Condensation in its simplest form is when moist air comes into contact with either colder air or a colder surface and the water contained in the air is released to form condensation in the air or on the surface.
It often results in black mould growth on walls and other surfaces or you can see actual water droplets. It is usually worse in corners, on or near windows, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards and on North facing walls. Condensation gets worse when the house is colder or with limited ventilation. You should be aware that the problem can occur well away from the site of most water vapour production. E.g. water vapour produced in the kitchen may diffuse through the house into a cold bedroom where it will condense on cold walls.
Mould growth may appear on any damp surface such as plaster, wallpaper and timber, it is often found first on leather goods such as handbags and shoes (unsightly growths of various colours - greens, yellows, pinks, black, grey or white), there will normally be some accompanying odour (musty and damp). With it becoming more of a problem in many homes now there are also fears of health and hygiene and there are numerous reports detailing its effect on asthma and eczema sufferers.
The most obvious sign of condensation is going to be water streaming down the inside of windows, particularly bedroom windows in the morning. Water vapour is produced in relatively large quantities from normal day to day activities - a 5 person household puts about 10 kg of water into the air every day (without taking into account any heating). Up until the middle/late part of the twentieth century, most houses had high natural ventilation as the level of home insulation was low. Conservation then became popular and natural ventilation was greatly reduced by the introduction of double glazing, draught excluders, fitted carpets (which prevent air movement up through suspended wooden floors) and the removal of open fire places with the introduction of central heating.
Moisture can also be drawn from the structure of the building into the internal air; from below the floor or through the walls/ceilings this additional moisture can exasperate a condensation problem hence it will often accompany issues of rising or penetrating damp and can be particularly problematic in basements and cellars.
How Do I Solve the Problem?
There are four main steps that will help you reduce condensation in your home.
- 1. Ventilate your home - let the wet air out
- 2. Produce less moisture
- 3. Heat your home a little more
- 4. Insulation and draft proofing
Wessex Damp & Timber can assist with all of the above and provide a vast range of equipment from extractor fans to PIV units, such as the Drimaster heat which are proven to remove symptoms and improve internal air quality at the same time. We can eradicate mould and even redecorate where degradation has occurred using the latest anti mould additives or premixed anti mould paints.
So If you have had enough of the mould growth or water on your windows then call us today on 0800 161 3078 or complete the contact form and we can provide advice or a free of charge survey.