Condensation and damp
Condensation and damp are caused by a build up of moisture (water) in your home. This can result in damage and if mould begins to develop it can pose a risk to your health. There are several reasons why moisture may be getting into your home.
Moisture can get into your home in several ways:
- condensation – we add moisture to the air all the time just by breathing, as well as from cooking, drying clothes, and from our pets and house plants
- rain can get in – through leaking roofs, blocked or damaged guttering, leaky walls and poorly fitting doors and windows
- leaks from plumbing faults, failed appliances and poorly sealed baths and showers
- Rising Damp – ground water can rise up through the walls and floor
You can view pictures of the different types of dampness in the NEA’s Dealing with Damp and Condensation document.
If you have rain water getting in, or any internal leaks or signs of rising damp, then it’s important to get the problem sorted out quickly by a professional.
Condensation and under heating
Condensation can occur when moist air comes into contact with a colder surface like an outside wall or cold spot in the house. We all get condensation on our windows from time to time, but this isn’t a problem if it clears up quickly. If left untreated condensation can cause black mould. Black mould is unhealthy and can make respiratory problems such as asthma worse. The NHS states that condensation can effect your health and if you have damp and mould in your home you’re more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma. Damp and mould can also affect the immune system. You should clean away any mould when you first see it. An effective method is to start by cleaning off the mould with spray containing bleach. Always follow the manufacture’s instruction and it is advisable to wear a face mask.
If you are concerned about condensation and mould you could contact a local home energy advisor for advice.
Our Top Tips
- Keep lids on pan when cooking
- Close bathroom doors when showering and running hot water
- Run the cold water first when filling your bath
- Avoid drying clothes on radiators
- Heat the room or area a little more (While you don’t want to waste money heating rooms you don’t use, very cold rooms are more likely to get damp and mould)
- Let fresh air in to circulate
- Open windows and use extractor fans to get rid of moist air
We have selected a number of useful resources in a variety of formats that provide further help on what condensation is and how you can reduce it.
- Centre for Sustainable Energy – Kondensacja, wilgoć i pleśń – Polish Translation – Advice on damp and condensation
- Centre for Sustainable Energy – Easy Read – Advice on Damp and Mould
- Centre for Sustainable Energy – التكثف، الرطوبة والعفن – Arabic translation – Advice on Damp and Mould