Condensation is by far the most common cause of damp and mould related problems that are reported to us across Riverside. But there are ways we can help stop these issues before they even happen.
What is a condensation and mould?
Condensation is where hot air from your shower or steam from your cooking hits a colder surface like a window or wall and tiny water droplets appear.
If these surfaces are left wet, the water droplets can soak into your wallpaper or paintwork and attract mould.
If mould grows in your homes, it can give off an unpleasant smell and can actually cause you to be ill. It can grow on carpets, walls, wood and even your furniture.
This happens in most homes at some point but there are a few easy things you can do to reduce the chances of mould being able to grow and to stop any damp from causing damage to your property and your health.
What can I do in my home to reduce any condensation and mould?
Keep fresh air moving around your home -when you’re in the bathroom having a shower or a bath, make sure there is a window open or you switch on the extractor fan if there is one fitted in your home. The same goes for when you are cooking in the kitchen, open a back door or window as it will remove all the moisture from the air.
Sometimes you may notice condensation and mould around the inside of your windows in the morning – when you can, we suggest leaving your window open a little bit as this will stop the condensation building up. If you can’t leave the window open then all you have to do is try and wipe up the water with a cloth or tissue to dry the area.
Don’t block air vents installed in your home or restrict air circulation – make sure there isn’t furniture or any other items blocking air vents in your home so they can work properly.
A lot of our customers say they find mould in the back of their cupboards. This is because sometimes there isn’t enough fresh air able to circulate here. This is easily stopped by not overfilling your cupboards.
Make less moisture – if there is less moisture in your home then there will be less condensation. If you are cooking, cover you pans so steam and moisture can’t escape into the air, it also cooks your food quicker saving you energy and money.
It’s a good idea to dry wet laundry outside rather than inside to stop moisture being produced in your home. Did you know, 10 pints of moisture is released into the air just from drying a batch of washing? If you can’t dry your clothes outdoors then the best thing to do is dry them in the bathroom, close the door and keep the extractor fan on or a window slightly open.
Keep heating on low background temperature setting – in cold weather, make sure your heating is on a low background heat rather than short bursts of hot heat. We usually say 18-21 degrees is a good setting. This means there is less chance of moisture being able to find any cold surfaces where it can stay and form damp and mould.
What if I already have mould?
If you have a small area of mould for example in your shower, you can easily remove it by using a mould-removing wash. These are available to buy cheaply in lots of supermarkets and DIY stores.
If there is a larger build-up of damp and mould on your walls for instance, it is important that you report this problem to us as soon as possible so we can help fix the problem quickly. This might save further damage to your property and stop you from getting sick.
What can I do to reduce frost?
During winter, the cold weather can not only affect your health but also your home. When water freezes there is a chance it can freeze your pipes.
Frozen pipes can cause major problems as they can burst and flood into your home from a sudden increase in water so it’s a good idea to think about how to prevent it!
Pipes are most likely to freeze in unheated rooms, outhouses and attics, as well as those pipes that are hidden at the back of cupboards.
If you have any uninsulated pipes in these areas, get in touch with us and we can send one of our experienced surveyors to your home.
Pipes that are visible do not generally need to be insulated as they benefit from being exposed to warm air that circulates around the room.
Here are some simple ways to keep water pipes from freezing:
- Run your taps frequently to get water flowing. Moving water is less likely to freeze.
- Use the Central Heating when you can.
- Leave room doors open to allow warm air to circulate.
What if I do get a frozen pipe, what should I do?
- Turn off the water supply by the main stop tap, this is usually under the kitchen sink or where the service pipe enters your home.
- Switch off the central heating.
- Protect everything around the pipe such as any domestic appliances.
- Use a hot water bottle to carefully melt frozen pipes.
Protecting your home
Severe water leaks can cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage to your home and personal belongings. If you don’t already have home contents insurance we suggest you try and set this up in case of an emergency.
Take a look at our ‘Getting insurance for your home’ page for extra help if you need. We have teamed up with insurer Royal & Sun Alliance to offer a low-priced insurance deal just for our customers!