Easy home habits to prevent damp and mould
While it’s often seen as a greater problem during the winter months, damp and mould can cause problems in homes at any time of year, but there are some simple steps that people can take to tackle it. Liberty’s Ian Elsey, Director of Repairs, Maintenance and Construction shares some insights and tips we can all follow to prevent problems caused by condensation.
In my role I am ultimately responsible for the condition of the thousands of homes across the UK that Liberty service on behalf of our clients.
As part of our commitment to delivering better outcomes for the people we serve, Liberty is passionate about ensuring homes are in the best condition they can possibly be.
Damp is one of the issues that our repairs team come across and fix regularly in the homes we look after.
It can also lead to mould on walls or furniture which is not only unpleasant to look at but can also cause breathing problems. So it’s a big priority for us to repair any flaws which could be letting moisture into homes.
Damp and mould in the home can be caused by condensation or water penetration, and understanding the difference is key to knowing how to treat the underlying cause.
Water penetration can occur when pipes leak, a blocked gutter overflows or during rain if you have holes in your roof. You can often spot this sort of damp by its signature ‘tide marks’ on walls which aren’t left by condensation.
Condensation occurs when warm wet air comes in contact with a cool surface, like a window or a wall in a cold room. The drop in temperature means the air cannot hold on to as much water, and this causes water droplets to form on the cold surface. If left, this water creates a breeding ground for mould.
Can I prevent damp?
It’s very common for damp and mould on walls to be caused by condensation rather than water penetration and a fault with the home. And where condensation is the cause, there are some simple things you can do to help. However, where the underlaying issue is water penetration, this needs to be addressed by an appropriate building maintenance professional.
Residents are often surprised to hear that their condensation problems can be prevented by making a few small habit changes.
I wanted to share a few quick and easy tips that we can all follow to prevent condensation in our homes and keep our homes safe and healthy:
- Tweak your house habits to produce less moisture. Cover pans when cooking and don’t leave kettles boiling, dry washing outside if the weather allows or in the bathroom with the door closed and window open. Also, avoid using paraffin and bottled gas heaters as they release a lot of moisture into the air when they’re burning.<br>
- Ventilate your home so moisture can escape. Close the kitchen and bathroom doors when you’re not using those rooms. Open windows wide when you’re showering, bathing or cooking and keep a small window ajar when you’re using a room.<br>
- Insulate, draught-proof and heat your home. This will help keep your home warm in the winter and keep fuel bills lower. If your home is warmer, it’s dryer so condensation is less likely. You can also check that your loft is insulated, close your curtains at night-time and make sure you know how your heating system works (contact your landlord for advice if you are unsure).<br>
- Keep doors to unheated rooms closed to prevent warm wet air entering.
Finally, if you have mould growth in your home, the first step is always to treat it, before following the advice above to limit condensation and prevent it reappearing.
To kill and remove mould, wipe down or spray walls and window frames with fungicidal wash, ensuring that you follow the manufacturer instructions for their safe use. You can find these products in your local supermarket or DIY store. Washing affected clothes and shampooing carpets can tackle mould growing on materials.
We can all help to keep our homes cosy and condensation-free by following these simple steps.
You can also visit our website for some more detail on preventing damp or spotting when you might have a problem that needs fixing – https://www.liberty-group.co.uk/customer-hub/keep-your-homes-free-from-damp-and-mould