Fighting condensation and mold in Germany

Last Updated on September 28, 2023

Fighting mold is an essential part of life in most German homes. The problem is blamed on users. They say tenants do not ventilate, overcool, etc. etc. In reality, of course, builders have crooked hands and save at the expense of residents. Our friends lived in Holland and did not observe this problem there, although Holland is clearly ahead of most German cities in terms of humidity.

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Joint building ventury (Baugemeinschaft)

Mold (Schimmel)

It makes sense to complain about the mold to the landlord only immediately after moving, in the first months. If you have been living for more than six months and complaining, you will be accused of misusing the apartment and forced to dry and repair everything. In most cases, in the courts such issues are lost. It is cheaper to be silent, to quietly clean the consequences and take preventive measures, hoping that when you leave your apartment, the issue will not come up.

What is Schimmel

What does mold look like (for those who have recently lived here)? The darkening above the window or in the corner is not dirt. And on the ceiling in the corner, too. Black dots on the window or between tiles in a bath – that’s it.

Kondenwasser am Fenster Schimmel / mold in germany what is schimmel
Schimmel / / mold in germany what is schimmel

How to prevent?

1. Place furniture from the wall at a distance of 7-10 cm. If possible, do not cover the corners with things at all.

2. Always keep windows open in the bathroom and kitchen.

3. Do not leave the temperature less than 20-22 degrees in the house during the damp season.

4. Have a hygrometer at home (often included in weather stations) and a dehumidifier (electric or saline). Monitor the humidity in the apartment (keep in the region of 50-55), regularly turn on / change the dehumidifier and periodically ventilate (it is advisable to arrange a draft).

How to remove Schimmel?

Mellerud Schimmel Vernichter has proven to be the most effective remedy to date. Sold in hardware stores. Means from supermarkets did not work (especially bio, those that we bought).

We dip the brush and coat all the places, including the slots in the windows.

It is advisable to paint the ceiling and wallpaper later (what can be painted) by adding a mold repellent for paint to the paint.

Wipe non-staining wallpaper from spots.

After that, do not rest on what has been achieved and always follow the points indicated above.


Modern architectural design is full vertical windows to the floor or glass walls: light, spacious and “views” outside the window.

But, like the majority of other modern design ideas, all this normally functions by wealthy people, who can afford to serve these design ideas with expensive ventilation and additional living space.

But for “ordinary” people it makes the problems: condensation, mold, inability to use the perimeter of the room, heat in summer, cold in winter and violation of the privacy sphere, since instead of a “view” outside the window, you can suddenly find another house three meters from your apartment, or find out that half of the room is visible from below, even on the fourth floor.

But the most unpleasant consequence of modern technology is “crying” windows. This was not the case for the first three years after construction. Then, apparently, there was a “shrinkage”, God knows what else – and the windows started “flowing”. With perfectly normal humidity (50-60 percent) in the apartment, standard heating, every night with subzero temperatures outside the window causes indoor precipitation. In no case can you ignore this. Otherwise, you will receive the mold as a “present”.

Kondenwasser am Fenster Schimmel

Mold is considered a problem in older houses, but condensation on windows makes it a reality for brand new houses as well. Underfloor heating instead of radiators under the windows makes mold around windows even more real.

So, through trial and error, it turned out that

don’t help

– tilt the windows for any period, including a long one

– turn on the electric moisture collector

– put a salt collector of moisture (better than an electric one, but the condensate is still there)

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help, but still do not completely save, only reduce the risk of mold

– close windows at night with external blinds.

open the windows wide (not tilt) every day. Preferably in the morning and evening, very well at about midnight or later. The key word, of course, is “wide open.”

insulate windows. Yes, yes, it is to insulate, and I know that they are completely “new” and so-called “modern”. As it turns out, these are the modern, light and airy, “energy-efficient” ones that look so great in advertising. The last method of insulation that we found and which can hardly be called ideal is a film on a window of this type: link.

It is attached very simply: double-sided tape is glued along the perimeter of the frame, a film is hung on it (not necessarily perfectly and tightly stretched), then it is straightened with hot air from a hair dryer. Condensation forms behind the film only when it is poorly glued. Naturally, this is not an ideal option, because the film can tear due to children and other pets, plus it is considered a one-year insulation. Next year it is supposed to be no longer used and replaced with a new one, but I use further, since it didn’t tear. Due to the absolutely unnecessary abundance of glass surfaces in the house, the price becomes very decent.

Old windows are also insulated with special strips.

This is how it looks.
Pros: condensation does not form behind it. Only two covered windows have raised the temperature in this room with five windows. It is practically invisible in terms of transparency.
Cons: theoretical short time for using, tenderness (people are torn during installation, I had no problems), price.

Kondenwasser am Fenster Schimmel / mold in germany what is schimmel
/ mold in germany what is schimmel

heat more. This is an option – if the budget allows, but in general for me personally, if it is too hot, it’s also hard to live and breathe, and I doubt it’s good for health.

– not tested – build an expensive ventilation system into the wall

Did you think you have already too many things to do in the morning when you make breakfast and send the kids to school. Here’s more for you

mandatory procedures if condensation appears on your windows:

  • remove everything that is somewhat bulky from the windowsills. You can only leave something slim that takes up little space, such as a pot of an orchid. No boxes of toys, even if you think the windowsill is the most suitable place for them, where no one will stumble.
  • collect condensation every time it falls. It is found not only on the glass, but also on the hinges, between the opening and the fixed part of the window, under the ledges of the windows and the balcony door.
  • air it wide open twice a day, despite the complaints and groans of other family members “why is it so cold?”
  • fight mold if it appears.

* The links in this post are affiliated (i.e. if you buy something I get very little reward, but you don’t pay for it) but that doesn’t affect my opinion.

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3 thoughts on “Fighting condensation and mold in Germany”

  1. To be honest, I’ve had enough with that in Germany… You know what, just try googling these words “mold” and “germany”, you’ll find a lot of articles. Replace Germany with some other country and there are much less results. Just look at the full shelves of anti-mold stuff in Obi. Why?.. This is a nightmare. Why not just building good ventilation? Hey Germany, are you really the most developed country in Europe? I’ve never experienced this crap in other countries.

  2. Great article! Fighting condensation and mold in Germany is of utmost importance due to the country’s climate and building practices. The high humidity levels and well-insulated homes make it a breeding ground for condensation and mold growth. Effective ventilation systems, proper insulation, and regular maintenance are key to combatting these issues. Addressing condensation and mold not only protects the structural integrity of buildings but also promotes healthier indoor environments for residents. It is crucial for individuals, communities, and authorities to prioritize preventive measures and education to minimize the impact of condensation and mold in Germany.


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