Boiler expert shares three methods to reduce damp in your home

British Gas instructs consumers on how to solve boiler issues

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When a home feels damp or produces damp, it means there is unwanted moisture within the home, usually in the walls, ceilings or floors. The problem occurs when water or moisture works its way into the house, or through drying washing on an airer. It can be horrible to live with, making the home feel uncomfortable and cold, which is the opposite of what everyone wants during the cold months. According to an expert, damp can also cause problems with health, and lead to respiratory symptoms and infections.

Mark Roland, Lead Engineer at Hometree, the boiler & home cover, explained: “Many people may think that the solution to damp is cranking up the central heating to dry it out.

“However, it isn’t as simple as that. Central heating won’t prevent damp by itself, but can help with certain types of damp.

“The main type of damp that central heating helps combat is condensation, often found in rooms that don’t get used as much as others. Another common form of damp is found behind furniture, where air circulation is poor.

“Normally condensation happens when moist air becomes trapped in your house, then hits a colder surface, like your wall, for example. The moisture can soak into the wall and cause mould to form.”

Signs to look for include water tide marks on the windows and walls, which will steam, causing deterioration. Window frames can also become discoloured and the growth of black mould is also as a result of poor ventilation and circulation.

According to the expert, damp can also cause structural damage to your home’s decor.

The boiler expert continued: “One of the most common areas you can experience condensation is in the bathroom.

“When running a hot bath or shower, condensation is caused by hot water, and whilst extraction techniques can help to some extent, they don’t always fully eliminate condensation.

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“It is important to keep the bathroom door shut so that the moisture doesn’t escape into other areas of your home.

“If it’s not too cold, you should also open a window. This allows the humid air to be released and will stop the collection of condensation vapour on the cold windows and walls.”

Luckily, there are lots of ways to prevent the problem, including using central heating.

1. Heat every room

Mark recommended heating every room in the home if possible to help decrease the build-up of damp. This is because if one room is cold and the other are warm, it will lead to cold spots.

Mark added: “These rooms are more vulnerable to condensation and damp, therefore, try to heat every room as often as you can.”

2. Keep rooms ventilated

The expert explained: “Having your central heating on throughout the winter can cause condensation if ventilation is poor. Whilst most people tend to close their windows when the heating is on, this isn’t always ideal.”

According to Mark, a free flow of air is “crucial”. Despite wanting to keep rooms warm in the winter, it is also important to let any moist air out to help create that free flow of air.

To do this, Britons can open windows periodically, for around 10 to 15 minutes at a time to let the cool air in and the moist air out.

3. Change heating temperature gradually

The boiler expert said: “If the heating is turned up really high and then turned off suddenly, moist air is more likely to build up.

“As dramatic temperature changes can make condensation worse, try adjusting the temperatures of your heating gradually – a couple of degrees every half an hour.

“Energy bills are always one of a homeowners biggest outgoings during the winter months, and whilst the above advice can contribute to higher energy usage, causing damage to your home with damp will cost you a lot more in the long run.”

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