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Winter is often when you see a build up of black mould and condensation in your home.

Condensation and black mould is often caused by daily tasks we all do in the home such as cooking, showering, drying clothes and breathing. All these activities result in moisture being released into the air. Unless moisture can escape, it will condense on cold surfaces and result in black mould growth.

What is condensation?

If moist air can’t escape through an open window or air vent, it will move around your home until it finds a cold spot such as windows and mirrors where it will become condensation. It can also build up in places where there is little air movement, such as in or behind wardrobes and cupboards.

What is black mould?

Black mould is caused by a build-up of condensation. Left untreated this can spread from walls onto furniture, curtains and clothing.

The table below shows moisture that can be produced in the home in one day

Some of the things that create moisture in the homePints of water produced
Two people at home for one day3 pints
Cooking and boiling a kettle6 pints
Having a bath or shower2 pints
Washing clothes1 pint
Drying clothes9 pints

How to reduce condensation and moisture in your home

  • Cook with pan lids on, and do not use excessive amounts of water.
  • When running a bath run cold water first then add the hot this will reduce the steam by up to 90%.
  • Permanently vent your tumble drier to the outside of your home, using a suitable kit recommended by the manufacturer of the appliance.
  • Ensure there is a gap for air to flow behind furniture and walls and try to avoid positioning furniture against cold external walls.
  • Dry clothes outside, if you have to dry clothes indoors, open a window and close the door to the room.

Ventilate your home to release moisture

  • Open windows in the morning for 15 minutes on opposite sides of your home to release moisture.
  • If you’re at home during the day leave a window open.
  • Keep trickle vents open all year round and don’t block air vents.

Keep your home warm

Warm homes suffer less from condensation. If possible keep your heating on a low setting all day as this is more effective than short bursts of heat.

What to do if your home has mould:

  1. Treat and remove the mould – there are various products on the market that will help such as fungicidal products available in DIY store.
  2. Don’t try to remove the mould by using a brush or vacuum cleaner.
  3. Wipe down windows, frames and other affected areas with a fungicidal (mould killing wash) that carries a Health and Safety Executive ‘approval number’. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo mouldy carpets.
  5. After treating mould-affected areas, redecorate using a fungicidal paint. Where possible remove lining paper and wallpaper, treat the plaster and then paint or paper the area again.