Concerned about damp and mould? Talk to us

How to prevent condensation and mould at home

Condensation in the home is something that can be an issue at any time of the year, because there are many ways in which excess moisture indoors can be generated.

It’s often more noticeable in the colder months but it’s important to stay vigilant about condensation all year round. It’s a very common issue, but if condensation problems aren’t resolved, it can sometimes lead to damp and mould forming in the home, which can be a much bigger situation to sort out.

We look at ways to minimise and prevent condensation from forming in the first place.

Jump to:

What causes condensation in the home?
What problems can condensation cause in the home?
Is condensation bad for health?
Preventing mould in the house or apartment
How to prevent condensation in bathrooms
How to prevent condensation in kitchens
How to stop condensation in bedrooms

What causes condensation in the home?

The air around us contains water vapour and when that air comes into contact with a colder hard surface, moisture droplets can form, which is known as condensation. 

In the home, there are lots of everyday household activities that can cause more moisture to be in the air and therefore make condensation more likely to form on windows, walls and other hard surfaces indoors. These can include:

  • Cooking
  • Showering
  • Having a bath
  • Drying clothes or towels indoors
  • Using a washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher, especially if opened straight after use
  • Doing the washing up
  • Using a steam iron
  • Boiling the kettle
  • Washing floors or using a wet/dry vacuum
  • People and even pets in the home, through breathing

What problems can condensation cause in the home?

Clothes Drying On Radiator

If excessive condensation builds up in the home and isn’t removed, the moisture can cause damage to home décor, such as wallpaper. Damp can start to develop and, unfortunately, these are ideal conditions for mould to grow. 

There are other things that can cause damp and mould in the home, including rising damp and penetrating damp, when moisture from outside the home gets into the building. These are serious and separate issues that need to be dealt with by the homeowner as quickly as possible. 

If you are renting, it’s important to let your landlord know as soon as any signs of damp or mould appear. If you own your home, getting professional advice on your damp and mould problem quickly is essential. 

Is condensation bad for health?

While condensation itself isn’t generally considered to have a negative impact on health, if the issue isn’t dealt with and damp and mould start to form, this has known links to some health problems. 

The NHS website advises that having damp and mould in the home can mean that people living there are more likely to have:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Respiratory infections
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • An immune system that is negatively affected.

These potential health issues are more likely to affect the very young or elderly, those with existing respiratory or skin problems, or those with a weakened immune system already.

By minimising the condensation in your home, you can help to reduce the chances of damp or mould starting to develop. 

Disclaimer: If you live in a home with mould and you or a loved one begins to present symptoms including a cough, wheezing or shortness of breath, please consult a healthcare professional.  

Preventing mould in the house or apartment

House Outline Drawn On Misty Window

Successfully managing condensation in your house or apartment can play a big role in mould prevention. Identifying any specific rooms or spaces in your home where condensation is a problem is the first step.

Signs of condensation in the home

If the condensation in a home builds up and starts to cause further problems, some of the signs can be:

  • Lots of condensation on windows that doesn’t all evaporate and disappear during the course of the day
  • Patches of damp starting to appear on walls or ceilings
  • Wallpaper starting to peel off or change colour in places
  • Paint starting to flake
  • Visible mould on walls, ceilings, window frames or belongings in the room
  • Furniture, clothing or other belongings in the room starting to smell musty
  • Mildew growing on bathroom tiles/grout.

How to prevent condensation in bathrooms

Removing Water From Windows With Window Vac

Bathrooms are spaces that can get very humid, with lots of moisture in the air, and this can lead to lots of condensation forming on almost every surface.

The most effective way to prevent or reduce condensation in bathrooms is to open the window while bathing or showering whenever possible, and leave the window open for a while after you’ve finished. If your bathroom has an extractor fan fitted, using this can also be a good way to get the air circulating better and allows warmer air to escape before the moisture in it can condense indoors.

Wiping down tiles, the window, and any mirrors in the bathroom after you have finished your shower or bath can help prevent moisture from lingering and mould from developing. If you use cloths for this and want to hang them to dry afterwards, along with towels, leave the window open or the extractor fan running for a while so that the moisture in the cloth has somewhere to go.

You can also close the bathroom door after you’ve been in there to prevent excess moisture in the air in the bathroom from spreading to the rest of the home, as long as the window is open, or the extractor fan is on.

If you spot condensation that lingers on hard, flat surfaces such as tiles, windows, and mirrors, you could use a window vac device to help remove the excess moisture.

How to prevent condensation in kitchens

Steam Comes Out Of Saucepan

There are lots of things going on in kitchens that can cause condensation to form if steps are not taken to prevent it. Anything involving heat and water will release more moisture into the air in the kitchen space, but some of the measures you can take to reduce condensation include:

  • When boiling the kettle, have the kettle positioned as close to an open window or extraction fan as possible so the steam doesn’t get trapped in the room.
  • Open the window when cooking, washing up, and when using large appliances such as washing machines, tumble dryers, and dishwashers, to help improve ventilation and air circulation.
  • Using a cooler wash cycle can also help reduce the amount of moisture being generated by your washing machine.
  • Use pots and pans with lids if you can when cooking, to reduce the steam released into the air.

How to prevent condensation in bedrooms

Opening A Window

You might not think that bedrooms are spaces in the home where condensation is likely, but because we breathe out moisture into the air as we sleep, it’s actually quite common for condensation to build up there overnight. This is even more likely in smaller bedrooms. 

To counteract condensation in bedrooms, you can:

  • Open a window to improve ventilation. This will help some of the humid air inside to escape and can reduce condensation on the inside.
  • Leave curtains or blinds open as much as possible.
  • Use a moisture absorber or small dehumidifier device to remove moisture from the air before it can form condensation.
  • Try to keep a steady temperature in the room, especially during the winter when you’re using heating. Condensation forms when moisture in the air comes into contact with a cooler hard surface, so keeping the ambient temperature steady can help reduce condensation.
  • Use a fan to keep the air moving around as much as possible. This can help reduce condensation as the moisture in the air doesn’t have as much chance to condense.
  • Don’t dry damp clothes on bedroom radiators as this is a major contributor to condensation in the home.