Condensation problems in properties

Tue 14 Nov 2017

 

We receive more complaints about condensation from tenants than any other issue and although the cause is often found to be related to the occupant’s ‘lifestyle’ it does appear that some properties are more prone to this problem than others. 

 

This is particularly true of properties which do not receive a lot of natural light and modern UPVC windows and loft insulation often mean that damp air is trapped within the building with no means of escape. 

 

The most simple answer is to always provide background heating and some ventilation, but modern lives mean that people are out at work all day and very reluctant to leave windows open or heating on.  Also, if there are no external clothes drying facilities, damp washing is often left over or around radiators which increases the problem. 

 

It is difficult to be critical because we are all guilty of at least some of the above actions, at some time and tenants often have little choice in the matter, particularly if they live in a ground floor flat.  Good house-keeping measures should always be recommended and these include:-

 

 

  • Open windows and keep the property ventilated to allow air to circulate. 

 

  • Do not dry clothes indoors (if unavoidable use a clothes airer by an open south-facing window). 

 

  • Open bathroom windows when taking a bath or shower and leave open until steam and moisture disperses.  Use an extractor fan if available. 

 

  • Open bedroom windows overnight and/or in the morning. 

 

  • If necessary, wipe water from windows and window cills in the morning. 

 

  • Fit trickle vents on windows if possible. 

 

  • Provide background heating at all times and find a balance between a good level of heating, ventilation and insulation. 

 

  • If black mould should occur due to condensation (particularly likely in bathrooms and bedrooms) then treat by washing down with a fungicidal wash, or warm water and tea tree oil.  Please follow manufacturer’s instructions. 

 

If all else fails, specialist help is available as we have had considerable success with installing condensation-control units which automatically circulate fresh air throughout the property as well as extracting moist air.  Various systems and options are available for different circumstances.   

 

If we can help you in any way, then please contact Harcourts on 02380 637438, email enquiries@harcourts-property.co.uk .  Our experience in the property market means that we can provide practical advice and a service which means your property is in safe hands.