Having a small home can be great. No stairs to walk up, less furniture to buy and your bed is never far away. However, there is one thing that no one warns you about — dampness.
Having fewer windows can make it difficult to keep your home free from excess moisture that may eventually turn into mould if it isn’t treated effectively.
How to tell if your home is damp
Unless you’re particularly vigilant, you may not immediately notice that your home is suffering from a damp problem. Some of the most common signs are:
- Condensation on the windows
- Damp or musty smell
- Discoloured patches on the wall
- Peeling wallpaper or paint
- Mould forming anywhere
Of course, dampness is not a problem exclusive to small places as 1 in 5 homes experience it in some form. However, I will be talking exclusively about solutions for properties with poor ventilation as a result of having minimal windows and humid air.
So, how do you get rid of it? Keeping your small home damp free is all about prevention. We only have one window in our 349 sq ft studio flat, so to stop mould forming, we’ve used the following methods and so far… so good.
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Using a window vac
Window vacuums are a great investment — period. They help keep glass shower screens streak free and make cleaning windows really easy.
They’re also really handy for bathrooms without windows. No matter how powerful your vent is, it won’t completely get rid of steam from a shower or bath.
Investing in a window vac will help remove condensation and any moisture from your walls and floor. I’d recommend a Kärcher WV2 Window Vac*.
You have to commit to doing it every time you’ve used the shower or bath, but it takes a couple of minutes and could save needing to redecorate in the future.
Open window ventilation
It’s not practical (or safe!) to leave your window open all day long. Trickle vents allow air to pass through your window without making it cold or risking your home’s security.
You can check if you have one by looking for a small, rectangle opening at the top of your window. If you do, this is an excellent way to decrease the humid air in your home.
Open your windows often
The easiest way to ventilate your home is to open a window for a couple of minutes each day — even during winter.
This will circulate and remove some of the humid air. I’d recommend doing it in the morning before you’ve switched on your heating, plus I really enjoy the fresh air after a good night’s sleep.
Dehumidifiers extract excess water from the air and help to reduce the risk of dampness. You can buy a decent mini dehumidifier for under £40, and they are really effective when used in small spaces prone to mould like bathrooms, kitchens and anywhere near a washing machine.
I recommend this one from ProBreeze*. We’ve been using it for a couple of months now and it’s ideal for when you need some extra help on a particularly steamy day.
Keep doors open
We don’t have many doors in our studio, but after a shower, we leave the door open to avoid all the condensation being confined to one room.
This technique would also work with a kitchen door or a utility room to decrease any excess moisture creating by cooking, dishwashers or drying machines.
Use extractor fans regularly
It might not seem like they’re particularly effective, but utilise any ventilation system you have. Turn them on when you’re cooking, showering or doing anything else that creates lots of steam.
Dry wet areas
Hopefully, all the techniques above will help to prevent dampness, but even the most ventilated homes are susceptible to condensation and humidity.
When you spot a wet spot, grab a tea towel or bit of kitchen roll and wipe it up. Mould can’t grow without moisture so clean up water as soon as possible. It can be tireless and tedious but so is getting rid of mould.