How To Get Rid Of Damp And Condensation In Rented Homes
Many rented houses and flats often suffer from black mould and condensation on the windows, window frames and walls. But what causes damp in the home and how it can be treated? And at the end of the day who is responsible for getting rid of it?
What Is Damp In The Home
The first step to treating damp is to identify the cause of it. There are three main types of damp: Condensation, penetrating damp and rising damp
What Causes Condensation
Condensation is by far the most common of all household damp problems and is predominantly caused by day-to-day domestic activities. The condensation occurs when there is a build up of warm, moist air and the property then starts to cool down. Moisture then condenses on cold surfaces such as the windows and condensation become evident and a problem.
People naturally release moisture droplets into the air via breathing and sweating. Cooking, drying your clothes inside, showering and other water-releasing activities also add to the buildup of the warm moisture. If the moisture in the air is not regulated throughout the property then condensation problems begin. So, in other words, normal tenant-like use of the property adds to the water in the atmosphere.
This condensation occurs normally during the autumn and winter. This is when there are low levels of ventilation and circulation within the property as people close the windows and doors to keep warmth in and costly heating bills down. Colder external air temperatures cause the moisture to condense faster and more noticeably. For example, colder window panes will quickly cool moisture in the air to a liquid state, leading to condensation on windows.
What Causes Penetrating Damp
Penetrating damp occurs when the moisture is built up horizontally inside the homes walls. The causes of penetrating damp are usually as a result of poor maintenance of the property. Penetrating damp occurs if you have what is known as ‘an external defect’ – for example this could be blocked guttering. If the water does not evaporate naturally and builds up leading to water overflowing, then the guttering the water will eventually pass through the surface of the building.
What Causes Rising Damp
Rising damp is often misdiagnosed and confused with penetrating damp. It is the movement of moisture, rising up through the outer walls of the building. It is most commonly found in older properties where there is either no damp proof course in place or the physical damp proof course has failed. For example, in raised ground levels which have breached the height of the damp proof course.
Having no damp proof course means that the excess moisture will not be stopped from rising up the wall through capillary action. Rising damp will only reach a height of around one metre. The groundwater will contain salts which will then be deposited on the interior and exterior walls of the building.
How to Get Rid Of Household Condensation
If diagnosed early, condensation is a simple process to treat. The main form of treatment for condensation is the improvement of ventilation throughout the property. This can be achieved through simple changes in lifestyle, such as opening windows, drying clothes outside or installing a tumble dryer.
You can also add ventilation fans to your property which will allow for the air to exit the property as soon as possible. If mould is occurring in your home you can buy mould kits which will get of rid of the mould in the short term. The most important method of treating condensation is by improving the airflow in to and out of the property. This can be achieved with extractor fans and openable windows.
How To Treat Rising Damp
To fully treat rising damp, you must locate the source of moisture. A quick fix may stop the rising damp issue in the short term, but make repairs more expensive in the future. There are damp-proofing solutions that can be used to prevent rising damp damage your property. A damp proof course is the most common form of treatment, with most modern housing already having in this place.