Damp Aid UK Condensation ~ Mould ~ Wet walls ~ Damp mould

Damp Aid UK Condensation ~ Mould ~ Wet walls ~ Damp mould

CONDENSATION

  Damp Proofing, Woodworm, Dry Rot, Wet Rot & Condensation Specialist

At a time when householders are effectively paying a «second mortgage» to the utility companies to cover the cost of their heating, keeping doors and windows closed and installing sealed double glazed units to keep the property warm in winter has lead to an increase in damp caused by condensation.

What is Condensation?

Condensation (or damp mould as some people call it!) is caused by high humidity levels within a property and insufficient ventilation, and although it can be apparent during the summer, it is a more obvious problem during the cold winter months.

Moisture vapour in warm air is released as moisture droplets when it comes into contact with cold surfaces. (known as the dewpoint temperature where the air can no longer hold the moisture as vapour).  It is apparent on non-porous material such as windows, tiles and painted walls.  It is less noticeable on porous material such as wallpaper, soft furnishings, carpets and clothes as these absorb the moisture and it is usually the appearance of mould growth which first alerts the occupants of a property to the problem.

Common signs of condensation are:

Mould growth – which typically occurs on cold external walls, in poor ventilated areas such as behind furniture, in un-ventilated cupboards, wardrobes or corners of rooms and can appear at both floor and ceiling height.

Musty damp smell

Wet walls and peeling wall paper

Water running down windows and walls

Causes of Condensation:

The air in occupied buildings will always contain moisture from activities such as bathing, cooking and washing/drying clothes. Moisture will also enter a building due to the evaporation of water penetrating from the outside caused by building defects.  If this moisture is not vented to the outside, the humidity within the property rises and leads to condensation.

Some common modern day problems which cause condensation damp, especially in older buildings which are being refurbished or modernised are:

Installation of double glazed units without the appropriate provision of supplementary ventilation.

Installation of showers, Jacuzzis, & saunas with insufficient provision of extractor fans.

Tumble driers which are not vented to the outside.

The blocking of existing vents designed to vent air to the outside.

The sealing of roof voids by the installation of insulation, preventing an adequate through-ventilation via the roof vents in the eaves.

The blocking of windows or vents to basement areas.

Drying clothes on radiators.

Using paraffin or flueless calor gas heaters.

Control of Condensation:

The key factors in controlling condensation are:  Ventilation, Heating and Insulation.

Ventilation — ensure that moisture laden air can exit to the outside

Damp Aid UK Condensation ~ Mould ~ Wet walls ~ Damp mould

Heating — control fluctuating air temperatures by providing a continuous low level of heating

Insulation — ensure cold surfaces are insulated i.e. by installing cavity wall insulation and loft insulation.

By following a few simple rules, set out below, you could help reduce humidity levels dramatically.

1.  Keep bathroom & kitchen doors closed and open the windows to allow the moisture laden air to vent outside.

2.  Put lids on pans when cooking and use an external vented extractor fan.

3.  Vent tumble driers to the outside.

4.  Dry clothes in one room with the door closed and the window open to allow the moisture evaporating from the damp clothes to vent outside.

5.  Any surface moisture noted should be dried immediately and mould growth removed by cleaning with a damp cloth.

Will dehumidifiers help stop condensation?

De-humidifiers can reduce condensations effectively when rooms are warm and damp, but are of limited benefit when they are cold and humid.  In domestic buildings, simple lifestyle changes that lower humidity and/or keep surface temperatures above «dewpoint» will tend to provide a more practical and less expensive long-term solution.  Similarly, whole-house ventilation systems, which can have a role in controlling condensation dampness, should not automatically be seen as the answer.

If you need a damp and timber survey to be carried out to satisfy your mortgage lender, then contact Damp Aid to request a survey.

Click this link   Further reading on condensation   for useful information for the homeowner, landlord, tenants and management / letting agents.


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