Condensation problems

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    Condensation problems

    I have a property suffering from condensation - several areas on the outside walls have got mouldy black stains which won't clean off; the carpet behind the toilet is permanently damp due to condensate forming on the cistern and dripping off; etc. The cause is 100% self-evident - the tenants drying their washing on an airer. The place smells like a laundry the whole time which doesn't seem to bother them.

    Their response is 'what else can we do' which I suppose I have some sympathy with, as there's no room for a tumble drier; nowhere outside for a washing line; bathroom (which at least has an extractor fan) is too small to keep the airer in; and it wouldn't really be reasonable to insist they travelled across town to a laundrette. I've seen ASTs which expressly forbid drying of clothes in the property, but it seems a bit draconian.

    I have warned them that they need to keep a window open to keep the place ventilated to prevent this and I think they have done so to an extent, but it's still not great, and I expect they worry about their heating bills in the winter.

    I wondered about buying them a dehumidifier, but would they use it once they find how much it costs to run?

    I should add that these are model tenants in every other way, so I'm keen to retain them! But I don't want my building damaged either.

    Can't believe this is a unique problem - what's others' experience?

    I had a similar situation in a property and ended up having humidity controlled extractor fans put in the 3 rooms where it was a problem. This did go some way to solving the it as the tenants then did not need to leave windows open. The other I did was as I replaced the windows with UPVC I specifically had windows with trickle vents in them this also helped with air circulation and I'm pleased to say has cured my problem.

    Hope this helps



      That's not a bad idea, using humidity sensors. Might even be worth just adding one to the current bathroom fan; if the door's open it should probably ventilate the landing outside (where they seem to dry their clothes mostly).

      Don't know how they work in practice, but can/do tenants not over-ride them to reduce fan noise/heat loss/running cost etc?


        The ones I have fitted can't be altered, they click on when the humidity reaches a certain level and click off when not required. There are no controls on the fans I have they are wired into the electrics and merrily do their job.



          You might find this article useful:


            Condensation article

            Thanks Ed, that's an excellent article.

            I must admit I hadn't given much thought to the fact that my tenants' predisposition to culturing mould on their walls could be injurious to their health as well as my property - clearly I need to be more proactive over this. Reckon I'll at least fit a humidistat over the summer!


              Hi Eric

              A couple of other tips:
              1) Get rid of carpet in the bathroom - it is generally unhygenic and will retain moisture from wet feet / dripping condensation / water splashes etc. Replace with lino or tiles which will not retain moisture. A cheap option is the self-adhesive lino tiles / planks that you can get in B&Q. If the floor isn't flat you will need to put down hardboard first.
              2) The only spray I have ever found that will get rid of the black mould stains is HG Mould & Mildew remover. You can order it on the web or I know Gibbs & Dandy & some tile shops stock it. Spray it on, don't bother wiping or scrubbing - just leave it. Pretty nasty to breathe in for the first few hours then - so be considerate with the timing!!


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