Now the winter months are upon us, we teamed up with Restoration UK, who are experts when it comes to preventing and removing damp, to bring you six of their tried and tested ways to avoid damp and the damaging affects it can have on your home and your health.
If you want to keep your home snug and dry, it's important to have the right type of damp proofing. However, if you have recurring damp problems, it’s well worth considering lifestyle factors that could be exacerbating the issue. A little care and attention can make a lot of difference to your home.
If you rent a property, be aware that damp isn't always the responsibility of the landlord and you may lose your deposit if the way that you live contributes to damp and mould issues. If you own your own house, you could end up having to make expensive repairs when all you really needed to do was have ‘damp sense’. If you rent out a property, make sure your tenants are aware of factors that can affect damp.
Kitchens are a key area when it comes to fighting damp. Cooking releases moisture into the air, particularly if you're boiling water. Putting lids on pans will help minimise this, and save you energy (and money) as pans will heat up more quickly. During cooking, use an extractor fan if you have one too. Close the door when cooking or washing and drying clothes, particularly if your tumble drier isn't externally vented, and open the window. Plus, a ventilator in the kitchen will also help remove damp air. Other sources of damp in the kitchen include self-defrosting fridges and freezers – and make sure you dry your floor after cleaning it, rather than letting it 'air dry'.
Bathrooms can be a major source of condensation which, in turn, can lead to damp. When you have a bath or shower, make sure you close the door and open the window until any damp has dissipated. If you don't have a window in your bathroom, it's essential that you fit a ventilator so that moist air is removed from your home. Similarly, ensure that you hang towels up rather than leaving them on the floor. If you're lucky enough to have an indoor hot tub, make sure it’s covered between uses.
If you have a laundry room, this is another common source of damp. Drying clothes outdoors is preferable to drying them inside. If you don't have a washing line, use airers rather than drying clothes on the radiator. Dry clothes in the bathroom with the window open and door closed. It may sound obvious, but the more moisture there is in the air, the more likely you are to have issues with damp and mould.
Number of People in Your Property
The number of people in your property will affect how much damp is produced as humans are damp-producing machines. If your home has more people than it was designed for living in it, it's particularly important that you ventilate the property thoroughly, by opening the windows or fitting a ventilator.
Your home décor can also exacerbate damp problems. House plants release around 0.5 litres of water per (medium sized) plant per week and fish tanks can also contribute to damp problems. Ensure you have adequate ventilation to help remove moisture from the air. Leave a gap between the furniture and the walls and ensure you don't over-fill cupboards or wardrobes so that there is space for air flow. Otherwise, you could end up with mouldy belongings.
A General Guide
As a general guide, damp becomes an issue if your property is too cold, too wet, inadequately ventilated or all three. Keep heating on at a low level if you can, and keep your home warm with insulation and draught proofing. Do ensure it's installed by an expert though, as incorrectly fitted insulation can create damp problems. Carry out basic home maintenance to minimise risk of leaks and water ingress; and make sure you have the right ventilation for your home. With a little care and attention, you should keep your home cosy and dry.
If you have issues with damp even after making these lifestyle changes, it’s worth getting it checked out by a PCA approved contractor. For further information and guidance please visit Restoration UK, who will be more than happy to answer your questions.
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Disclaimer: Guest blog posts on the Ellis and Co blog are written by external companies. Ellis and Co do not endorse the products or services of these companies.