Condensation is caused by an imbalance of airflow, heating and ventilation resulting in a rise in relative humidity within the atmosphere of a property. The build up of water vapour can come from normal household activities such as drying wet clothes on radiators, using a tumble dryer, cooking and of course breathing.
An average family of 4 can produce up to 16 pints of water per day.
As warm air hits a cold surface such as a wall or window, the resulting cooled air is no longer able to retain its moisture. The moisture the air can no longer hold is released and is deposited in the form of tiny water droplets onto cold surfaces within the property as condensation.
Where does condensation appear?
It appears at any height, on any floor of a property, on cold surfaces (windows and north facing walls) and where there is little movement of air most commonly corners and behind furniture and in rooms which generate a lot of moisture such as bathrooms and kitchens. This distinguishes it from rising damp which only occurs in walls in contact with the ground to a height of usually not more than 1.2 metres over external ground level.
When is condensation most common?
It is most common in the colder months of the year when the heating is turned on and windows are kept shut as this creates less ventilation in a property so keeping air and moisture trapped in the property.
Why does condensation need to be kept to a minimum?
Left untreated in a property, condensation and the increased moisture it creates will undoubtedly lead to a range of problems. In its less serious form, condensation may “steam up” windows and mirrors. In more severe cases, it can be absorbed by surface wall finishes, underlying plaster and timber. It will also provide the ideal conditions for infestation of various types of wood boring beetle and dry and wet rot outbreaks which will attack timbers so weakening them and leading to extensive damage if not treated properly.
What are the signs of condensation?
- Black mould on walls, ceilings, behind furniture
- Streaming wet windows
- Damp & musty smell
- Walls damp to the touch
- Crumbling plaster, peeling wallpaper
- Mildew on fabric and leather
- Possible worsening of respiratory problems for property occupants
- Timber decay and beetle infestation
If you think condensation is affecting your property and you need further advice on the solutions available please contact a member of our team on:
t: 0844 854 9056