As we approach winter, we can once again expect steamed up mirror and windows in our homes as moist air created by showers, cooking and even our own breath sticks to cold surfaces about the home.
A certain amount of this is quite normal. The bathroom mirror is bound to be cooler than the rest of the home and its no surprise it steams up when we run a hot basin of water right underneath it to shave.
Its natural that we ventilate our homes less in winter although it is still very important to do so as much as possible.
When is condensation normal and when is it not?
We asked Aydin, our longest serving colleague for his thoughts.
“Windows being a bit steamed up in the morning is probably just a sign a little more ventilation is needed. Its important to get a through draught so leave a window ajar on at least two sides of your home. If you’re worried about security remember that most double glazed units have vents or the ability to lock the windows whilst they are slightly open.”
So what are the signs of condensation that isn’t ‘normal’?
Aydin explains “Check behind furniture and in wardrobes where air doesn’t circulate as freely. If you see blemishes, it could be mildew growth – it loves humid environments! Clothes and fabrics in the house might smell musty and leather shoes may have mould growth on them. It’s important to get it checked out – chances are, it won’t get better by itself and mould growth causes a lot of damage as well as bad health.”
So what causes it?
“It could just be a lack of ventilation but if it is really bad, there could be a pipe leak, rain getting in through the roof or even through the brickwork. If the property has cavity walls, the insulation may have become wet and this hold in damp like a sponge.”
Sounds nasty! What can be done?
“To be honest, if the insulation is wet, it won’t dry naturally. It needs to come out to cure the condensation problem. We see thousands of homes with the problem but it can usually be fixed quite easily. Removing the insulation normally takes a day and then the house will begin to dry straight away.”
Are there any other solutions?
“In the short term a dehumidifier will help but they are quite expensive to run. It’s better solve the problem at source.”
If you’re worried your home may be affected by damp or condensation, Aydin and the team are here to give advice and a free quote for any work that might be needed.