One of the most common causes of dampness in buildings is condensation, especially during the colder winter months. October/November through to March/April is generally acknowledged as the ‘Condensation Season’.
Some moisture is always present in the air even if it cannot be seen. In your home condensation is sometimes seen on windows, on exterior walls, or in places where air movement is restricted – such as corners of rooms, behind furniture or insides cupboards. This may appear as damp patches (particularly in corners), or wet carpets/walls.
Its presence is often first indicated by the development of black/green mould growth on walls, ceilings or even furnishings and clothes!
In some cases, it can eventually lead to the rotting of affected timbers, such as wooden window frames or skirting-boards.
Help to avoid condensation and mould
Appropriate steps will need to be taken in order to deal with condensation:
- Open windows a little whenever possible, especially whilst bathing or cooking
- Remove moisture from window-sills and any other affected areas using a dry cloth
- Cover pans when cooking and if possible, keep the kitchen door closed and windows open
- Keep bathroom doors closed and windows open whilst bathing or showering
- Use an extractor fan (if fitted) in kitchens and bathrooms when in use
- Dry laundry outside when weather permits. If drying indoors cannot be avoided, keep this to one closed (but well heated and ventilated) room, preferably with an open window
- If possible, cross-ventilate the home by opening windows on opposite sides of the building
- Place furniture well away from external walls, to allow adequate air-circulation
Note: Make sure that opening windows will not cause a security problem, remembering to close and lock then at night or when out of the property.