Condensation and mould
Left untreated condensation will cause mould and damage to your property and possessions. Mould spores can pose a danger to health, particularly to children, older people and people with existing skin and respiratory conditions or a weaker immune system.
There is always some moisture in the air, even if you cannot see it. Condensation happens when warm, moist air in your house comes into contact with cold surfaces and forms water droplets. You tend to notice condensation in some areas more than others such as around windows or on north facing walls. It is often found behind wardrobes or in cupboards. Condensation is more common in the winter months. This is the time when surfaces are colder and this can lead to unsightly mould growth.
- Make sure your house is heated regularly
- Reduce the amount of moisture produced in your home (see page 6)
- Ventilate rooms, especially after cooking or having a bath or shower.
Where condensation appears, mould is likely to grow, particularly on cold, external-facing walls and ceilings.
It can be treated with a specialist mould remover, or soapy water and disposable wipes/kitchen towel.
Every wipe/towel must be single-use and bagged and binned immediately.
If using a specialist mould remover always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Fungicidal paints are available and can help prevent mould reappearing.
- Open curtains and blinds during the day.
- Ensure window trickle vents are permanently left open
- Wipe down surfaces where condensation has collected, particularly in the winter months, to prevent mould growth. Use disposable wipes / kitchen towel and bin after use.
In the kitchen
- Keep the door closed and window open when cooking.
- Use an extractor fan if you have one and close the door(s) until the steam has cleared.
- Keep a lid on pots and pans when cooking.
In the bathroom
- Keep the door closed and the window open during/after bathing and until the bathroom dries off. Use an extractor fan to clear the steam.
- Wipe down surfaces where condensation has collected, such as shower screens, cisterns, windows, mirrors and tiled surfaces.
- Use disposable wipes/kitchen towel and bin after use.
- Use radiators in bathrooms.
Heating and ventilation
- Where possible try to heat all rooms at least partially between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius, (if you are out of the house during the day you could time the heating to come on). It is better to have a low heat for a long period than a lot of heat for a short time.
- Try to ventilate your rooms wherever possible. In rooms without extractor fans, opening windows for a period will help remove moist air.
- Keep window trickle vents open and any wall vents open and clear.
- Always use extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms, fans can be as cheap as £10 each per year to run*.
- Where possible, furniture should not be positioned up against an external wall.
Drying laundry indoors
- Always dry clothes outdoors if possible.
- If you must dry clothes indoors use an airer in a well heated and ventilated room.
- Try to avoid drying clothes on radiators.
- Don’t use an unventilated cupboard for drying clothes as this will encourage mould growth.
- When storing clothes, towels and bedding, make sure that there is enough space at the back of the shelves to allow a flow of air.
- If using one; ensure tumble drier is self-condensing or vented externally.
- Ensure clothes are fully dry before storing.
Heating your home
The energy efficiency of your home has a big impact on the cost of gas and electricity. For home energy efficiency advice visit www.homeenergyscotland.org.uk or call them on 0808 808 2282.
If you are having difficulty managing your heating system, or your gas or electricity bills are high, or you struggle to keep your home warm in the winter, please visit www.changeworks.org.uk or call 0131 555 4010.
The cost of living is affecting us all. If you’re struggling to heat your home, East Lothian Council’s Financial Inclusion Team can help make sure you’re getting all the help you are entitled to. Please visit us at www.eastlothian.gov.uk/boost or call 01620 827 827 and ask for the Financial Inclusion Team.
*For annual running cost information visit: www.envirovent.com/annual-running-costs 6
The Ready Scotland website also has helpful information for being prepared for other winter issues in and around the home.
For more financial advice and support, the council website has lots of information, or call us on 01620 827827.
Any council tenant worried about damp or mould in their home should report this to the contact centre on 01620 827 827
If you are a council tenant and think you have water coming into the building from the outside, please contact the repairs team on 01875 824311.