Moisture comes in several different forms, and some types are much easier to fix than others. Whether your home suffers from condensation or penetrating moisture, there are simple steps you can take to help prevent the problem from getting worse.
But what about the most serious cases, such as increased humidity? We also have advice on how to deal with stubborn things.
See our complete moisture guide for detailed advice on the types of moisture that will help you identify what type you might have.
Five ways to deal with moisture
Buy a dehumidifier
If you notice water stains on the walls or ceiling, condensation on the windows, mold spores in the shower or a general musty smell, it might be worth buying a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers extract moisture from the air. This can be particularly useful if you often dry clothes inside the house, another common source of excess moisture.
There are different types and brands available, so read about how to buy the best dehumidifier to find one that is right for you.
What type of humidifier do you need?
There are two main types of household dehumidifiers: refrigerant and desiccant.
Refrigerant dehumidifiers (or compressor)
Refrigerant dehumidifiers are the most common type in the United Kingdom. They create a cold surface and when warm, moist air comes into contact with the cold surface, condensation forms and drips into the water tank. In general, they are more effective when the rooms are heated.
Desiccant dehumidifiers often work more efficiently than refrigerant dehumidifiers in colder temperatures of 15 ° C or less. But in our tests we have also found some desiccant models that work well in colder and warmer conditions.
If you are looking for a dehumidifier for a garage, greenhouse or other annex building without heating, you should opt for a desiccant model.
Desiccant dehumidifiers use an absorbent material to extract water from the air, similar to a sponge. The desiccant is regenerated by an internal heater, and moisture drips into the water condenser.
If you think you might need a dehumidifier, check our dehumidifier reviews to find the best one for your home.
Ventilate your house
Condensation is the most common type of moisture and is the easiest moisture problem to solve. It can often be resolved economically and quickly, and sometimes without the need for professional help.
Improving the ventilation of your home can help eliminate condensation and prevent it from coming back.
Bathrooms and kitchens are responsible for most of the humidity in your home. If you do not have an extractor in your bathroom or kitchen, you should consider installing one to reduce condensation.
When you can, always try to limit the amount of condensation produced in your home:
Clean your condensation windows regularly so that it does not cause damage or become moldy. You can easily do it with a towel, disposable tissues or for windows that open, a squeegee.
Open windows regularly; especially when cooking, washing or showering.
Try to dry your clothes outside on sunny days, instead of on a clothes rail.
Add vents to the top of the window frames.
Build air bricks on exterior walls.
Install vents on internal walls or sealed chimneys for air flow.
Position the roof ventilation tiles to allow air to pass through the loft.
Check your channels
Penetrating moisture is caused by water leaking through the walls. It tends to occur as a result of structural problems, such as defective gutters or roofs, or cracks in external walls.
Fixing penetrating moisture can be easy and cheap to make yourself. But, before you can treat it or decide if you want to hire a professional, you must first identify the problem.
The first sign of penetrating moisture is usually wet or leaking walls. Be careful of:
a discoloration of interior walls
A wet surface
It is possible that the penetrating moisture is caused by the leakage of water from the gutters and downspouts outside your property, so examine them for cracks. Fixing them well could solve the problem.
Try moisture proof paint
You may also find that old bricks have become porous and are allowing water to enter your home.
If this is the case, you may need to replace them.
However, an easier option to try first is to paint the bricks with a water-repellent silicone outer fluid or a lime rinse, which will seal their walls again and at the same time allow them to breathe.
Moisture-proof exterior paint can also be a good preventive measure, but first seek professional advice on what would work best for the age and building materials of your home.
Invest in a moisture-proof course (DPC)
Increasing humidity is one of the most complicated types of moisture to rectify and you probably need the help of a professional.
The first thing to do if you have ascending moisture is to find out if you have a moisture-proof course and a moisture-proof membrane, which should prevent soil water from entering walls or floors at ground level.
You can detect a moisture-proof course by looking for a thin horizontal strip near the bottom of the outer wall.
You will need an expert to confirm this and try to determine if there is also a moisture-proof membrane.
The most common remedy for a lost or damaged moisture proof course is for a moisture builder or specialist to drill holes in your wall and inject moisture proof liquid to act as a new course.
But there are other solutions, such as cutting grooves in the brick and installing a piece of moisture-proof membrane instead of a chemical. This is more invasive than simply drilling holes, so it can be hidden less easily.
Our wet costs page shows typical prices for both jobs.
If you are looking for a moisture specialist, you can use our Which one? Trusted Traders website to find recommended merchants who have gone through our rigorous controls.