Condensation or Damp. Do you Know the Difference?

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  • Condensation or Damp. Do you Know the Difference?

A common complaint from tenants is that there is mould growing in their property and they believe that this is damp. The usual causes of damp are water ingress from roof leaks, blocked gutters, rising damp or cracks in external walls.

Very often, mould is not caused by damp at all and is instead down to condensation. Poor ventilation causes condensation in a property, resulting in moisture building on walls and around windows. It is therefore a TENANT CAUSED PROBLEM. It occurs by not opening windows, curtains or drying clothes on radiators and airers or leaving the door open when showering and cooking.

Condensation looks like black spots on the walls and is an easy problem to solve by simply opening the windows on a regular basis. A Landlord is not responsible for paying for repairs to condensation affected areas and this is a common deduction from a tenant’s deposit.

We have previously written an article in relation to the Human Habitation Act 2018. This may be beneficial to read also – https://harringtonslettings.co.uk/the-human-habitation-act-2018-a-guide-for-landlords/

There are three main causes of condensation:

1) The level of moisture in the air (e.g. steam/heat emitted from cooking or showering)

2) The temperature of the air in your home (e.g. not ventilating the property correctly)

3) The surface temperature of the windows

Cooking, drying clothes, showering, even breathing – adds to the moisture in the air. By allowing the moisture to build up it can cause condensation. This can increase the risk of respiratory illness and cause black mould to grow from walls, ceilings, furniture and clothing. Most people mistakenly think that the mould is a sign of damp caused by problems at the property itself.

There are three main ways to tackle the problem:

1) Stop moisture building up.

2) Ventilate or air the home.

3) Keep your home warm.

Stop moisture building up:

  1. a) Wipe down surfaces where moisture settles.
  2. b) Cover boiling pans when cooking
  3. c) When cooking, bathing or washing and drying clothes, close kitchen and bathroom doors to prevent steam going into other rooms, even after you have finished
  4. e) Dry clothes outside where possible.
  5. f) Make sure that tumble dryers vent to the outside.
  6. g) Avoid using bottled gas or paraffin heaters as these produce a lot of moisture and could also be a health and safety risk if not used or stored properly.

Ventilate or air the home:

  1. a) When cooking or washing, open windows or use extractors
  2. b) When drying clothes inside is necessary do so in a small room with the windows open
  3. c) Open windows for a while each day or use the trickle/night vent on the window itself.
  4. d) Do not block air vents or the vents of heating appliances.

Keep your home warm:

  1. a) Make sure to maintain a certain heating level in the property.
  2. b) Cold air can often cause major condensation.
  3. c) Use the heating in the rooms you are living in. If you do not this can create condensation so it is important that you do not turn this off or do not put it on because of cost.

The mould formation is usually caused by condensation due to lack of ventilation and poor heating management. Often issues occur for instance in shower areas where there is increased moisture in the air.

Excess moisture lingering in the air will always condense at the coldest part of the room (usually outside walls and windows). This condensed moisture then creates the perfect environment for mould to grow.

Heating

Constant heating is an essential factor in preventing condensation and mould formation not only by heating the fabric of the building, but through making water particles airborne and creating pressure. The higher the pressure inside will always move to low pressure externally and will carry excess moisture with it through appropriate vents or top openings of windows.

The building research establishment recommend that to maintain a health living environment during the cold winter months, a relative humidity of no greater than 65% should be maintained with a constant temperature of 18-20 degrees. Any deviations from these conditions and the property are left vulnerable to the effects of condensation.

How can you deal with the condensation in the property?

Stop moisture build up. Wipe down services where moisture settles.

Cover boiling pans when cooking.

When cooking, bathing or washing and drying clothes, close kitchen and bathroom doors to prevent steam going into colder rooms, even after you finish.

Cover fish tanks to stop water evaporating into the air.

Dry clothes outside where possible.

Make sure tumble dryers are vented to the outside.

Avoid using bottle gas or paraffin heaters as these produce a lot of moisture and could also be a health and safety risk if not used or shared in a stored property.

Ventilate or air the home.

When cooking and washing, open windows or use the extractor.

