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What do I do if there's condensation or mould in my home?

Condensation is caused by warm, moist air or water vapour when it comes into contact with cold surfaces. It forms on outside walls, in the corner of some rooms, and in places where there's not much air movement and is most noticeable in kitchens and bathrooms.

Condensation can cause mould to grow on walls and ceilings and should be dealt with as soon as possible. It can cause damage to the structure of your home, your clothes, bedding, floor coverings and decorations.

Condensation is usually a problem during the winter, because we tend to close windows and doors. We do this to keep heat inside the house, but moist air will still find its way to the cooler surfaces, condense and, over time, form mould.

If you find black spots of mould around your walls, bath, sinks or windows, they may be caused by condensation rather than damp.

How to spot when condensation is affecting your home

  • Look – you may see water forming on the inside of your windows, black spots of mould on walls or window frames, and peeling paintwork and wallpaper
  • Smell – condensation can cause a damp, humid smell as if you have left damp clothes or towels rolled up somewhere in your home
  • Feel – if your home feels very cold even though the heating is on full, you could have condensation in your home.
Daily sources of moisture Moisture created Approximately equal to
One person asleep for eight hours 0.3 litres One can of soft drink
One person active for 16 hours 0.8 litres Four cups of tea
Cooking 3.0 litres Two large bottles of water
Bathing 1.0 litres One 2 pint carton of milk
Washing clothes 0.5 litres One regular bottle of water
Drying clothes 5.0 litres Two 4 pint cartons of milk
Paraffin heater 1.7 litres A 2 pint and 1 pint carton of milk

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