Condensation is caused by moist air hitting a cold surface (windows, concrete, tiles and sanitary ware) and turning to water which can then be seen as water droplets. The appearance of any condensation or mould is a clear sign that the building is not adequately heated and or ventilated.
It can cause patches of mould which can spread to all areas of your home, if left untreated.
It can appear on window edges, ledges and sills and also on walls. It can also be found behind large pieces of furniture such as sofas or wardrobes. This is because of still air pockets, not leaving adequate space between furniture and walls to allow air to circulate naturally.
It can worsen in winter
What causes condensation?
Everyday activities can cause condensation such as cooking, showering/bathing and drying clothes inside. Ventilation prevents condensation.
There are 3 main causes:
Too much moisture in your home
Too little ventilation
Cool temperatures – not adequately heating your home
All Foscadh Housing properties have ventilation that meets with all building regulations at the time of their construction. However, it is important that tenants always play their part in avoiding or reducing condensation. Condensation can cause breathing difficulties, damage properties, reduce the temperature of a home and increase energy costs.
How to prevent condensation
Keep trickle/drip vents open, especially where rooms are occupied.
Use extractor fans in kitchen and bathroom during times of activity. Leave extractor fans or windows open in bathrooms and kitchens even after you are finished for approx. 20 minutes; this is to prevent moisture build up and to allow air to circulate safely.
Do not block air vents in your home
Keep kitchen and bathroom doors closed, when in use, to prevent moisture spreading throughout your house
Cook with pan lids on and turn the heat down once the water has boiled – use the extractor fan and/ or keep the window slightly open.
Do not leave kettles boiling
Dry washing outside where possible, or if drying inside, use a room with an extractor fan, close the door and open the window fully or partially.
Tumble dryers need a ventilation pipe to the outside to extract excess air or tenants can use a condenser dryer.
Do not dry very wet clothes on the radiators
Avoid overfilling cupboards as this reduces air circulation
Do not use bottled gas heaters in your home
Wipe excess condensation off windows and surfaces with a towel every morning
Maintain a steady temperature in your home. (Having no heating for extended periods and then turning up the temperature can make condensation worse)
How to treat mould growth
Report black mould growth to your housing officer immediately
Use a recommended mould removal product from a hardware store
Do not paint over mould, this is worsening the problem
When the area is properly cleaned and any mould removed, a special fungicidal paint should be used to help prevent the mould re occurring.