Condensation occurs as result of the moisture you create living in a property and is most likely to form from activities such as cooking, showering or drying clothes.
Condensation frequently causes mildew. This appears as black mould generally on an outside facing wall and where there is a lack of air movement e.g. behind furniture.
Mildew requires moisture to survive and is usually found where condensation forms but will also form in areas which are frequently damp such as around baths or showers. Condensation forms where warm damp air meets a colder surface such as windows or external walls. In many homes mildew is difficult to avoid around windows, showers and baths and should be controlled by regular cleaning. In all cases mildew should be immediately cleaned off using an anti-fungicidal solution, obtainable from supermarkets and DIY stores.
You should minimise the risk and level of condensation by:
- Many uPVC windows have trickle vents (projecting slots at top of windows) you should make sure these are open. You should keep these open all the time in all rooms.
- Opening windows
- Operating extractor fans. Fans may have switches on them but are often switched when you turn the lights on. Many fans will have a separate isolator switch are usually over the bathroom door and near fans in kitchens; check this is on. Many of the bathroom and kitchen fans have fan humidity switches which will operate the fan when humidity is high. These can be adjusted to operate at different levels of humidity. It is important that a fan continues running for a reasonable period after showering/bathing.
- Use extractor hood over hob when cooking.
- Not creating excessive moisture. Spin dry washing thoroughly before hanging and if possible dry clothes outside or in a well ventilated room.
- Cover pans when cooking.
- Keep bathroom doors closed when showering and kitchen doors closed when cooking but ensure that the room is ventilated.
- Make sure you have an air gap around the back of wardrobes and other large furniture.
- Keep the heating on. Warm air holds more moisture and will help with good ventilation to carry away the moisture which causes condensation. It wall also warm the colder surfaces where condensation forms.