ProTen Services offers a range of condensation solutions for customers, including ventilation methods and black mould removal options. Read on to learn how to recognise a condensation problem in your home and discover how condensation can be prevented.
What is condensation?
Condensation is caused by an imbalance of airflow, heating and ventilation resulting in a rise in relative humidity within the atmosphere of a property. As warm air, which holds more water vapour than cold air, hits a cold surface such as a wall or window the air cools and is unable to retain all the moisture. The moisture it cannot hold is released and deposited in the form of tiny water droplets onto the cold surface.
Why does Condensation occur?
There are various factors that can contribute to the amount of moisture and therefore the chance of condensation occurring. Factors such as the number of people living in a property, drying clothes on radiators, keeping windows closed, extract fans that are not working or not powerful enough can and lack of ventilation opportunities all impact moisture levels.
Condensation can also occur after making changes to a property such as adding insulation as this can block the natural leakage points through which moisture could previously pass to the outside.
What are the signs of condensation?
There are several common symptoms of condensation all of which require either treatment or removal. These include:
- Streaming wet windows
- Black mould on walls, the ceiling and behind furniture
- Damp and musty smell
- Mildew on fabric and leather
- Crumbling plaster and peeling wallpaper
- Walls damp to touch
- Possible worsening of respiratory problems for property occupants.
Where does condensation appear?
Condensation can appear at any height, on almost any cold surface and where there is little movement of air, so most commonly on windows, north facing walls, corners and behind furniture. This distinguishes it from rising damp, which almost never occurs at heights of more than 1.2 metres over external ground level and which is confined to walls that are in contact with the ground.
When is condensation most common?
Condensation is most common in the colder months of the year when the heating is turned on and windows are kept shut. It will also occur if there is a lack of ventilation in a property particularly in rooms which generate a lot of moisture, mainly bathrooms and kitchens. Property layout, living habits, number of occupants and insulation can all effect condensation levels.
Why does condensation need to be kept to a minimum?
In its less serious form, condensation may steam up windows and mirrors. In more severe cases, it can be absorbed by surface wall finishes and underlying plaster, which can cause dampness, although the under-lying brickwork or masonry will normally be of relatively low moisture content. Left untreated in a property, condensation and the increased moisture it creates in the air can lead to a range of problems, such as:
- Damage to walls, plasters, timbers and furnishings
- Mould, which as well as being unsightly and damaging to a property can also aggravate asthma and produce allergic reactions like hayfever due to the spores the mould produces
- High humidity levels in the property, which creates an ideal environment for the spread of bacteria, viruses and the breeding of house dust mites
- Contributing factor to beetle infestation and fungal decay
How do you stop condensation?
Condensation is a common problem in many buildings but there are solutions available that will allow it to be prevented and completely stopped.
The first step can be as simple as adapting general living habits to help increase ventilation and airflow and reduce the amount of moisture in the property. Actions to take, include clearing out full wardrobes, opening windows as much as possible to ensure airflow and making sure extractor fans are switched on and in good working order. It is also a good idea to check airbricks are present and not blocked.
However, some properties are more susceptible to condensation and the formation of black mould. Where the problem is ongoing and difficult to resolve there are other steps which can be taken.
ProTen provides solutions to stop condensation as well as black mould prevention and removal methods that will prevent further damage to your property. Talk to us about your condensation problem for more information on how we can help.