dehumidifier in living room

How to prevent dampness in your house

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

Damp in your home can be a nightmare. Not only can it damage your house, clothes and furniture, but it can also affect your health.

The best thing to do is to try and prevent damp from happening in the first place. If you've already noticed signs of dampness in your home, you should get on top of it sooner rather than later.

Look out for excess condensation around your windows, wet patches on your walls, peeling wallpaper and mould spots. These are all warning signs that you could have damp in your home.  

Dry your clothes outside instead of inside  

It might be hard during the winter months, but you should dry your clothes outside when you can.

Hanging your clothes to dry indoors can increase the level of moisture in your house, which can increase the risk of mould growth. 

Using a tumble dryer can also cause moisture to develop. A tumble dryer gives off heat, and when the heat hits the cold walls and windows, it creates condensation.

Hanging your clothes outside is much more environmentally friendly as well, as you won’t be using energy by turning on the heating or the tumble dryer. 

Use a dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers help to reduce the excess humidity in your home, leaving you with drier air. Using one of these means you’d be less likely to have damp issues and mould problems.

Alongside getting rid of excess humidity, dehumidifiers clean the air by getting rid of dust mites. Dust mites are attracted to warmth and humidity. They don’t bite, but they can cause allergies in some people. By preventing damp, you’ll also be preventing dust mites.

Dehumidifiers come in a range of prices. However, some of the cheaper options work just as well as the more expensive ones. If you’re only having damp problems in one room rather than the whole house, you could consider this mini dehumidifier for £37.99.

However, if you're having problems with dampness in multiple rooms in your house, you could get a larger dehumidifier such as this one for £89.97.

Use an extractor fan in the bathroom  

Your bathroom is inevitably going to be one of the moistest rooms in the house due to hot showers and baths. That's why you should use an extractor fan in your bathroom.

Some bathrooms have ventilators as well as extractor fans, but if yours doesn't, you should consider getting one fitted.

When you get out of the bath or shower, open your windows for at least 10-15 minutes. Doing this will make a significant difference in the amount of humidity in the air.

Open windows when cooking  

Multiple things in the kitchen cause condensation, such as boiling the kettle, washing the dishes, using a dishwasher and cooking.

The steam from cooking causes excess moisture in the air, which can travel easily around your home. Have you ever noticed windows steaming up in other rooms when you’re cooking in the kitchen? This is why you need to open your windows for ventilation.

Some ovens also have extractor fans. If yours does, remember to use that too. 

Wipe windows and sills every day

Do you often notice condensation on your windows and sills? If so, make sure you wipe them down with kitchen roll every day to avoid a build-up.

A build-up of condensation can lead to damp patches and mould. Opening your windows whilst you’re in the house will also help to reduce this problem.

When cleaning your windows, try using a fungicidal spray as this will also help to prevent mould.

Get air bricks fitted

An air brick is a brick with holes that allows air to circulate to prevent moisture from building up in your home. They’re usually fitted around 75mm above ground level to stop water from getting in. Air bricks can be made from cement, plastic or metal and are similar in size to a regular house brick.

Tenants in rented property should speak to their landlord about getting some fitted if there aren't any in their property.

If you own your home, it could cost a few hundred pounds to get air bricks fitted. However, if it’s going to prevent water damage and mould growth, then it might be worth considering in the long term.

Read on to find out who the greenest energy suppliers are in the UK. 

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