Where a drying clothes inside is necessary, do so in a small room with windows open.

Open windows for a while each day or use trickle/night vents in the window itself.

Do not block air vents – this is also important where gas and heating supplies are concerned as they need a supply of oxygen to work efficiently. Allow the gases such as carbon monoxide to escape.

Allow to circulate around furniture and in cupboards. You can do this by making sure cupboards and wardrobes aren’t over filled and there is space between furniture and the walls.

Keep your home warm.

Draught proofing will keep your home warmer. This will also help reduce fuel bills. It is a matter for the tenant to deal with. When the whole house is warmer, condensation is less likely to form. Maintain a low heat when the weather is cold or wet as it is more effective than burst of high heat.

Important things to remember.

Do not block permanent ventilators.

Never block a chimney opening

Do not draught proof rooms where there is condensation or mould growth.

Do not put furniture against cold external walls.

What to do if your home has mould.

We have set out the tips to prevent mould but if you already have a mould problem how do you get rid of it? Do not disturb the mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning it. This can risk further problems.

Mould is a living organism and needs killing to get rid of it. To do this wipe down the effected area with a fungicidal wash. These are ones that carry a health and safety executive approved number making sure you follow the manufacturers instructions. Do not using bleach or washing up liquid.

Treat any mould you may have or any in your home and do what you can to reduce the condensation this will reduce any new growth.

Mildewed clothes should be dry cleaned and any carpets shampooed. If you follow the above advice then you should see a considerable improvement in any form of condensation in 4-6 weeks.

Please refer to the government website if you need more information – https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/sites/brighton-hove.gov.uk/files/Damp%20%20mould%20-%20text%20version_0.pdf

