Do you have a film of water on the inside of your windows or walls? It's called condensation and, if left uncontrolled, it can cause problems such as mould. However, don't worry – you can carry out a few simple measures to reduce it.
Condensation is made up of tiny drops of water. These appear when moist air cools through contact with a colder surface. Windows and external walls are the main areas where you may find condensation. This is because they are usually cold surfaces.
Every day you are adding water to the air in many ways, such as:
- Breathing and perspiration – six people add a 3/4 pint of water to the air every hour.
- Cooking - this can add up to four or five pints of water per day.
- Washing – a shower can add half pint of water to the air.
- Drying clothes – any clothes dried inside will put all the moisture from the clothes into the air.
- Using domestic appliances - Dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers can add several pints of water to the air.
When the air in your home cools this water will turn into tiny droplets, which together make condensation.
Is condensation a modern problem?
In many cases this is true. Often in older houses, draughts meant that moist air inside the house was swapped with drier air from outside. Today, because we are all energy conscious, houses and windows are far more energy efficient. This makes us all more comfortable, but may trap humid air inside the home.
What simple measures can I take to reduce condensation?
The best approach is to keep a steady air temperature, because condensation happens as air cools. In cold weather it is best to keep a low background heating on all day rather than let your home heat-up and cool down in cycles throughout the day.
Heavy curtains in bedrooms can trap moist air against a window, which will cool overnight and produce a lot of condensation. Always open the curtains in the day time and never leave the house with the curtains pulled shut.
- When cooking put the lids on saucepans do not leave kettles boiling.
- Do not put washing on radiators or drying racks to dry.
- Keep the kitchen door closed, use the extractor fan and open a window when you cook.
- Keep the bathroom door closed when you are having a bath and always use the extractor fan. Open a window when you have finished and close the bathroom door behind you.
- If you sleep in a small room slightly open a window at night.
- Whenever and wherever you can provide ventilation without causing a draught, do so.
- Do not push furniture closely up against a wall as this does not allow the air to circulate and can result in condensation.
What can I do about mould?
The first step is to treat the mould already in your home. If you deal with the basic problem of condensation and damp, mould should not then reappear.
To kill and remove mould, wipe down walls and window frames with an anti-fungal treatment or a dilute mixture of household bleach (1 bleach:4 water). Dry-clean mildewed clothes. Do not try to brush mould away – use a vacuum cleaner.
After treatment, we will redecorate using a fungicidal paint to help prevent mould. You need to tell us when you have removed the mould and then show us where it was so we can treat the whole area with the correct paint.
What can I do to prevent condensation?
If you still have condensation on your windows or walls please contact us: and we can supply you with a window wiper and a non-electric de-humidifier. In the mean time wipe the condensation off the windows EVERY DAY and remove any signs of mould immediately. If the paintwork is damaged (especially around windows and window frames) you will be liable for the re-decoration costs as this damage is completely avoidable.