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Get Rid Of Condensation Damp To Improve Your Health

If you have unsightly mould in your home, don’t just wipe it away. Learn how mould is formed and how it can affect your health if left untreated.

A third of homes in the UK contain mould, according to recent research conducted by the Energy Savings Trust. This equates to over 8 million properties and more than 20 million people who are exposed to this problem. When left untreated, mould can pose a variety of health risks, ranging from skin allergies such as eczema and itchy eyes to respiratory symptoms including chronic coughing and asthma attacks. The issue of mould is far more serious than many homeowners understand. But there are a number of ways to prevent mould from taking hold, safeguarding both your property and your health.

Understanding Condensation

Condensation can cause black mould in your home. This occurs when air that is moist within the home comes into contact with a cold surface, such as cold walls, windows or mirrors. The air isn’t able to hold the moisture, so tiny drops of water form on the colder surface.

There are many ways to reduce the amount of condensation in your homes, starting with sensible daily precautions. When you’re cooking, ensure that you keep the lids on your pots and pans to prevent too moisture in the air. Dry clothes outside when possible and if you use a tumble dryer, then vent it to the outside rather than to your interior. It’s also essential that you provide good ventilation; keep windows open when you’re cooking or after you’ve taken a shower and utilise extractor fans as much as possible. They use very little electricity and are an effective way to reduce the amount of condensation in the air.

Checking For Condensation

If you have found damp patches, bubbling paint or mould on your walls, then you can carry out a simple test to find out if condensation damp is the problem, or if it caused by something more sinister such as rising damp which is external water coming in through the masonry of the building.

To check for condensation, begin by drying the affected wall with a fan heater. Next, take a piece of foil and tape it over the problem area. If you discover moisture on the inside of the foil after a day or two, then the water is coming from the wall, so is rising damp, water ingress from outside, or interstitial condensation. If the room side of the foil is wet, then it is condensation from water vapour inside the house.

Heating Your Home Adequately

Colder rooms in your house such as conservatories, utility rooms and bathrooms are most likely to experience condensation damp, so it’s important to know how to heat these spaces. Portable gas heaters unfortunately produce quite a bit of moisture, so it is best to avoid these as they will only exacerbate the problem.

It may not be cost effective to turn the central heating on to warm rooms that you don’t use very often, but one option which is becoming more popular in extensions is to use tubular heating.  This is a cost-effective way to background heat a room, either independently or in combination with your usual heating sources. The tube heating appliances are small, so are ideal where space is an issue. Try to keep your furniture such as sofas or bookcases a small distance from the walls, to prevent the air becoming trapped.

If you’re concerned about any black mould forming in your home, then it’s essential that you don’t ignore it. Take steps to find the source of the problem and heat your rooms adequately to reduce the risks.

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