With temperatures dropping and us all spending more time indoors than normal, this is the time of year that can see condensation mould starting to form in student properties. If you're not familiar with how condensation occurs and the damage it can do, please follow the advice within this blog to manage it and prevent more serious issues spoiling your experience of your second year university accommodation.
It's the appearance of water on cold surfaces. It occurs when moist air comes into contact with air or a surface which is at a lower temperature, e.g. windows, tiles and external walls. Whilst it may look harmless to begin with, it may result in mould growth and rotting of material.
The most basic example of condensation is breathing on a car window to make it mist up. Now imagine that on a larger scale, e.g. warm, moist air produced from showering forming on windows, ceilings and walls. If not managed properly, the condensation it produces will cause mould problems. This can happen in any property. In student houses, this is often caused by clothes being dried in bedrooms on racks or on radiators with the windows and door left shut.
Condensation mould is normally found in the corners of rooms, and has a distinctive black or dark coloured pattern of speckling. Condensation mould can also grow quickly if ignored or not addressed. Example photos below where the problem has been not been addressed:
WHERE DOES MOULD FORM MOST OFTEN?
On the coldest surfaces in your student house, so windows, ceilings and walls; especially if the wall is an external one.
It'll also form when furniture has been pushed too tight to a wall. Walls need to breathe too! Make sure there is a sufficient enough gap for air to flow between bed/chest of drawers/wardrobe and the wall.
WHY DOES IT MATTER IF A PROPERTY HAS CONDENSATION MOULD?
Condensation mould can make the property less pleasant to live in and cause damage. To avoid unnecessary problems, it's important that you take steps to limit condensation build-up.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REDUCE CONDENSATION IN YOUR STUDENT ACCOMMODATION?
Some normal daily activities produce a lot of moist air very quickly. To minimise the amount of moist air, which leads to the formation of condensation, you need to:
Your home can be ventilated without creating draughts by:
Keep the heat on low all day in very cold weather, condensation is less likely to form in warm houses.
Yes, although condensation often incorrectly gets reported as "damp". Damp is caused by a structural defect with the property, rather than living conditions.
There are two types of damp: penetrating damp and rising damp.
Penetrating damp is caused by water entering the property through an external defect. Most commonly, it is caused by faulty guttering, downpipe or chimney stack, although it can occasionally be due to badly cracked or hollow render, or issues with the roof.
Rising damp exists when there is a problem with the property's damp proof course or membrane, causing water to rise from the ground into the walls or floor. It is visible as it leaves a tidemark on the affected walls. Photos of both types of damp below:
At Tudor Price we make sure all our properties are kept in the best condition. See our range of property to rent in Plymouth now!