Condensation Control — Damp Proofing Birmingham Damp Proofing West Midlands Damp Proofing

Condensation Control - Damp Proofing Birmingham Damp Proofing West Midlands Damp Proofing

Condensation Control

Home Products Condensation Control

Fresh Air Unit

Condensation is becoming an increasingly serious problem in dwelling houses, flats and office complexes. With the advent of more efficient insulation, and the upgraded draught-proofing capabilities of properties, this has proved to be an ever-increasing problem. The ‘Fresh Air Unit’ has been developed as a positive condensation control system. This prevents condensation occurring by feeding fresh filtered air into the building, the aim being to introduce a complete air change into the property every 45-75 minutes, in order to maintain the relative humidity levels low enough so that condensation may not form. This process reduces the build-up of high humidity, reversing draughts and reducing dust levels. There is medical evidence which indicates that a higher incidence of ill health occurs in damp and unventilated buildings that suffer from condensation, and accompanying mould and spore problems, than in those which are adequately ventilated. On average, a family of four can create two gallons of water vapour in 24 hours. Approximately 90% of condensation problems are due to excess moisture laden air being trapped. The Building Research Establishment lists the following household pollutants that occur throughout everyday living to be:

Plus many other non-viable particulates. These problems are already causing severe discomfort and annoyance particularly in the home environment. By the simple process of introducing into the environment a positive controlled ventilation system, these problems can be eliminated. The ‘Fresh Air Unit’ has been designed to be cost effective and the installation to be unobtrusive. As the major body of the unit is located in the roof void, the only visible part is a 6” x 6” plastic diffuser (as shown in the diagram on the following page). This is centrally positioned in the ceiling of the first floor landing area. Installation of this system will not only eliminate excessive condensation build-up, but will provide a cleaner and more healthy, balanced atmosphere throughout the property.

The Fresh Air Unit

The ‘Fresh Air Unit’ works by creating a slight positive pressure using fresh, filtered air which is drawn from the roof void, the effect being to push stale damp air out of the property through natural leakage points common to all properties (including those with draught-proofing and double glazing). Total control of the unit is achieved by adjustment of a control switch, which can be sited in a convenient position to avoid infant tamper and allow ease of accessibility and control. One of the main advantages of the ‘Fresh Air Unit’ is its’ economical running costs, the average costing less to run than a 30W light bulb. This gives the unit a major lead over other mains connected 13 amp methods which claim to eliminate condensation. These other methods, especially dehumidifiers and similar products, only ever remove moisture from the area in which they have been sited.

To achieve results similar to those of the ‘Fresh Air Unit’. it would be necessary to have several dehumidifiers working simultaneously throughout the property. The comparable cost of this would be prohibitive. In addition, the obtrusive nature and frequent necessity to empty dehumidifiers renders them an inferior method of condensation control.

With regards to installation, the ‘Fresh Air Unit’ can be fully installed and operational in approximately four hours with minimum disturbance to existing decorations and similarly minimal disruption to the occupants of the property. The installation is carried out by our fully qualified electrical engineer and all works are directed and supervised by our Survey Department. After installation, a period of approximately eight weeks must be allowed to enable the property to thoroughly air and dry. This drying out process includes all soft furnishings (carpets, curtains, ceiling and wall finishes etc.) and any other household items which may have been affected by the condensation problem. As part of our customer care policy, and to obtain comparisons of relative humidity in the property both before and after installation, West Midlands Timber Preservation and Damp Proofing Company will return to the property after this period at no extra charge to carry out a further relative humidity test. It will also be possible to provide a service agreement after the statutory 12 month guarantee period elapses whereby W.M.T.P. will contract annually for a quoted fee to clean and service the installed unit.

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Bathrooms and kitchens, whether at ground or first floor level, are most susceptible to the effects of condensation. This is not surprising due to the volume of water used and consumed in these areas. A large proportion of this water is of a temperature which creates steam. The majority of bathrooms and kitchens in traditional properties had little or no ventilation incorporated in their original construction. This is wholly inadequate for the amount of moisture produced in these areas. This moisture then condenses on the cold walls and window panes. This causes the problems most often associated with condensation such as black mould (Aspergillus niger) and spore growth, de-bonding decorations and the saturation of ceiling and wall plaster. The provision of further natural ventilation often can be achieved by the installation of strategically sited high flow louvered air vents. If this is impractical or not an adequate solution then the introduction of some form of mechanical ventilation will be necessary. This could be in the form of a wall mounted humidity control extractor fan.

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