Howsy Guides: How to prevent mould growth in Winter ❄

With the winter chill finally settling in, with it comes many issues that affect our homes – one of which being mould caused by high levels of condensation.

Condensation happens when warm, moist air is produced in a property – which then hits cold surfaces such as in and around windows, causing condensation.

Anywhere that condensation forms – mould will soon follow…

First of all, you’ll start to see greeny black specks start to appear on walls. Usually, this will be around windows – but could appear anywhere where steam can turn into condensation by coming into contact with a cold surface i.e behind furniture, on walls in bathrooms and kitchens.

It’s important to do as much as possible to prevent and treat any mould caused by condensation – for both cosmetic and health reasons.

 

Here’s our top tips on how to reduce condensation and prevent mould growth 💧 :

 

  • Condensation usually builds overnight. You can reduce this by “cross ventilating” the property. Open a small window downstairs by just a small amount, and do the same with a window upstairs (or opposite ends of the property if you’re in a flat). Keep all internal doors open – this enables air to circulate around the property. (Always remember to make sure windows are secure if you go out!).

 

  • Make sure the kitchen is ventilated if you are cooking or washing up. If you have a window – open it! If not, always be sure to make use of a cooker extractor or extractor fan.

 

  • Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but try not to use radiators to dry clothes. All of that moisture is coming straight out of your fresh linen and straight into your inside space. If you have a tumble dryer, make sure it is properly vented outside (unless it’s a new type condenser dryer).

 

  • If you prefer to have a bath rather than a shower, run cold water BEFORE the hot. Believe it or not, this significantly reduces steam which can lead to up to 90% of total condensation.

 

  • If you’re cooking, or washing – be sure to keep both the kitchen and bathroom doors closed when you are using these rooms. This will help to stop moisture creeping through the rest of the house.

 

  • Always take extra ventilation measures after using the kitchen or bathroom. By opening a small window or using a fitted extractor for just 15-20 minutes, you can effectively reduce the amount of moisture build-up within the property. (Extractor fans are cheap to run and can be very effective).

 

  • We strongly advise against using bottled gas heaters. The safety of running such heaters is somewhat questionable, and they also produce over one litre of water vapour for every litre of fuel used.

 

  • Most windows have small vents with covers located at the top of the frame – these are called ‘trickle vents’. These are a great way to ventilate your bedroom, as well as leaving your window open slightly during the night (if safe to do so).

 

  • Do not attempt to draught proof any room with a condensation problem or where there is a heater or a cooker that burns gas or solid fuel

 

  • Do not draughtproof any bathroom or kitchen windows. These windows provide natural and helpful ventilation from rooms most likely to generate moisture.

 

  • Never block ventilators or airbricks for the same reason as above.

 

  • Whenever possible, try to ensure during the colder months that there is some heating on within the property. Even at a low level, this enables surfaces to retain some warmness which will, in turn, reduce condensation.

 

  • If you don’t have heating in every room, keep the doors of unheated rooms open to allow heat from other rooms to travel through.

 

  • During the winter, indoor house plants can produce more moisture in the air. Try moving these outside in the colder months

 

  • Another option is to purchase an electric dehumidifier. These start from around £40 and will automatically turn on to absorb excess moisture levels within the air.

 

If you’ve tried all of the above and are still having problems, be sure to mention any issues you have to our Property Management Team.