Condensation can cause dampness and mould growth in your home. This looks unpleasant and can increase the risk of respiratory illness. It can also cause wooden window frames to rot.

Ensuring your home is free of mould and mildew is your responsibility as a tenant.

What is condensation?

Condensation starts as moisture in the air, usually produced by cooking, washing, or drying clothes indoors on radiators. When it hits cool surfaces such as mirrors, walls, wall tiles and windows it condenses and forms water droplets. The moist air rises when it is warm and often ends up on ceilings and in upstairs rooms then it forms mould.

Why is it a problem?

Left untreated, condensation can result in mould growth on walls, ceiling, furniture, furnishings, and clothing in cupboards and drawers. It can also affect plaster and cause woodwork to rot.

How do I prevent mould and condensation?

A dry, well-aired home is easier to heat and healthier for you and your family. You can minimise the amount of moisture and condensation in your home by doing the following things:

  • Open doors and windows as often as possible when you are at home;
  • Open windows or use extractor fans so steam can escape when:
    • Cooking
    • Using the shower or bath
    • Using a clothes dryer
  • Wipe condensation off walls and windows when it occurs;
  • Hang washing outside to dry;
  • Maintain low background heat when the weather is cold or wet;
  • Make sure clothes and shoes are dry before putting them away into storage area;
  • If water leaks or spills occur indoors it is important to clean and dry;
  • Also, you must not use bottled gas or paraffin heaters – these produce a lot of moisture and they are also a health and safety risk.

How can I remove mould or mildew?

  • Wash mould or mildew with diluted household bleach (one part bleach three parts water mixed together) as soon as it appears; as it’s harder to remove once it’s been there a while.
  • Open windows to improve airflow while you clean as fumes can be toxic if you do not ventilate as you clean.
  • Be sure you do not scrub too hard and remove any paint or varnish.
  • Always read and follow the safety messages on household cleaning products bottles before using and wear rubber gloves when handling bleach or similar products.
  • Supermarkets also sell products that assist to absorb excess moisture in a room. These products are relatively inexpensive and consist of a small container of moisture absorbing beads or similar and can last for several weeks. Note that these products will not remove mould, but they may help to stop the mould coming back by absorbing excess moisture.