I'm a property expert – my five must-haves prevent mould and cost from just £2 | The Sun

HAVING excess condensation or mould in your home can be at best, annoying, and at worst, seriously damaging to your health.

It is a problem that thousands of households face – especially at this time of year.

In fact, one in five properties will suffer from condensation.

Sometimes the problem can only be solved by improving the fabric of the building, or resorting to expensive solutions such as running a dehumidifier or installing extractor fans or insulating plaster.

But there are some cheap solutions to mitigate the problem which may help clear it up.

Nicholas Donnithorne, UK technical services manager at Rentokil, explained that the theory is simple.

“The less moisture you produce in the home, the less condensation will form.

“So think about how you will remove moisture during daily tasks,” he said.

There are some free ways of doing this: opening a window while you are cooking and taking a shower with the window ajar or extractor fan on will help.

So will drying damp washing in the bathroom with the window ajar, as it helps moisture to escape outside, and means it won’t stay in your home.

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Also, keep a constant temperature in the home if you can, he suggested.

The World Health Organisation recommends 18-20c as a good temperature, with 50-60% relative humidity.

“Remember that as temperature drops, air can hold less moisture and condensation becomes a risk,” Nicholas said.

Here are his other cheap fixes which may help reduce your condensation problem, and stop mould becoming an issue.

Pan lids – £13

“Always put lids on pans whilst cooking, close the kitchen door and open a window,” Nicholas said.

This is particularly important when you are boiling things in water, such as pasta, which releases lots of moisture into the air.

If you don’t own lids for your pans, it isn’t expensive to buy silicone ones which fit most cookware.

For example you can pick up a set from Dunelm for only £13, so could be a cheap fix to stop too much steam escaping.

Remember to shop around for the cheapest price so you know you're getting the best deal.

Putting a lid on the pan has the added benefit of helping your water to boil faster and keeping the heat in the pan, meaning you use less energy to cook.

Old towel – free

Nicholas suggested removing condensation from surfaces in the morning with something like an old towel and wringing out that cloth in the sink.

That means all the excess moisture goes down the drain and not back into the air.

Then the towel can be dried in your bathroom (with the window open) and used again the next day.

Doing this helps prevent mould by drying out areas prone to condensation build-up.

You might already have an old cloth or towel lying around, but if not, trying hitting your local charity shop for something which would do the job.

Loft insulation – from £25

“A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an un-insulated home, so consider topping up your loft insulation,” Nicholas said.

This is something you can do yourself, and you can buy rolls of insulation fairly cheaply from DIY shops.

For example we spotted a roll from Wickes.

How much you need depends on how big your loft is, but it is as straightforward as going into your loft and plugging any gaps.

You must take care not to block the eaves ventilation or you could end up with condensation in the loft.

And remember, be careful if your loft isn’t boarded or you need to use a ladder to access it.

Floor mats – £7

If you are a dog owner, you might wake up in the morning to find your pet’s bed is very damp.

“That’s because dog beds put on cold floors will go damp from condensation forming where the heat from the dog meets the cold floor,” said Nicholas.

He suggested insulating the bed from the floor, which you could do with inexpensive foam matting.

You can pick some up from B&M for just £7.

This will help stop the bed becoming damp, and potentially going mouldy over time.

Wooden block – around £5

It is not uncommon to find clothes have gone mouldy in wardrobes in the winter, especially when the piece of furniture is stood against an outside wall.

“If doors to a wardrobe are closed it effectively becomes a fridge, with the cold air stuck inside,” explained Nicholas.

“If you leave fitted wardrobe doors slightly ajar you can prevent cold damp air from becoming trapped.”

He suggested nailing a small piece of wood to a sliding wardrobe door, which would stop the door closing completely.
“This would allow warm air to enter at the top, and cold air exit at the bottom,” he said.

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This should be a DIY job you can do yourself, with a very small piece of wood and some glue or a screw to hold it in place.

But be careful when using any sort of tools.

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