Energy and heating

Condensation and damp

Staying warm is very important and so is making sure that your home is free of condensation and damp.

Did you know that each person produces an average of four pints of water each day through day-to-day activities in their home?

This water can cause problems around the house, particularly during the winter months.

Condensation happens when warm, moist air from activities like cooking and bathing, hits a cold surface such as a window or cold wall.

Dealing with Damp

It’s more common in wintry weather and left untreated can turn to black mould.

It forms on internal surfaces when the temperature drops sufficiently below the temperature of moist air inside your home.

Many of these problems though can be easily resolved or prevented.

Here’s what you can do to look after your home this winter and reduce condensation:

  • Try to leave your central heating on a constant low setting for as much time as possible, or additionally set the timer to boost the heating in the morning and the afternoon/evening.

  • Try to avoid drying clothes inside and over radiators. If you can’t do this place the clothes on a rack in a room next to an open window, with the door closed and where possible the extractor fan switched on.

  • If you have a tumble dryer, make sure it is properly ventilated or that the condenser is regularly emptied.

  • Keep extractor fans on in your home especially if you’ve just had a shower or have been cooking.

  • Cover your pans with lids when you’re cooking and leave your extractor fans on.

  • Wipe away any condensation from windows and doors to prevent mould.

  • Keep your furniture away from walls to allow air to flow around.

Frozen pipes

Frozen pipes can cause problems with heating and boilers when the wintry weather arrives. While it’s difficult to avoid, there is a way to defrost the frozen pipe without having to contact us.

How to prevent frozen pipes

  • Report any dripping taps to us – even a small trickle can lead to a frozen pipe in wintry weather.
  • Know where your stop tap is – most are fitted under the kitchen sink. Make sure you can turn it off if you need to – it’s usually closed by turning it clockwise.

What if the pipe has burst?

  • If you can, turn off the water supply at the stop tap – it’s usually under the kitchen sink.
  • Turn on all your taps to reduce any flooding, and soak up any escaping water with towels.
  • Log a repair using My Riverside.

What is a condensate pipe?

It’s the plastic pipe that runs from your boiler and carries condensation away from the boiler to the outside. All the other pipes are metal, so it’s easily identifiable.

It may be outside of your home, which makes it more susceptible to freezing in colder weather. This can shut your boiler down, leaving you without hot water or heating when you need it most.

  • Find the blockage – usually at the most exposed part of the pipe, or at a bend or dip.
  • Use hot water (not boiling) heated in a kettle or a microwave and pour over the end of the pipe where it’s frozen. A watering can might be useful for this bit.
  • When it has thawed, reset your boiler by holding in the reset button for 10 seconds and waiting for the boiler to re-fire.

Is this safe to do?

Yes, but make sure you take extra care:

  • Don’t disconnect the pipe or try to thaw it above waist height.
  • Don’t try to access the pipe or other pipes within the boiler.
  • Look out for ice on the ground where you poured hot water to thaw the pipe.
  • Don’t use a naked flame or blowlamp to thaw it.

Need to log a repair?

If you need support or to log a repair, then why not sign up for My Riverside self-service here?

Need to log a repair?

If you think that there is a bigger issue than condensation or if you need support or to log a repair, please do so via My Riverside wherever possible to keep our phone lines free for emergency calls.