Condensation occurs in almost every home in the UK. In most cases it will be a temporary occurrence, perhaps just causing misting in the bathroom after a shower has been used. In more serious cases it can ruin decorations, clothing and furniture; it can also be a risk to health.

Why does it occur?

Air contains water vapour; and warm air can hold a lot more than cold air. If moist air comes into contact with a cold surface the air next to the point of contact is cooled. If the air is cooled below a certain temperature ( known as the dew point), the water vapour condenses on the cold surface.

What does it look like?

  • Walls or ceilings may have a “misty” surface
  • Staining or streaks of water running down a wall, particularly in a bathroom or kitchen
  • Stains or streaks below windows
  • Patches of mould, often found on skirting boards and exposed pipes, not just walls and ceilings
  • Dampness/ mould behind curtains or large furnishings set against external walls (wardrobes for example)

Where does the moisture come from?

  • Us…we each expel roughly 1.6 litres of water a day
  • Showers
  • Drying clothes over radiators
  • Cooking
  • Having a bath
  • Unvented tumble driers

How can it be stopped?

In all honesty, it can’t but there are steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood of condensation having a negative effect on your home:

  • Limiting the amount of water vapour produced
  • Ventilating rooms to remove moist air
  • Maintaining a warm temperature in your home
  • Not drying clothes on radiators
  • Closing bathroom doors during and after a bath or shower
  • Ensuring that extractor fans are installed and working well in both kitchens and bathrooms
  • Improving airflow by pulling large furnishings away from walls

*Tip - This may sound counterintuitive, but opening your windows each morning for at least 15 minutes will actually help to reduce the cost to heat your home!