Identifying damp curing condensation-mould and moisture within the home.
How to treat and cure condensation-damp in homes.
Condensation can occur in many buildings especially on sun shielded or north facing walls & more so with solid walls. Internal damp walls caused by condensation are not confined to the bathrooms or kitchen. This type of damp can appear on any cold wall.
Condensation and damp walls can also be a lifestyle factor created or exacerbated by the household occupants
Living conditions have changed a lot over the years, in the bygone years, older houses rattled with air. Open fires, often more than one in the home sucked large volumes of air into houses. Windows leaked like sieves, in many homes much less cooking hot baths & showers were taken. What all this accounted for although houses were colder, was a good amount of air circulation. Many people can remember the ice on the inside bedroom glass, in most cases, this was just frozen condensation from our breath
Condensation can be identified by the formation of small black round spores which feed on condensed water.
Steamy Windows Sit in a car with the engine off and the windows wound up, it doesn’t take long before the windows are dripping with water, from our breath. The occupants of a typical household can produce around 7 litres of water a day just by breathing.
All this moisture in the home has to go somewhere, which should be outside in exchange for some fresh air replenishment. In some older houses that have been inappropriately modernised this can sometimes be impossible. The moisture vapour is suspended in the air in warm rooms but turns back into water when it touches cold surfaces such as a cold wall, windows etc. This is what is known as the dew point.
Some of the causes of condensation are low amounts of heat in the home, portable gas heaters, poor insulation, poor ventilation, such as leaving windows permanently closed, excessive moisture production from drying clothes on radiators, defective render or rainwater goods creating wet colder walls.
Now we are not recommending that you rip out the nice new double glazing you have just had fitted and replace them with single glazed sash windows, nothing as drastic as that but with the correct approach you can eradicate condensation and make your home a healthier place to live in, usually for very little cost.
Good ideas: Keep your property well ventilated, especially in winter!
Make sure (if you have to use one) that your tumble drier vents outside
In the kitchen, open windows when cooking and try and close internal doors using lids on boiling pans can also help. Use an extractor fan if you have one or get one fitted above the cooker if possible
Keep bathroom windows open get an extractor fan fitted preferably a moisture triggered one. Put the cold water in the bath before the hot to reduce steam. if you have them keep window trickle vents open at all times, and don’t forget to clean them now and again with the vac as they can get blocked up with dust. Ensure that your roof space is properly ventilated. Reduce the amount of warm air landing on the glazing by hanging tight fitted curtains. If possible put wardrobes and furniture against inside/internal walls. Improve the insulation of your home, consider a quality (breathable) external wall insulation system, this will dramatically increase the warmth of the house and have a massive positive effect on condensation and the associated damp. Be careful not to treat just one wall with insulation as this can lead to damp just forming on another wall. Open the fire back up and get some air into the home.
An efficient wood burning stove of around 5kW will introduce lots of air into the home and keep you warm.
Finally, consider having a passive ventilation system fitted we have seen many a happy homeowner with one of these units. Just google passive ventilation, there are lots of firms supplying them but we do come across a lot of the Envirovent units and they seem to be very good.
To help identify damp problems and specify a cure why not arrange for a survey with the experts All4Walls.UK