How-to-treat-condensation

How to Keep Condensation and Damp Out This Winter

With winter fast approaching, it’s time to start shoring up your defences against the oncoming tide of condensation and damp, which can severely affect homes during the colder months of the year.

Condensation is the most common problem for homeowners in winter, with poor ventilation leading to lots of potential for hot and cold air to collide. While condensation is easily avoided, if it’s left for too long it can start to cause mould or even damage to walls and ceilings.

Condensation is a mild form of damp, but homeowners also need to be on the lookout for more serious damp problems during winter. Rising damp and penetrating damp are much more serious issues, leading to mould and potential structural problems.

It’s important to know the difference between damp and condensation and to know how to keep condensation and damp out of your home during winter.

Condensation During Winter

Condensation is the most common form of damp, and during winter it can be a real pain for homeowners. Thankfully, it’s usually more annoying than it is dangerous, and there are plenty of quick fixes to keep your home condensation-free during winter.

Condensation happens when hot, moisture-heavy air collides with colder, drier air. As the air mixes, condensation (water droplets) forms on windows, doors, and ceilings.

If you’re having a hot shower in winter, your windows and mirrors will steam up as condensation forms. In the kitchen, switch on the kettle or start simmering a hearty winter soup and you have the same problem.

Condensation forms on colder surfaces, which are more prevalent in winter than in summer. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that we keep our doors and windows closed during winter, to keep in the heat and to keep out the cold.

Poor ventilation is the biggest cause of condensation in winter, but also the easiest fix: just open the window. However, condensation can form in less obvious places, where it can become more of an issue. Check out this article on how to treat condensation in your homes.

Condensation often forms on the ceiling and can get into the attic during winter. This is when it could start to cause damage to your painting and plastering or, if left long enough, to the structure itself. As a form of damp, excessive levels of condensation lead to mould, which can cause respiratory problems. In the depths of winter, respiratory illness is the last thing you need.

Damp During Winter

While condensation is a form of damp, there are more serious types of damp that you need to be aware of. Damp can occur at any time of the year, but in winter the problems are worsened by colder weather and lack of ventilation.

Rising damp occurs when moisture starts moving up from the ground and into the structure of your home. It’s common in older houses, but rare in newer homes that have been adequately damp-proofed.

Penetrating damp is more common, and occurs when water starts moving down or horizontally through structures. It’s often the result of cracks in the walls, loose tiles and leaks. Due to temperature differences and bad weather, cracks and leaks are more common in winter than other times of the year. If you own a listed building, then check out this article on how to treat damp in listed buildings.

Both rising and penetrating damp can lead to mould as well as structural problems, so it’s crucial that you lookout for early signs (and musty smells). If you think you have a rising or penetrating damp problem during winter, contact the professionals immediately.

Tips to Reduce Condensation and Damp

While condensation and damp can be serious, in most cases there are a few simple fixes that can help you to avoid any serious problems.

Here are our best tips to help you avoid condensation and damp this winter.

  • Open the Windows

Our biggest tip isn’t exactly a secret: open your windows!

Condensation thrives in a closed environment, especially in bathrooms and kitchens where there’s lots of moist air hanging around. Yes it might be cold outside, but try to open the window, even if it’s just for a few minutes while you’re boiling the kettle or in the shower.

  • Check Your Extractor Fans

If your bathroom and kitchen are fitted with extractor fans, this should take care of excess moisture. You need to make sure that the extractor fan is actually switched on, though.

It’s good practice to check your fans are ventilating properly and extracting efficiently. Give them a check before winter arrives.

  • Set Up a Dehumidifier

For serious cases of condensation that could lead to worsening damp, you might want to set up a dehumidifier to get rid of the excess moisture in the air.

Dehumidifiers aren’t ideal, but they are cheaper than dealing with structural problems if damp gets into the walls.

  • Fix Cracks and Broken Tiles

Cracks and broken roof tiles are the easiest way for water to get into your home, and for penetrating damp to become a serious problem.

Before winter, have your house checked over and fill in any obvious cracks or sort any issues with the roof. During winter, look for any new damage after severe storms or extremely cold temperatures.

Act Fast to Keep Condensation and Damp Out

The most important thing you can do if you have excess condensation or visible damp problems is to act quickly.

Leaving damp, even in its mildest form, can lead to damage to your property, structural issues with your floors, walls, or ceilings, and respiratory illness. Damp can be an issue any time of the year, but it’s more likely to occur in winter.

Act fast, start ventilating your home, and call in the professionals if you aren’t sure how severe the problem is or what fix you need.

Contact Danford Brewer & Ives today, to learn more about keeping out condensation and damp this winter.

We’re experts in damp-proofing services and have been advising homeowners in Yorkshire, Teesside and North East England for decades. We’re happy to discuss your issues and confident that our professional staff can provide the best solutions to keep your home damp and condensation free this winter.

Please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our technical team will be on hand with expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.