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How to prevent and treat damp in older properties in Spain

14th December 2021

Older houses and apartments on the Costa Blanca can be prone to damp in winter. You know your property is suffering from damp if there’s a distinct musty smell in a room, particularly if the house has been locked up for a while. Other signs are cold walls, damp bedding and a lot of condensation on the windows.


Not only is it unsightly, damp and mould can be bad for your health by causing respiratory problems, asthma or allergies. They can damage clothes, furniture and walls. That’s why it’s so important to tackle the issue as soon as you notice it.


Often damp is caused by poor ventilation and heating. If this is the case, then it’s easy to solve. Everyday things to get into the habit of doing are opening the bathroom window after a shower during the winter months and opening the bedroom window for at least 15 minutes in the morning. If there is condensation on the windows, wipe them dry first. If there is mould it is important not to wipe it as it will spread and instead spray with bleach.


Keeping a lid on damp problems


In the kitchen, you can prevent steam building up by keeping a lid on saucepans when you’re cooking. Not only does this stop the steam from escaping, the pan heats up quicker and saves energy.


It’s also worth considering installing an extractor fan or cooker hood in your kitchen if you do not have one. Get in touch with our Costa Blanca Business Association colleagues, Kitchen Fancy, for ideas on the best fans and cooker hoods for your kitchen. Putting an extractor fan in the bathroom is also a good idea, particularly if the room only has a small window or no window at all.


To prevent damp, you should also keep your home warm because damp occurs when warm air meets cold walls to create condensation.


Replace old doors and windows


If your windows and doors are old, think about replacing them with more efficient insulated doors and double- or triple- glazed windows. Our CBBA colleagues at Crystal Windows can advise you on this.


Dehumidifiers to tackle damp homes on the Costa Blanca


For individual rooms, we also use dehumidifiers. You can get small ones in the hardware stores and bigger supermarkets on the Costa Blanca such as Carrefour. They are small plastic boxes which have a special material, usually silica gel, to absorb water from the air.


For larger rooms - or bigger problems - you can get electric dehumidifiers which can extract up to 25 litres of moisture from the atmosphere a day. Just think about how much damage all that moisture could cause for your health and your property.


Alternatively you can get a bag of cat litter and just leave it open to absorb excess moisture. A handy tip is to keep a small amount of cat litter in your car to stop the windows steaming up. Just put some cat litter into shallow open containers and let the litter soak up the moisture in the atmosphere.


Renting out your property on the Costa Blanca


If you have tenants, give them a short checklist of things to do such as:

  • Opening the bathroom window after taking a shower
  • Opening the bedroom window every morning for a few minutes
  • Wiping windows if they have condensation
  • Getting a mini dehumidifier or using cat litter to absorb moisture
  • Not drying their clothes inside or, if they do, keeping the window open
  • Letting you know if they have any issues with damp or mould - then you can tackle it before it becomes a major headache
  • Be wary about gas estufas as this contribute to humidity problems


If your damp problems persist, you can get in touch with Handycall Construction who are experts at dealing with damp and mould in Costa Blanca properties.


Use VillaMia for property management, we check your property for signs of humidity as well as other issues before they become more sever along with security, damage and much more. Our periodic checks on your property make sure that everything is as it should be. Contact lettings@villamia.net and Callam can give you more information.

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