During the winter months, we start to feel the cold more and spend more time inside our homes. This is when your tenants start to notice the damp and condensation issues that are lurking in their properties.
Condensation is perhaps the most common form of dampness that can appear in your rented property and can cause wallpaper to peel, damp patches to appear on walls and a build up of moisture on your windows.
Many tenants tend to ignore the early signs of condensation and never mention it to their landlord until the problem has exacerbated, causing mould to spread across your walls, windows and ceilings. Despite the problem lingering for months beforehand the tenant then expects you to solve the problem in a timely manner and completely redecorate the damage that has been done.
The reason condensation problems appear in your property is due to a lack of adequate ventilation and heating. As we spend more time indoors and make our property more energy efficient the build up of moisture and humidity levels increase.
In fact, four people living in a 3 bedroom property would create around 112 pints of moisture a week from just breathing, cooking, showering and boiling the kettle!
It’s fair to say, the winter season can be an expensive time if your tenants are not instructed to spot the signs of condensation and take precautions.
So how can your tenants prevent condensation?
If your tenants have reported damp or mould issues then you probably want to think about a permanent solution and install a whole house ventilation unit to stop the problem from recurring and to prevent further damage to your property.
If your tenant has yet to report problems with condensation or mould then you might want to share these simple tips with your tenants to reduce the humidity levels in the short term:
- If you have a washing machine or tumble dryer in your property, ensure that it is vented correctly. From just one load of washing two litres of water is emitted into the air.
- If possible, dry clothes outdoors to prevent excess moisture escaping into your property. If you live in a flat this might not be possible so always open your doors or windows if you really need to dry clothes indoors rooms.
- When boiling a kettle, taking a shower or cooking, ensure that your kitchen and bathroom doors are kept closed to prevent steam going into colder rooms which will cause condensation.
- Cover your pans with a lid when cooking to reduce moisture. Also ensure that you have opened a window or you are using an extractor fan if you have one fitted. Don’t turn off the extractor fan or close the window as soon as you finish cooking – leave it open for 15-20 minutes afterwards to clear the air.
- Similar to when cooking in the kitchen, when you are taking a shower or a bath ensure that you turn on an extractor fan or open a window to get rid of the steam that is created when running warm water in a cold environment. This will help reduce the amount of condensation that appears on your bathroom windows but won’t eliminate the problem.
- Both pets and plants produce moisture. Make sure you cover fish tanks and if you are suffering from excess condensation look to move your plants outdoors.
- If you don’t have an extractor fan in your bathroom or kitchen then make sure that your tenants wipe down the surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen when they have been cooking or taking a shower. Excess moisture will quickly turn to mould which is difficult to completely remove.
- Do not overfill bedroom wardrobes and kitchen cupboards. Overfilled cupboards are a breeding ground for mould as the air is not able to circulate freely inside.
- For the same reason as above, make sure that any furniture is at least 50mm away from the surrounding walls so that air can move around the property. Also try to put wardrobes against internal walls in bedrooms; this will be less cold than external walls.
- Ensure an adequate amount of heating is available in your property to improve the internal temperature of surfaces and reduce the likelihood of condensation.
- If you use a room on a regular basis, such as a living room, open a window slightly to improve the ventilation in the room. Breathing is a major cause of condensation so this will help to improve the ventilation in your property.
- Double glazing, loft insulation and draft proofing will help to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from a property. Installing insulation will also help to keep the temperature of the surfaces inside the property high.
Adequate ventilation is essential to allow the moisture to escape from a property before it turns into condensation. Installing an energy-efficient extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom can improve the humidity levels and prevent condensation.
If you are looking for an extractor fan for the bathroom or kitchen that will last the lifetime of your property we would highly recommend the award winning, Cyclone 7 which is a whisper quiet filterless fan with intelligent vapour tracking. The annual running cost of this fan is less than £4.05 and comes with a 7 year guarantee.
Mr Venty to the rescue – whole house ventilation
EnviroVent is an award winning UK manufacturer offering a wide range of eco-friendly ventilation solutions including the Mr Venty Range of condensation control units. The energy efficient units work by delivering fresh, filtered and clean air into the home, gently ventilating it using a technique called Positive Input Ventilation (PIV). This method dilutes high levels of humidity and harmful household contaminants, creating a healthy all year round living environment, free from condensation and mould. What’s more, they are quick and easy to install, and if you have just spruced up your home, there should be no need for redecoration.
Not sure if your problems is condensation or rising damp?
EnviroVent can send a local condensation expert to your rented property who will check for any problems and recommend the correct type of ventilation for your dwelling.
Request your no-obligation home survey today by calling us on 0845 272 7807.