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google-review Review
Cat Westmacott
Cat Westmacott
17:57 10 Jun 24
Generally helpful for Lettings. As with any company, sometimes need a push for a response, but often easier to speak on the phone than email. Feeling hopeful for the next year’s contract with Harringtons🤞.
Kirsty Turner
Kirsty Turner
20:50 04 Jun 24
Great experience. Everyone is so lovely and helpful over the phone at Harringtons! The best experience we have had with a letting agent in Brighton, none of the other agents in Brighton have been bothered to keep in touch and help us find a property as much as these guys. A special shoutout to the lovely lady who showed me around the flat (Georgie I believe -sorry if I got that wrong), great at answering all my questions and been very lucky in securing the first property we viewed with her (an amazing spacious flat that has everything we need - including nice storage space for our paddleboards!) Looking forward to moving into our seaside home. Thank you!
Shadan B
Shadan B
23:31 30 May 24
Great experience, very helpful staff and friendly. I wish you all the success. Thanks for your care. 💐😊
Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts
21:13 30 May 24
Best experience I've had with a letting agent!
Charley Besant
Charley Besant
10:25 30 May 24
So far the process with Harringtons has been amazing. We viewed 3 properties with Georgie and each time she was so informative and kind, she gave us the time we needed in each property to look around, take videos and ask questions about everything. The whole process has been easy so far and I can now happily say we found our property thanks to Georgie and the team at Harringtons.
Ainhoa Negro
Ainhoa Negro
09:15 30 May 24
Georgie at Harringtons Lettings in Brighton has been exceptional throughout my rental process. From the very beginning, her professionalism and friendliness stood out. She provided clear and prompt communication, ensuring all my questions were answered thoroughly. Georgie made the entire experience seamless, from viewing properties to finalizing the paperwork. Her attention to detail and genuine care for my needs made me feel confident and supported. I highly recommend Georgie and Harringtons Lettings to anyone looking for a top-notch rental experience in Brighton.
PRBL1
PRBL1
09:11 30 May 24
Joel Starcross
Joel Starcross
15:22 29 May 24
Beth has been an excellent agent, great communicator and enthusiastic member of the team. Highly recommended!
Jess Pond
Jess Pond
13:16 29 May 24
Had an absolutely awful experience with this company. Told me one thing on the phone and then told me another thing on email. Very mixed messages. Left 7 students homeless by putting the house back on the market with only 24 hour notice. Will never use them again. AVOID!
Roisin Lilley
Roisin Lilley
11:42 24 May 24
I recently had some problems with my previous agent and came to Beth for help! She took over the correspondence for me and sorted everything out for me! I can’t thank her enough for her patience and help!! I’d highly recommend her to other landlords that need help!
Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley
11:26 24 May 24
I’ve been a tenant with Harringtons Lettings for a while, they are great, they always sort out any issues I have quickly and efficiently, Beth in particular is really helpful and I’ll be going to her for my next rental property when I look to move in September!
Georgina Palzeaird
Georgina Palzeaird
11:21 24 May 24
Beth Roberts was a huge help when I needed to switch to a new letting agency. She was friendly and efficient and I’ve always felt I’m in safe hands.
Eliya Halim
Eliya Halim
10:26 24 May 24
Top service
Maryana Atiya
Maryana Atiya
10:20 24 May 24
Rees Harper
Rees Harper
17:53 21 May 24
Lauryn Keller
Lauryn Keller
15:20 03 May 24
Georgie was great on our viewing - super lovely, informative and honest. Thank you!
Sammi Richmond
Sammi Richmond
09:16 24 Apr 24
Well, they just contacted me via email asking for a review for money... so here, I guess.Does 3 stars get me that tenner? Probably not. Nothing terrible to say, but never had any issues with the property really. Don't enjoy that they were willing to pay for reviews though, seems sketchy.UPDATE: As the business has finally replied to my review 6 years later, I thought I would mention that I indeed have the email still as proof. Offer of £10 for a review, and to mention Rachel Erridge in the review. Also a prize of £200 to one lucky winner. The email was sent from the Harrington's admin email address. I can email the proof to whoever requests it.
Jayden Charles-Frempong
Jayden Charles-Frempong
01:20 18 Apr 24
Every interaction I've had so far with Harrington has been positive with workers responding to calls very quickly and addressing any queries efficiently.
severin severinov
severin severinov
10:05 11 Apr 24
It is very good that they do their job professionally and take care of the customers.
kate quick
kate quick
13:15 09 Apr 24
I am very happy and extremely grateful to have found Harringtons lettings and the beautiful flat that I am now living in. Not only is the flat perfect for me, ticks all the boxes and is in a great location; the whole communication/admin process was so fast and efficient. I spoke to many of the team, but the two main contacts initially were Georgie and Beth. Great personalities, friendly and fast at replying to emails and phone calls. It was all turned around very quickly and everyone at Harringtons seems to appear to really be happy in their jobs. Great letting agent and I would recommend them to others looking for a new home.
Michael Hollamby
Michael Hollamby
12:32 09 Apr 24
Having worked with many many lettings it has been refreshing to deal with such a dynamic and energetic team. From start to finish the team have outstanding. Special mention to Beth who has been fantastic. I can thoroughly recommend using Harringtons.
Celyn James
