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Guide to Condensation & How to Prevent It

Property maintenance is one of the most important aspects of living somewhere, whether you rent or own a home. It includes tasks like keeping drains clear, cleaning the garden and clearing gutters. However, one aspect often overlooked as life gets busier is addressing damp patches that may start appearing on your walls and around your windows. This involves preventing condensation buildup in your home.

Today, many houses are becoming more airtight and energy-efficient due to new technology and thermal improvements, which can trap excess moisture inside. However, it’s not always the case. That’s why it’s essential to understand condensation, its causes and different ways to prevent it.

What is condensation?

Condensation is the process where water vapour becomes liquid. Signs of condensation in your home include a damp smell, water droplets forming on windows and walls, peeling wallpaper and damp window frames.

How causes condensation?

Condensation happens when the surface temperature of windows or walls is low and the interior of the house is warm and too humid. Since warm air holds more moisture, if a window is colder than the surrounding air, the moisture in the air becomes liquid when it comes into contact with the cold window in your home. Condensation commonly occurs during the colder months of the year, but it can also happen during the warmer months.

Does condensation cause mould?

Yes, condensation can cause mould.

Generally speaking, some humidity is needed for comfort and health. A little fog on your windows and walls usually disappears quickly. However, condensation becomes an issue if it covers entire windows and drips down the walls, as mould can start growing as small black dots.

If you see mould on your windows, you can easily clean and remove it with soap and water or mould remover spray. Once removed, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on how to prevent condensation from happening again.

Tips on preventing condensation in the long term

When there’s excessive condensation on your walls and windows, it means that the air has reached its ‘dew point’, meaning the humidity in your house is relatively high. In our daily lives, different types of activities can lead to condensation, such as drying your clothes indoors, cooking, washing, showering, lack of ventilation, among others. Therefore, there are different steps needed to prevent it in the long term, including:

  • Dry your clothes outdoors when possible.
    If drying indoors, keep windows and doors open to allow moisture to escape.
  • Use the kitchen extractor fan while cooking.
  • Use the bathroom exhaust fan while showering or bathing.
  • Maintain a consistent, warm temperature in your home and avoid sudden drops.
  • Increase ventilation by leaving windows open.
  • Leave space between furniture and walls.
  • Consider using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air and maintain ideal humidity levels.
  • Wipe down wet surfaces to keep windows and walls as dry as possible.
  • Open windows briefly to ventilate the kitchen, bathroom and laundry areas.

Removing condensation right now

To effectively remove condensation immediately, the best thing you can do is to wipe down surfaces every morning to stop mould from growing. Additionally, it’s advisable to cautiously remove any existing mould, using soap and water or specialised mould remover solutions. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully when using mould remover sprays, as they can be quite potent.

Cleaning up condensation

To clean up condensation from your windows and walls, follow these steps:

  1. Wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from mould spores.
  2. Wipe down the surfaces with water, soap and an old cloth.
  3. After cleaning, use a dry cloth to wipe the surfaces and remove any remaining moisture.

By following these steps every day, you can effectively address condensation on your walls and windows. When combined with the long-term prevention tips mentioned earlier, these practices help prevent condensation buildup in your home and thus reduce the risk of mould growth overall.

04 July, 2024
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