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Condensation Problems?

Condensation occurs when warm air collides with cold surfaces, or when there's too much humidity in your home. While condensation is rarely a problem in the summer, the amount of water in the air (otherwise known as the humidity) inside our homes is higher during the colder months. Finding condensation in your home is a common issue for many homeowners across the UK and yet it is relatively simple to solve the problem and prevent it from coming back.

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Common Signs Of Condensation

When moisture in the air comes into contact with a colder surface, like a wall or window, the warm air is unable to hold the same amount of moisture and the water is released onto the colder surface, creating tiny droplets of water to appear, which is more commonly referred to as condensation.

Condensation in buildings. Air will generally include moisture in the form of water vapour. Condensation affects the performance of buildings, causing problems such as: Mould growth which is a cause of respiratory allergies.

Condensation can also appear in areas where the air movement is restricted, such as behind bedroom furniture and inside wardrobes which can start to create a musty smell and lead to mould growth on clothes, furniture and walls. Whether it is a period home, new property or a bungalow, the problems associated with condensation affects all of us.

Ventilation_reduces_condensation

Many people wake up in a morning and open the curtains to see streaming windows, especially in the winter, this is usually a sign that you have an underlying problem that needs to be fixed. It is one of the most troublesome, recurring problems that we have all experienced and its presence can have a debilitating effect on the owners of the property.

The best way to eliminate humid air is with effective ventilation, this can be achieved through an extractor fan, as long as that extractor fan is powerful enough. Otherwise, excess moisture in the air will surpass the dew point, creating condensation and wet surfaces. If wet walls and streaming windows occur over a prolonged period of time, other signs will start to appear such as damp patches on walls, peeling wallpaper and ultimately black mould growth.

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Everyday Life Creates Condensation

Condensation is difficult to escape, everyday life such as drying clothes, using a tumble dryer, showering, bathing and even breathing contribute to the creation of condensation.  However, all of these everyday factors are impossible to escape, so our homes need to be equipped to handle them.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the worst culprits, cooking, washing dishes and washing clothes all create excess moisture which can be difficult to extract without sufficient ventilation. However, without proper ventilation this excess moisture builds up and creates damp problems. 

Kitchens and Bathrooms Create Condensation

As properties become increasingly energy conscious and airtight, we have looked for ways to save energy in our homes through insulation, draft proofing, double glazing and blocking off chimneys, all which has increased the humidity within indoor air:

  • Streaming windows
  • Damp patches on walls, especially behind furniture and in corners
  • Wallpaper can start to peel off
  • Black dots on window frames
  • Mould growth, usually black mould, starts to appear
  • Soft furnishings and fabrics become prone to mould and mildew

Naturally, we want our homes to be as warm and secure as possible but unfortunately as a result ventilation often gets overlooked, especially with regard to insulation. It is only by having both insulation and ventilation in place can a property be warm yet breathable.  

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Consequences of Condensation

The possible consequences of condensation formation within the building structure and subsequent high humidity environment created can include the following:

  • Health Risks: Unseen mould growth behind wall linings and external cladding can be a health risk to the occupants, particularly the young or elderly. Detection and rectification can be difficult as well as costly due to the unseen nature of this problem.
  • Visual Deterioration: Deflection or staining of plasterboard linings as a result of moisture trapped behind the linings can cause ugly stains and swelling and water droplets on internal walls – this is an obvious sign of moisture ingress or entrapment.
  • Structural Decay: Moisture becoming entrapped within the structure can result in long term corrosion of external walls, metal structures, timber rot, loosening of nails as timber swells, and cladding rot or swelling which can result in costly rectification work.
  • Energy Efficiency: A reduction in the buildings energy efficiency can occur due to moisture saturation of the insulation, which can result in loss of thermal performance.
Consequences of Condensation

Condensation is also a major issue for landlords and tenants it often means a continuous cycle of repair. Furthermore, poor ventilation can also affect tenants with asthma and other respiratory conditions. By installing an effective ventilation solution you are improving the quality of air and so reducing asthma triggers.  

In addition to improving the health of those who live in affected properties, the rewards for successfully solving condensation problems, or preventing these recurring problems are enormous - not only in maintenance costs but also in the freeing up of housing maintenance personnel who annually return to the same dwelling to deal with the same recurring problems.

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Ventilating Condensation

The best solution for condensation is to prevent condensation and the best prevention is proper ventilation, in order to vent condensation your home needs to have an adequate air flow and kept at a good temperature. When a room gets to a certain temperature, humidity gathers creating moisture in the air. If this excess moisture is not ventilated it will cause condensation. 

To naturally ventilate your property you can open the windows, however this is not a realistic option as you don't want to leave your windows open all day for security reasons or even all year because of weather conditions. 

You can help prevent condensation by doing things like, wiping down windows and window sills, putting lids on pots and pans when cooking and not overfilling cupboards and wardrobes as this restricts the movement of air. However, ultimately, if your home is poorly ventilated condensation will still build up. 

EnviroVent_Offers_Environmentally_Friendly_Ventilation_Solutions

The usual first port of call when it comes to improving a property's air movement is to purchase a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers may seem like an easy answer, they're easy to pick up, relatively cheap and simple to put into your property but they do have limitations.

Dehumidifiers blow out warm air from the back of the unit, whilst this maybe a perk in the winter during the summer it could result in excess, overbearing heat. The machine would also be needed throughout seasons; winter to combat damp but summer to cut down on pollen. You often also find your energy costs go up with a dehumidifier as they require a lot of energy all of the time.

Additionally, you have to keep emptying the water bucket and they also need to be regularly cleaned otherwise black mould can start to grow on the machine, which can induce a wide range of health problems including allergic reactions, lung problems and irritation. Ultimately if your home is lucky enough to be incredibly well ventilated naturally, a dehumidifier would suffice but it is not going to solve any severe condensation issues. 

How effective are dehumidifiers?

Solve Your Condensation Problems Today

EnviroVent has a ventilation system for every kind of home, whether it be the smallest apartment, bungalow, house or a major building project. With a wide range of energy efficient and innovative ventilation systems, you can be assured that your indoor air quality will be dramatically improved, whilst having a positive effect on your health and your home. Our condensation control vents, are designed to minimise if not eliminate condensation.

If you find yourself forever continuing to browse for an effective extractor fan, then stop - and invest in an actual solution. ATMOS® gently ventilates the home from a central position on a landing from within your loft. It is a sophisticated whole home ventilation and condensation control unit which transforms a stagnant and stale atmosphere into a fresh, healthy and condensation-free environment.

By drawing in fresh, filtered and clean air from outside, ATMOS® dilutes, displaces and replaces moisture-laden air to control humidity levels so that condensation, mould and other indoor contaminants are significantly reduced.

ATMOS<sup>®</sup> gently ventilates the home
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