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We’ll talk you through some of the simple and easy ways you can prevent condensation from troubling your place.

It may not seem like a big issue, but condensation build-up in your home can cause mould growth, which can have a detrimental impact on your health. So you need to keep an eye on it if you’ve noticed this problem lurking around your place.

If you are a tenant, it’s difficult to understand the kinds of measures you can and cannot take to protect your home from condensation.

We’ll talk you through some of the simple and easy ways you can prevent condensation from troubling your place. 

What is condensation and what causes it? 

Condensation occurs when vapour turns into liquid. It’s most often associated with the moisture on your shower screen, or your windows.

It’s the result of your everyday activities, and the result of external environmental factors.

Cooking, washing, bathing, and even breathing all cause moisture to be released into the air.

The air can only hold a certain amount of water vapour – and the warmer the atmosphere, the more moisture can be held in the air. So, if the air becomes cooled by approaching a cold surface, such as a mirror or window, the vapour turns into droplets of water – forming condensation. 

How is condensation harmful? 

Every property experiences condensation sometimes, but when your home seems to consistently experience this phenomenon, it can lead to mould growth – and then you’ve got a problem.

Mould is fungal growth and, in addition to simply being an unpleasant presence, mould can be damaging to your health. 

What are the costs associated with condensation and mould growth? 

Your landlord has a responsibility to ensure that the premises is a healthy place to live, but it’s your responsibility to keep the place clean and notify your property manager of any issues with mould.

If failing in these duties results in damage to the property, it could cost you.  

If a tenant can be shown to be responsible for mould, such as by disallowing reasonable ventilation in the premises, they may have to pay compensation to the landlord for damage to the property.

What can you do to prevent condensation and mould growth? 

Your lifestyle factors impact the amount of condensation in a property.

There are a few measures you can take to prevent an unhealthy living environment.

  • Ensure you are using your exhaust fans effectively – and check regularly to see that they are working. There is a simple and effective tissue test you can use.
  • Open windows and doors regularly to ventilate the home and reduce humidity levels.
  • Maintain low constant heat when weather is particularly cold. Continuous heating is better than short bursts.
  • Clean the bathroom frequently.
  • Invest in Hippo Moisture Absorbers to protect your belongings – they absorb moisture in the air.  
  • Dry off clothes and shoes before storing them away.
  • Wipe away moisture on windows and walls to keep the home dry.
  • Dry washing outside whenever possible. Alternatively, hang washing in the bathroom, keeping the door closed and the windows wide open.
  • Always cover pans and pots while cooking.
  • Keep bathroom and kitchen doors closed so moisture doesn’t escape into different parts of the property. 
  • Leave a small gap between the walls and your furniture. This allows air to move away from the bottom of the walls and circulate around the room. According to the WA Department of Health, if air lingers between furniture and walls, it can condense onto walls and could eventually form black mould.
  • Ensure that exhaust systems in the kitchen and bathroom continue to operate for some time after appliances are switched off.
  • Partially open windows to naturally ventilate the apartment when you’re sleeping, showing, or cooking – especially when external weather conditions are cold.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.
  • If you have a washing machine or dryer, ensure that it is vented correctly.  
  • Wipe down surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen, after cooking or taking a shower, to remove any moisture that has settled on the bench. 
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What should you do if you see mould in your home? 

Most tenants can be worried about attempting to deal with mould for health reasons, or for fear of causing damage to the property. However, attempting to tackle mould issues yourself may be the quickest and easiest way to deal with your problem.

Under section 63 of Residential Tenancies Act, you have a responsibility to keep the rented premises reasonably clean – so be sure to keep the place fresh.

Wearing gloves, clean the mould spots with vinegar, specialised mould products, alcohol solution, or bleach.

If the problem persists, it’s very important that you notify your property manager as soon as possible – not only will this help resolve the issue quickly, but it’s also your duty.

Property managers can provide helpful advice and assistance.

If you’d like to find out more about your responsibilities for preventing condensation and mould growth, you can talk to your property manager at any stage for advice. 

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