Condensation

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Condensation moisture in the air can come from a variety of sources in your property. In your property normal day to day activities create water vapour which can lead to condensation in the property.

When warm air meets cold air the air is reduced below its saturation point and as a result water vapour turns from a gas into a liquid. This can be visually observed on window sills, tiles etc. This is known as surface condensation.

There are a variety of condensation types including condensation that can occur within the internal fabric of the building.

Interstitial condensation 

As you can observe from the diagram above interstitial condensation is result of the temperature inside a building versus outside the building coming into contact and the air inside a building is at a higher temperature than the external air. This results in higher pressure forcing the warm air through the structure including the moisture from the inside the home. When the air that is warm and moist cools below its dew point, within the fabric of the building, this forms condensation.

This type of condensation can contribute to:

  • Structural damage.
  • Timber decay.
  • Reduce cost of your property.

Conditions for Condensation – The time of year!

When we enter winter this is the season zone where an increase in warm moist air in the home is increased and as it colder outside condensation can arise

Types of homes and condensation

Timber frame buildings:

These homes are at risk of interstitial condensation and may benefit from an impermeable roofing to prevent water vapour coming into contact with the cladding.

Traditionally designed homes:

Homes that have a flat or decked room have been observed to be a target of condensations. Implementing a barrier on the roof membrane can reduce the impact that condensation can have. This prevents the water vapour from permeating the external environment.

Brick homes

Homes that have brick cavities are susceptible to interstitial condensation with moisture within the home coming into contact with the external cold air and reaching the dew point.

The Causes of Condensation

In dwelling houses condensation is related to modern living standards, economic pressure and change in building design.

  1. Moist air can be a result of everyday activities including cooking, bathing, washing and drying clothes. Certain areas of the home produce moisture more than others including bathrooms and kitchens where moist, warm air can then spread to cooler parts of the house to condense on cold surfaces.

  2. If a home has a great level of ventilation then the risk of condensation decreases. In the past homes were able to produce ventilation more easily due to the limited use of double glazing windows, and open fire places. However in the current world we seal up our properties with an increase in central heating and full-sealed windows.

    A level of consistency is required for ventilation to be effective.

  3. Economic Pressure 
    Due to our current economic situation this has resulted in individual selectively heating rooms and using paraffin heaters to reduce costs. This can increase the level of moisture and result in an increase in condensation.

Mould Growth

Where does it occur?

This can occur on damp surfaces including plaster, wallpaper and has a high level of connotation with condensation.

What does it look like?

Mould growth will appear on any damp surfaces such as plaster, wallpaper and timber and is associated with condensation problems in many buildings. It can be identified by its appearance (unsightly growths of various colours – greens, yellows, pinks, black, grey or white), odour (musty and damp), and fears of health and hygiene considerations (particularly in food processing industries).

There are three principal features common to the broad range of mould fungi:

  1. Simple food requirements: able to exist on non-nutrient materials such as plaster and brick which have traces of contaminating organic matter.
  2. Produce vast number of spores which allow rapid adaptation to particular environments.
  3. Grow The very quickly under suitable conditions.

The main requirement for the development and growth is a source of moisture although food, oxygen and a suitable temperature are also important. It is available water which is critical to mould development and different materials at the same moisture content often have different water availability.

The appearance of mould growth in buildings often suggests poor standards of property maintenance and/or domestic activities encouraging condensation. Prolonged exposure to mould growth will cause disintegration and disruption of certain painted surfaces. Paper and certain fibre building fabrics may also be softened and deteriorate as some mould species are capable of digesting cellulose.

The Cost of Unchecked Condensation

Respiratory and Allergic Health Effects of Dampness, Mould, and Dampness‑Related Agents: A Review of the Epidemiologic Evidence Mendell et al (2011).

The evidence produced from the above paper proposed that there were positive associations between dampness and mould with multiple allergic and respiratory effects. It was suggested that prevention methods and remediation could reduce health risks.

What you can do to resolve your Mould infestation

The use of the Damp-Proofing.com anti condensation unit is by far the most cost effective method of eliminating condensation.

Not only is this option the most cost effective option is the best option overall when combined with health risk and property cost.

The average home to redecorate or resolve due to mould can be a minimum of £250 per year this is without taking into consideration the replacement of items such as home furniture and clothes. This can produce stress for the owner or for the tenant; in tenancy circumstances court and compensation events may arise.

The direct cost of a condensation and mould growth problem where only one room has to have mould cleaning or redecorating is at least £250 per year, and in many cases is much more than this, If for example more than one room is involved. Sometimes window frames need to be repainted and repaired, or even replaced. The occupants’ clothes and other belongings may go mouldy and need to be replaced. In extreme cases the occupant may take a Landlord to the Courts and compensation payments of several thousand pounds may result.

In addition these direct costs; there is a substantial ‘hidden’ cost which relates to administration. Examples of hidden costs include:

  • Payment of surveyors in subject to tenant cases.
  • Liaising with local authorities (increasing in work holidays and loss of earnings).
  • Legal fees.

Condensation is an increasingly serious problem in dwelling houses and offices. It affects over 50% of Buildings in the UK.

How we can help you

We at Damp-Proofing.com have supplied and installed Input Ventilation Anti-Condensation Units (IVAUs) for an ever increasing number of Local Authorities and Housing Associations for many years.

Our professionalism and expertise means that we pride ourselves on being the best option to resolve your mould issues.

How our IVAUs work

1. The loft space which contains warmer air mixing with air drawn in through eaves.

2. The warmer fresh air is then drawn into the unit where it passes through a special air filter.

3. The filtered air is introduced into the property through the diffuser grille, located centrally at ceiling level in the landing of the property, and is circulated around the property.

4. The fresh air then mixes with the warm air in the property, thus combating the condensation.

5-7. The stagnant air is then expelled through natural leakage points in the property. This also serves to help prevent cold draughts entering the property.

Energy conservation is the responsibility of all of us.

Conventional extractor fans potentially waste over a million kilowatts of energy every year – which is comparable to the total output of two large power stations! Replacing conventional extractor fans with heat recovery systems would save at least half of that energy loss.

Input ventilation anti condensation units is a successful and cost-effective way to cure condensation. Input ventilation with heat recovery offers you even more benefit because it can save over 80% of heat which would otherwise be wasted by transferring it to the incoming fresh air supply.

Running Costs only 1p-9p A Day.

We can Supply the Unit only. Please telephone us for a Quotation.

For a survey please call the office on:

Free Phone 0800 622 6573 – 7 Days A Week – 9.00am till 9.00pm

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