Dealing with mould If it is not condensation,

Dealing with mould
It is best to wipe up and remove
any condensation regularly to
avoid mould.
If it is not condensation,
what else could it be?
Condensation is not the only
cause of damp and mould.
If mould has become a problem,
you will need to remove it after
you have taken steps to reduce
the source of the condensation.
They can be caused by a number
of faults or problems with the
structure and maintenance of a
Be careful when disturbing
mould, do not brush or vacuum
as this can aggravate respiratory
• Leaking pipes, wastes or
To kill and remove mould, wipe
down any affected walls, ceilings
and windows using a fungicidal
wash, carefully following the
manufacturers instructions.
These fungicidal cleaners are
available from most supermarkets
and DIY stores.
Wash or dry clean as appropriate
any mildewed curtains, shower
curtains, bedding and clothes.
Ensure everything is thoroughly
dry afterwards or mould could
• Rain seeping through the
roof from missing tiles or
• Rotten or faulty windows.
• Blocked gutters or faulty
rain water pipes.
• Rising damp from a
defective damp proof
course etc.
These forms of damp will often
leave a tide mark, where as mould
from condensation will not.
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What is condensation?
When and where does condensation occur?
There is always some moisture in the air, even if it can’t be seen.
When the air gets cold, it cannot hold all the moisture produced
by everyday activities and some of this moisture appears as
tiny droplets of water, most noticeable on windows on a cold
Everyday activities add extra moisture
to the air inside the home. Even
breathing adds some moisture to the
air. One person asleep adds half a pint
of water to the air overnight and at
twice the rate when active during the
Condensation can also be seen on mirrors after a bath or
shower, and on cold surfaces such as tiles or cold walls. Everyday
activities, such as cooking, washing and drying release extra
moisture into the air.
During warm weather this is rarely a problem as the warm air can
absorb lots of water vapour. However, during the colder months
of the year condensation can become a problem.
The below examples provide an idea
of how much extra water can be
produced in the home in one day:
Two people at home - 3 pints
A bath or shower - 2 pints
Drying clothes indoors - 9 pints
Cooking and use of kettle - 6 pints
There are four main factors
that cause condensation:
Washing dishes - 2 pints
3. Cold surfaces.
4. The temperature
in your home.
Condensation may also form on
the inside surface of external walls,
particularly those that are north
facing or with little air movement.
This will usually be in the corners of
the room either high up or low down
and particularly behind furnishings like
curtains or beds. In small bedrooms
ensure furniture and bedding is not
touching the wall so that air can
Problems can also occur inside
cupboards with poor air circulation,
such as built-in wardrobes and
kitchen cupboards.
1. Too much moisture being
produced in the home.
2. Not enough ventilation.
If the moist air is not removed by
cooker hoods, extractor fans or
by opening windows it will spread
throughout the home and form
condensation on the coldest
surfaces, particularly in the coldest
rooms and in places where there is no
air movement.
moisture =
22 pts
If condensation occurs over a
period of time and is not mopped up
regularly, it will often lead to mould,
particularly mildew which will appear
as black spots, or as patches of sootlike deposits.
First steps in preventing
condensation at home
• Dry windows and window
sills every morning, as well
as surfaces in the kitchen or
• Use extractor fans and open
windows in bathrooms and
kitchens whilst carrying out
any cooking, washing or drying
• Always cook with the pan lids
on and turn the heat down.
• Ventilation can help reduce
condensation by removing
moist air from the home and
replacing it with drier air from
outside. Try to open windows
for at least 30 minutes a day.
• Hang washing out to dry if at
all possible or hang it in the
bathroom with the door closed
and a window slightly open.
Do not be tempted to put it on
a radiator.