Celyn James
17:08 27 Mar 24
Great experience, Georgie was so knowledgeable and kind with any enquiries I had. Really put me at ease while house hunting, amazing service thank you so much!!
Madison Harris
Madison Harris
14:29 27 Mar 24
Georgie was so helpful and really kind very appreciative x
Amber-Rose Cook
Amber-Rose Cook
08:58 22 Mar 24
easy to use and navigate as a first time user
Buffy Vaughn
Buffy Vaughn
18:06 21 Mar 24
Harringtons have been so helpful so far. Everyone we’ve spoken to on the phone including Georgie have been so warm and receptive and easy to communicate with. As a couple renting together for first time me & Danny couldn’t have found better people to help us out, they’re clear and concise. We discovered them through Rightmove and would highly recommend anyone to use their services to rent with.Thanks guys!Buffy & Danny
Sajan Raja
Sajan Raja
01:48 21 Mar 24
Kerryn Johnson
Kerryn Johnson
16:58 18 Mar 24
Georgie was absolutely amazing! Very helpful, easy to talk to and all in all an absolute sweetheart. Made the process of renting and finding a property less stressful. Always happy to help and lovely to chat to!Thank you again for everything!
Julia Reinstein
Julia Reinstein
11:22 18 Mar 24
5/5 - Everyone I’ve spoken to on the phone has been so friendly and patient with our move in documents. We found Harringtons through Rightmove, and have been really happy with our interactions. The team respond to queries efficiently and are happy to answer any and all questions.
Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
07:09 15 Mar 24
A really excellent agency, who are very easy and friendly to deal with. Highly recommended.
Rob Rainbird
Rob Rainbird
18:04 13 Mar 24
Lovely staff and all round positive experience - Georgie is an absolute diamond and a credit to the team!
Tori Tor
Tori Tor
11:15 08 Mar 24
Harringtons have been really helpful and very swift with their responses. Georgie was very proffesional and really friendly when she did the viewings with me and Beth on the phone was again really helpful and gave me hope when I was explaining my eagerness to find somewhere new to live. Thanks Harringtons!
christos papanicolaou
christos papanicolaou
09:33 07 Mar 24
Staff were brilliant. Very helpful
Yasmin Bright
Yasmin Bright
20:54 01 Mar 24
I'm in a difficult situation at the moment with my landlord wanting to sell the flat that myself and my 3 children have been living in for 7 years. I came across Harringtons Viewings by applying to view some properties outside of my area.Unfortunately I haven't been able to sort anything with Harringtons, however I wanted to write this to say that they have been nothing but kind, warm and very understanding of my situation. I've been really impressed by their customer service (namely Georgie & Beth) and hope that they are able to find me something eventually!Thanks so much.Yasmin
Tegan
Tegan
17:30 22 Feb 24
Have been very accommodating and helpful when calling agents. They have been very helpful in being able to secure a house for students.
TheFlyingCrocodile
TheFlyingCrocodile
16:42 21 Feb 24
Went above and beyond to get things sorted for me
Brittany Stace
Brittany Stace
11:18 24 Jan 24
Harringtons have been incredibly helpful and supportive of us as new renters and they have been super efficient in getting all of the documents sent through and signed in such a short period of time. Thank you!
Georgie Prebble
Georgie Prebble
20:36 05 Jan 24
Jade Innes
Jade Innes
10:24 04 Jan 24
So far the service has been good. The staff are very friendly and quick to respond to any questions and requests.
Polly Smith
Polly Smith
11:17 28 Dec 23
we chose this letting agents as they chose a good bills company that is much cheaper than other agents. When viewing houses the staff were very friendly and have been very helpful in answering our questions and making the process as easy as possible.
Emma Howe
Emma Howe
16:06 14 Nov 23
I would rate Harringtons Lettings a 5/5. Very lovely on the phone and very quick and easy to communicate with via email. Any problems have been resolved in no time at all. So far so good!I found Harringtons via Rightmove.
Akwisitions Feedback
Akwisitions Feedback
16:25 30 Oct 23
Very responsive and super helpful throughout the process. Highly recommended!
Chloe Ballard
Chloe Ballard
17:28 02 Oct 23
Although I have only been renting with Harringtons for a short period of time, I have had nothing but a positive experience. From viewing to admin updates. The admin team especially are very polite and quick to respond and I have no doubt that the rest of my tenancy will run smoothly. I would recommend to anyone considering renting in brighton.
Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball
11:46 19 Sep 23
Professional communication with tenant although entirely impersonal. There was a bigger disconnect in their communication with the landlord in most cases, which seemed to be either slow or non-existent (discovered after contacting the landlord directly).Property was full of spider webs on day 1 despite apparently being professionally cleaned. Took a day off of work to clean it on move out day, leaving it cleaner than when it received but still had to pay part of the deposit for professional cleaning.It has been a while since I have rented, but I'll avoid letting agencies completely now if this is anything close to the average renting experience.
Ronan SK
Ronan SK
12:38 12 Sep 23
Great professionalism/communciation from the start up until the end of my tenancy. Definitely set the standards for what agencies should be like. Highly recommend to those within Brighton.
Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton
10:29 24 Aug 23
I have rented with Harringtons Lettings before and have always found the agents to be quick, efficient, friendly and helpful. I loved their service so much I have chosen to rent with Harringtons again. Faultless 😊
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