mould spores to grow. Black mould in particular can cause a lot of damage to the aesthetic of a property and ruin furniture and window frames. Black mould is also particularly bad for your health as prolonged exposure is often associated with respiratory problems.
4. Mould growing on fabrics and furnishings - As well as mould growing on ceilings, walls and window frames it can also grow on your furnishings, clothes and shoes. Mould tends to grow on items that are close to walls and out of direct sunlight.
5. An unpleasant musty smell - Damp and moulds have a unique ‘musty’ smell that can really ruin the feel of a property. Mould growth and decay often have a strong smell that is distinctive as soon as you enter the room. If you’re noticing such an odour in your home it is an indication that you have a condensation issue.
How to prevent condensation damage in your home
Increase ventilation - If your home is suffering from condensation, damp or mould the best thing you can do is to try and improve the ventilation inside. Try to regularly open windows to allow air to move freely and let moist air escape from the property. It’s best to keep windows open when doing activities that produce excess moisture such as bathing, showering and cooking. You should not draught proof your kitchen and bathroom if you have a severe condensation problem. Ventilation systems such as extractor fans can massively help to reduce the condensation in your home.
Reduce the moisture - Everyday home activities will produce moisture into the air that cannot be avoided, the more people living in a property the more moisture will be released. Reducing how much moisture is in the air can have a huge impact in tackling condensation dampness. Little changes such as having your tumble drier vented outside and hanging washing on an outside line instead of drying it inside the home can really help. If you have a condensation dampness issue it is never a good idea to dry clothes indoors or over radiators. The best thing you can do to reduce the moisture in your home is to open windows when creating steam through bathing and cooking and keep the door that connect this room to others closed.
Heating - It helps to try and keep the temperature inside the property reasonably consistent and to regularly heat your home to a warm temperature. This stops there being a stark contrast in temperature that allows condensation to develop. Having a warm and well maintained home is an unlikely environment for mould growth.
Insulation - Making sure your home is better insulated can also really help when tackling condensation and dampness. Double glazing, wall insulation and draft proofing will help to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from your home. You can read our top tips for draught proofing your home to save energy by clicking here. Having well installed, energy efficient windows will help to keep the property's temperature high which can have a massive impact on condensation and mould growth.