How to prevent condensation and damp in your home during winter

3 Dec 2014
Published in Property
Views 8564

How can condensation in your home cause damp? What are the simple measures we can take to prevent damp in our homes and safeguarding our families' health?

What is damp and condensation?

Damp and mould growth within your home that is caused by condensation is very common during the winter months.

Condensation is caused by warm moist air coming into contact with cold surfaces such as the windows and walls of your home. Mould then forms in the poorly ventilated areas of your homes,behind heavy furniture such as wardrobes and cupboards. It is particularly common in the corners of walls as well.

How does condensation and damp damage our homes?

Damp caused by condensation is the most common type of damp in homes and can damage the paint and plaster on your walls as well as rotting window frames. It will also leave large patches of mould growing on your walls and will produce an unpleasant damp smell.

Damp can also cause significant damage to our health by triggering respiratory problems and allergies. The groups of people most at risk are young children and babies, elderly people, those with eczema, asthma and allergies.

Mould that forms in damp conditions produce allergens, irritants and in some cases toxic substances which can trigger an allergic reaction. Symptoms include:runny nose, skin rash, sneezing, red eyes as well as triggering asthmatic symptoms in those who have asthma.

How to prevent condensation and damp appearing in your home?

There are three main ways in which you can reduce the build up condensation and therefore preventing damp and mould growth in your home, these are heating, insulation and ventilation.

Heating your home can prevent condensation and damp in your home

Make sure to use your heating during winter and keep it at a steady level so that your house does not get too cold. Keeping your home sufficiently warm will prevent moist damp air which will form condensation when it comes into contact with surfaces.

Insulating your home can prevent condensation and damp in your home

Having loft insulation and/or cavity wall insulation is a great way to insulate your home and you may be eligible for a government grant to help pay the cost. These types of insulation can be a bit pricey upfront but you will very quickly see the results in your gas and electricity bills as well as feel the sudden change in your home. This option will save you hundreds of pounds in heating costs per year as well as preventing condensation and damp in your home.

Improving ventilation in your home can prevent condensation and damp

A good level of ventilation in your home will ensure that any moisture in the air will be able to escape before it has a chance to form condensation and damp. This is why many kitchens and bathrooms have extractor fans, so make sure you use them. Cooking and showering will release a lot of moisture into the air so be careful and open a window if you have to. If you already have condensation and damp in your home you could buy a dehumidifier. 

Top tips for preventing condensation and damp in your home

  • Use lids when cooking
  • Dry your washing outdoors, or in a bathroom with the window left open
  • Place wardrobes and other furniture against internal walls
  • Open windows in the kitchen and bathroom if there is condensation on the windows
  • Close kitchen and bathroom doors when in use to prevent moisture from them spreading throughout the house



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