A common reason a tenant contacts their Landlord or agent is to say they have "a damp problem". In most cases this is a problem due to condensation and not damp and is usually a result of not opening windows or turning extractors on whilst washing or cooking and therefore no fresh air is getting in.
Condensation is one of the most common problems in houses and flats and can usually be minimised relatively easily. Condensation occurs when warm moist air meets a cold surface. The water in the air then either settles as water droplets on the surface (as it does on windows for example), or, if the surface is absorbent, it soaks into the surface. In the latter case condensation is often not noticed unless or until mould appears. Condensation can be prevented or reduced in the property by controlling the excess moisture in the following ways:
• Close kitchen and bathroom doors to prevent steam going into other, colder, rooms.
• Open the kitchen or bathroom windows (if applicable) when cooking or washing.
• Open windows in other rooms to allow a change of air.
• Keep trickle vents open (these are small devices on new windows which can be opened without affecting the security to your property).
• Curtains and blinds should be kept open during the day as this will help to minimize the condensation in the property.
• Wipe down surfaces where moisture settles to prevent mould forming.
• Use the extractor fans if supplied in the property (do not isolate fans in bathrooms).
· •Dry clothes outside if possible.
· •Do not hang wet clothes over radiators or in rooms without suitable ventilation.
• Ensure that tumble driers vent to the outside.
• Maintain a low background heat – it is advised that the property thermostat is kept at a minimum of 13 degrees during cold periods to prevent the hot and cold effect which causes condensation.
We always remind new and existing tenants on how to prevent and deal with condensation and would recommend that you do the same. For more useful tips, follow our blog.