Dealing with damp
How to stop condensation
By Liz Ransome-Croker
Article 2 of 5
How to stop condensation
In this guide we'll show you what you need to do to get rid of condensation yourself, and when you might need to call in a professional.
Condensation is the most easily fixed type of damp problem and can often be solved cheaply and quickly, without the need for professional help.
Flick through our gallery and read on below to find out how to get rid of issues with condensation, whether you do it yourself or all in someone to help.
Increasing ventilation helps improve condensation problems. This can be as simple as opening windows, or for windows that lock partly open, leaving them like this more often. In our survey, more than half of those with a condensation problem did this.
You could also get vents installed, such as:
- air bricks (bricks specially made with small holes in) added to the outside walls;
- air vents for internal walls or sealed chimneys to allow airflow through the house;
- roof ventilation tiles and/or ventilated soffits (under the roof and guttering) to allow air through the loft;
- window vents added to the top of windows.
Bear in mind that these measures may mean that some heat is lost from your house, so balance that against how much of a damp issue you have and consult a specialist to check the best course of action.
If you don't have a fan in your bathroom or kitchen, you should consider installing one, as these two rooms are responsible for most moisture in the home. This could cost as little as £400 each.
You might also want to think about getting a dehumidifier, which will help by taking moisture out of the air. Read reviews of all our Best Buy dehumidifiers to find one that will really do the job it claims to.
There are also bigger systems that aim to beat condensation by improving the ventilation, such as the Drimaster Heat - take a look at our review of it to find out if it works.
We've heard from lots of Which? members who have successfully tackled condensation damp themselves by ventilating. One said: 'I knew it was caused by a difference in temperature as evaporation cools. So open windows for better ventilation and use a dehumidifier to reduce water content in the air.'
Consider your heating and insulation
You may also find that having your heating on constantly at a lower heat is better than having it switching from high to off.
If you're going to do this, make sure you're on the best energy deal first - you can compare gas and electricity prices with Which? Switch.
As cold spots on walls or ceilings increase condensation, better insulation may improve it. Having cavity wall, loft insulation or specialist insulation materials fixed to the outside of your house can help.
However, it's worth keeping in mind that in some circumstances cavity wall insulation can be the cause of damp, but this is rare. See our advice on penetrating damp for more details.
If you have single glazing, this may also be part of the problem; as with walls and lofts without insulation, single glazed windows will be a lot colder. Our guide to double glazing reveals the best and worst double glazing companies, and shows you the typical costs.
If you do decide to install more installation or double glazed windows, this needs to be balanced against good ventilation in your home (as mentioned above), or all the extra energy-saving measures could cause damp problems to re-occur.
Clear the condensation
In the short term, you should regularly clear your windows of condensation so it doesn't cause damage or develop into mould. You can do this easily with a towel, tissues, or for windows that open, a squeegee.
Alternatively, there are some window vacuum cleaners on sale that claim to help you remove condensation from your windows quickly and easily. Find out what happened when we tried out the Karcher Window Vac.
You can also limit the amount of condensation produced by trying not to dry clothes on radiators, and hanging them outside instead.