A Question Of Condensation
WHAT IS CONDENSATION?
The air around us is more often moist than dry.
The warmer the air becomes the more moisture it can hold, but if the air is suddenly cooled the moisture will condense on the nearest cold surface.
That is why when a warm day is followed by a cold night the result is a very heavy dew or early morning mist.
The same principle applies within your home, but condensation can be simply and effectively prevented by understanding the factors which cause it.
WHAT CAUSES CONDENSATION? - MOISTURE LADEN AIR
Did you know that:
These growths are easily removed from wall surfaces by the use of a household bleach solution, but are less readily dealt with on clothing, furnishing and bedding fabrics.
There is little point in removing the mould growths unless the conditions which allow them to thrive are dealt with.
How can this be done?
HOW TO PREVENT CONDENSATION
You can reduce the risk of condensation if you follow these simple rules:-
Ensure that the temperature indoors is higher than outdoors by maintaining continuous background heating throughout the winter months.
Keep your dwelling well ventilated.
Recommended comfort conditions for rooms are as follows:
THE EFFECTS OF CONDENSATION
Condensation can be easily seen when it occurs on impermeable surfaces, such as glass, gloss paint, vinyl and similar wall coverings.
However, with absorbent surfaces, which act like a sponge by soaking up the water, little moisture is visible until the surface is completely saturated.
The effects of condensation, whether seen or unseen, are severe. If it is allowed to continue unchecked mould growth will appear as shown.
If we also realise that large amounts of water are produced by the following domestic activities it can be seen how the risk of condensation is increased.
INADEQUATE AND INTERMITTENT HEATING
You may have discovered that the internal air temperature of your dwelling can be quickly and cheaply raised in the mornings and evenings by using electric, paraffin or bottled gas heaters instead of the heating system provided.
Will this increase the risk of condensation?
The answer to this question is YES!! - Because
SO REMEMBER -
The materials used to build your new home have absorbed approximately 1,500 gallons of water during the construction process. It is therefore important, particularly during the cold and humid winter months, that the correct balance is achieved to control the risk of condensation and to reduce the extent of shrinkage. Use your heating sparingly but continuously to achieve an even background temperature and to gently ‘dryout’ your new home.
Inadequate or intermittent heating is no substitute for continuous background heating.
If you have a central heating system in your dwelling, it can be operated and controlled automatically and safely while you are out.
The heat produced when you are out will not be wasted but retained by the insulation.
Poorly ventilated dwellings increase the risk of condensation, so leave windows and internal doors open whenever you can to improve air movement and so release moisture laden air.
The installation of an extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom will also assist.
It would also be advisable to check your roof space occasionally to ensure that the ventilation at eaves level has not become blocked. Do not use your roof for storage purposes.
Keep kitchen and bathroom doors shut and windows open when:
AVOID USING PARAFFIN, BOTTLED GAS AND OTHER VAPOUR PRODUCING HEATERS.