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Condensation Control

Condensation is the most common form of property damp in the UK.
 
Our homes are becoming more and more ‘sealed’. Better insulation and double-glazing, blocked fireplaces and the replacement of draughty windows and doors for increased energy efficiency mean that moisture has no way to escape. Even worse, we’re producing more moisture than ever by doing more laundry and having more baths and showers. In fact, the average person produces about four to five litres of moisture per day. This leads to more and more condensation control problems, mainly in the winter months.
 

 

The principle of condensation is quite simple. At any temperature air can hold a certain amount of water vapour. The warmer the air, the more vapour it can hold. Should warm, moisture-filled air cool down, it will reach a temperature at which it cannot contain its moisture any more. The air will start releasing the water vapour, which we call condensation. This usually happens on cold surfaces, because this is where the air is cooled. If a surface is non-porous (like glass windows or tiles) it can form droplets. If a surface is are porous (like brickwork and plaster) it usually cannot be seen because it is absorbed by the plaster and brickwork.
 
When condensation occurs over a longer period of time, bricks and plaster get damp and mould can start to appear. This usually happens around windows, in outside corners, in bay windows, in colder bedrooms and often in or behind wardrobes built onto an outside wall. The mould is usually black but can come in all kinds of colours, including green, yellow and off-white. 
 
Condensation over a longer period of time can affect plaster, wallpaper, paint and fabrics (especially the clothes in those wardrobes), but also window frames and other woodwork – since it can cause wet and dry rot to develop. An unmistakable musty smell is often associated with poor condensation control.
 
Houses with condensation problems are usually unhealthy to live in because fungi and bacteria thrive in warm, humid air. Damp homes are particularly bad for those with asthma and other breathing problems. Proper condensation control is thus essential for a healthy home.
 
The Cure
Spores of mould are in the air everywhere – Increasing ventilation and heating, as well as cutting down on the production of moisture indoors should lead to improvement. But sometimes it's just not possible to open all the windows for noise or security reasons. There are also situations where the above measures are simply not enough, because the causes of condensation lay in the structure of the building; this is often seen in bungalows and ground-floor flats. There’s often increased condensation in houses with rising or penetrating damp due to moisture evaporating from damp walls.
 
In these cases, the Positive Pressure Ventilation System  is a good solution. The system builds up pressure within the house using fresh, clean air; the build-up of pressure then pushes out the stale air. In addition to fitting our system our surveyors will talk you through the additional measures you can take to give yourself a dry, healthy home. 
 
Warning
Condensation problems are often misdiagnosed as rising damp by representatives of damp-proofing firms. The result is that many people buy a chemical damp-proof course which will have no effect at all. Damp readings at a low level on outside walls do not necessarily indicate rising damp. As a rule of thumb, an element of condensation is involved when there is black mould growth; this is because rising damp usually brings salts and minerals up from the ground making the surface unsuitable for mould growth. Many damp-proofing firms, however, only offer chemical or electrical damp-proof courses, which are effective only with rising damp.
 
Alliance cover the following areas:-
  • Perth & Kinross
  • Dundee & Angus
  • Fife
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Stirling

 

  • 20 Year Guarantee
  • Delta membrane systems
  • Koster
  • Trust a Trader

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01764 663107
info@alliancetimber.com
Maidenplain Ind Est, Aberuthven, Perthshire, PH3 1EL