What is Condensation?
One of the most common causes of dampness in buildings is condensation.
Moisture is always present in the air, even if it cannot be seen.
Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. When air is cooled it holds less moisture. If cooled far enough the air releases excess moisture and droplets of water are formed on surfaces. This is known as condensation.Examples of this are when you see your breath in cold weather, and both mirrors and cold tap steaming up in a bathroom.
Condensation usually occurs during the colder, winter months. October/November through to March/April is generally acknowledged as ‘condensation season’. In your home condensation is often seen on windows, external walls or in places where air movement is restricted, such as in corners of
rooms, behind items of furniture placed against walls and even in wardrobes. It’s presence is often first indicated by the development of mould.
Typical Causes of Condensation
In houses condensation can be related to modern living standards, economic pressure and change in building design.
The following are the major factors that affect condensation;
Generation of Too Much Water
Within a property water is produced in large quantities from a number of different activities. These include:
- Drying clothes – on or around radiators and using unvented tumble dryers
- Using portable flueless paraffin type heaters
Lack of Ventilation
The effect of water being generated is aggravated by the ways homes are ventilated.
Previously, up until about the late 1960’s there was generally natural ventilation in many homes, due to open fire places, single glazed sash windows, poorly fitted windows and doors and suspended timber floors without fitted coverings. All of these encouraged air flow/changes within the property.
It is not best practice to use your heating system intermittently, for short periods in a morning and evening probably on a high setting, and then turn it off.
This warms the air in your home but does not allow the walls to achieve a suitable, stable temperature.
Many houses remain unheated throughout the greater part of the day allowing the walls of the building to cool down. Moisture producing activities, as mentioned earlier, are then concentrated into a relatively short period. This sudden increase in warm moist air can produce condensation as it comes into contact with the still cool surfaces.
Unless cold surfaces are eliminated condensation is likely to occur at some point. Insulation will reduce heating costs and will help to prevent condensation by eliminating cold spots/surfaces.
How DJ Hutchings Ltd can help you with Mould Remediation
Positive Input Ventilation Units
There are two separate units one for use in houses and one for flats. They are positive input ventilation systems that gently force air from either the loft (in a house) or from outside (in a flat) into and around the home. Two simple proven systems for controlling condensation problems and associated black spot mould growth, whilst improving air quality throughout the property. The fresh clean air drawn through the unit then mixes with warm air at ceiling level and re-distributes heat around the home. These units are fitted with an integral pulse heater as standard.
The Passifyer Vent provides an opening on a section of wall normal to the airflow direction with an effective area well in excess of the minimum requirement. Airflow through the opening is controlled automatically by the intervening mineral wool slab and thereby avoids undue draughts.
Humidity Tracking Extract Fan
This fan is designed to improve air quality and reduce humidity levels in kitchens and bathrooms to help resolve condensation and mould growth problems. It works in 3 ways:
- On constant trickle extract to create background ventilation to maintain a healthy environment.
- Unique humidity tracking function which senses the amount of moisture being created in the room and causes the fan to increase speed to match rising humidity and reduce in speed to match falling humidity. This intelligent function reduces energy costs, wear and tear on the motor and ensures a long quiet life.
- Pull cord override for control. In the event that you wish to activate the fan to full power in conditions of high humidity simply pull the cord and the fan will boost to maximum extraction rate.
Dentolite Sterilising Solution Concentrate
A sterilising solution concentrate that contains a powerful fungicide that eradicates black mould growth, etc. on internal surfaces prior to decoration. It may also be used as a maintenance wash to control mould growth where painting is not possible or desired.
Fungi Check Emulsion
A high quality acrylic emulsion containing a powerful fungicide, suitable for wall and ceiling surfaces where mould growth is problematic. Fully washable and resistant to the effects of condensation, black mould and mildew once fully dried.
Mould Remidiation Control Pack
Contains Dentolite Sterilising Solution Concentrate for removing black mould/ sterilising surfaces, and 2 pots of Mould Eradication Additive for stirring into emulsion paint to prevent its return.