As many as one in five UK homes suffers from condensation that can lead to problems with damp and mould that can affect health.
Condensation is caused when warm, moist air comes into contact with cool surfaces. When this happens, the air can no longer hold as much moisture and the surplus moisture is deposited on the surface. On non-porous materials such as glass or metal, the condensation forms beads of water on the surface which can easily be seen and wiped away. On porous surfaces like wood, the condensation can soak into the material where it builds up to form damp patches that provide the perfect environment for mould to thrive.
Many everyday activities release moisture into the air. Cooking, washing, drying clothes, bathing, and even breathing can contribute to the moisture levels in a building. In fact, in an average household with 4 people, around 8 litres of moisture are created each day!
Condensation is a bigger problem in winter. With windows closed most of the time, it is harder for the moist air to escape the building and is also more likely to come into contact with cooler surfaces such as exterior walls where it will form into condensation.
In and of itself, condensation is not a big issue, however if you do not take steps to deal with it, it leads to much bigger problems in the form of damp and mould.
Damp occurs when moisture is allowed to soak into a surface such as plaster or wood. The presence of damp can lead to crumbling plasterwork on your walls that is expensive to repair, but also leads to the growth of mould.
Moulds including the dangerous toxic black mould thrive on damp surfaces. These moulds are unsightly, but also present a health risk. As moulds grow, they release spores into the air that, when inhaled, can cause an allergic reaction and contribute to poor respiratory health.
There are a number of practical steps that you can take to reduce condensation.
Simple changes such as ensuring that you keep pans covered while boiling, and close kitchen and bathroom doors when in use can help prevent moisture from those rooms spreading through your home and finding places to settle.
Avoiding drying clothes indoors and ensuring that you keep windows open to improve air flow will also help to reduce the amount of condensation that is able to develop.
These steps can only go so far in preventing damp though. In order to protect your home all year round, you need to improve your ventilation.
Simple extractor fans in your main wet rooms – bathrooms and kitchen – draw moisture laden air out of the house and prevent it escaping onto cool surfaces in other rooms. More advanced systems such as Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) offer whole house solutions that ensure fresh air is provided through every room and can stop condensation altogether.
If you are having problems with condensation in your home and want to prevent the risk of damp, improving your ventilation can help. Contact us today to book a free home survey from one of our local specialists. They will be able to provide you with advice about the cause of condensation in your home and advise you about the best solution for your needs.
One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.
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