A lovely thing about Christmas is having people you love around, but alas people you love breath (regularly and a lot) and then there’s the extra steam from cooking for extra folk. Now we’re not suggesting you stop having those lovely breathers coming round or that you stop cooking for them, but here’s how to make sure your loved ones don’t destroy your house with mould like a bunch of lovable Doctor Who aliens.
NHBC, the chaps who provide a warranty on all new homes, have got you covered with a bunch of practical tips on keeping condensation to a minimum. Condensation is caused by steam or water vapour coming into contact with cold surfaces such as walls, ceilings and windows, and if allowed to persist, can result in mould forming on interior surfaces and even on furnishings. If you live in a brand new home, some condensation can be the result of evaporation of moisture from building materials, but changes to your routine over the Christmas period can also increase levels of moisture in the home.
Here’s how to escape the worst ravages of condensation:
In the kitchen
Cooking a big Christmas dinner with all the trimmings means you will have lots of pots and pans bubbling away. Turn your extractor fan on and leave the lids on your saucepans. Keep your kitchen door closed to stop steam escaping into other rooms and open a small window.
In living areas
Living areas will become warmer than usual with all the extra people you are entertaining. When the warmth from indoors meets the colder external walls and windows, condensation will start to form. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees and have windows slightly open to allow air to circulate.
In the bathroom
If you have friends and relatives staying over the festive period the bath and shower will be in use more often. If you have an extractor fan in the bathroom, ask your guests to turn it on while they shower, or leave a window open to allow steam to escape. Keep the bathroom door shut at all times to stop excess moisture circulating throughout the house.
Doing the laundry
You’ll want to keep on top of your laundry so your party outfit and Christmas jumper is always ready to wear. Try to avoid drying clothes indoors, especially on radiators, but if you do need to, hang the clothes in one room which is heated and ventilated with the door shut. If you have a tumble dryer, make sure the venting duct leads outside – unless it is a self-condensing dryer.
Further advice and guidance on how to avoid condensation and prevent its effects, including mould growth, can be found in NHBC’s Guide to your new home, which is available as a free download from www.nhbc.co.uk.