Condensation is caused when water in the air meets cold surfaces. As the air gets colder it can't hold as much water, so droplets form on windows and walls.
It is normal for homes to have some condensation, but you should be aiming to reduce it to a level where it doesn't cause health problems or mould growth.
Please read our Condensation and mould leaflet (PDF 1MB) for details on how to deal with condensation in your home. The key actions are summarised below.
How to prevent condensation
You need to make some changes to control this type of damp, and give them time to start working. The leaflet above includes illustrations on how to do this.
Not letting moisture into the air
- Keep lids on pans or switch on the extractor hood above the hob (if you have one) every time you boil or steam food.
- Close your bathroom door and slightly open a window or use an extractor fan (a small fan to the outside, which is often high up near your shower) when you have a bath or shower. This stops the moisture reaching the rest of the house.
- Dry clothes outside, or in a vented tumble dryer*. If you have to dry clothes indoors dry them over a bath (or shower base), close the bathroom door and slightly open the window.
Stopping water condensing in the house
- Keep your house warm, at least 18 degrees Celcius (64 degrees Fahrenheit) at all times. If you stop as much water as possible getting into the air using the steps above it will cost you less to warm your home. Visit the Energy Saving Trust's website for tips on how to keep your home warm and your energy bills down.
- Move furniture at least five centimetres (two inches) away from outside walls. This stops pockets of cold air forming where mould might grow.
Letting damp air out
- Open windows in each room slightly for at least 15 minutes each day, or leave trickle vents open on newer windows.
*A vented tumble dryer has a wide, flexible hose that takes warm, damp air outside. If you have a 'condensing' tumble dryer with no pipe to the outside then you need to empty the condensing tank regularly, check the manufacturer's instructions.
Removing mould needs to be done the right way to stop the spores spreading around the house. Follow the instructions on our removing mould page.
If you still have issues with damp
You need to try these techniques for at least four weeks to see whether they make a difference. If you have not tried to solve the problem yourself first then we will not be able to help you.