Condensation Control FAQ

 
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Frequently Asked Questions about Condensation
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What causes condensation in houses?

Condensation can be caused from little things like running a bath or even just making a cup of tea! A moisture build up can occur in the warm atmosphere of any type of property, whether that be a flat, apartment or house.
If moisture does build up during warm temperatures, this can cause issues when your property cools, as the moisture will start to condense and settle on cool surfaces. Condensation problems are more common than ever before as there have been a change and improvement in standards of living. Insulation, double glazing, and draught proofing result in a number of properties suffering from lack of air ventilation and trapped moisture. The moisture content of the air is known as the Relative Humidity.

If untreated or left, condensation can cause a number of problems in your home, including damage to fixtures and fittings. Condensation is a major source of dampness affecting property and that is why It should be treated ASAP.
condensation on the window
The main reason condensation should be treated/prevented is that without regular ventilation, it may create an unhealthy living condition where black mould can grow. If you are someone who respects the interior of your home, condensation can be extremely distressing as it may lead to affected décor, damaged fabric and furniture, and an unsightly smell throughout your house caused by dampness.

What is the difference between damp and condensation, how can I identify them?

At Richardson and Starling, we can help you identify both condensation and other potential damp problems within your property.

Firstly, condensation can be described as a seasonal problem. Problems often arise during the winter months when temperatures are colder. In some cases, condensation problems can disappear during the season of summer. In the very worst cases excessive moisture, and as a result condensation, can occur all year.
The main reason why condensation arises during the winter months is that ventilation of the house is usually low. Over the winter months, we are more likely to keep doors and windows closed. After some time, this creates a build-up of water vapour within properties, this can cause some households to suffer from condensation. Signs of this could be:
  • Water droplets form on cold surfaces such as glass and paint.
  • Damp wallpaper
  • Development of moulds, usually black mould.
ceiling fabrics damaged by damp
Condensation is often long term and will not disappear overnight. This is why it is important that you have your property checked for condensation damage. If the only sign of condensation in your home is mould growth, it may mean that significant damage has already happened.

How can I sort my condensation problem?

At Richardson and Starling, we can help you eradicate the condensation problem within your property. We have a team of trained experts that will make sure your repair or treatment is completed as soon as possible.

We have years of experience working on badly damaged home and property spaces. We advise all of those who visit our website to give us a call. Our qualified surveyors can conduct an inspection in no time at all and give an honest opinion on the damp conditions affecting your property. Advice will then be given to eradicate the damp problem and we will send your specific treatment schedule for the required action to be taken.

Sometimes the high moisture content in the property is due to above normal levels of moisture being created from something like an unvented tumble dryer. Once this is discovered we only need to get that fixed and this could get rid of the condensation problem.

There could also be a building defect which causes very cold wall surfaces and this will be identified at the time of survey and advice given.
Over the years, building standards have improved massively and properties are becoming air tight with less draughts. If you do live in a property that is at risk of condensation problems, our team can help you ensure that the air inside of your property is being refreshed and circulated efficiently. Proper ventilation reduces high relative humidity in your home to normal levels and making sure that air inside of your home does not have excessive moisture content or is not stagnant will remove the risk of condensation exposure.

At Richardson and Starling, a member of our team can visit your property and complete a survey to determine if Condensation is causing the damp problem and will investigate the best method of eliminating the condensation which often means improving air ventilation in your home.

Once we have decided together, what type of treatment is best we can install a range of systems. These include:
  • Positive Input Ventilation
  • Extractor Fans
  • Heat Recovery Systems
mould caused by condensation
Richardson and Starling work in partnership with Envirovent . Envirovent are one of the manufacturers of home air quality solutions in the UK. We use their systems as they provide our customers with an effective positive input ventilation system.

If you are looking to eradicate condensation within your home, we can use Envirovent’s quality condensation control ventilation system that draws in fresh, filtered, clean air from the outside of your home. This system is extremely flexible and can be fitted in houses, flats, and apartments.

Can you advise how to avoid condensation?

Do you need to constantly wipe condensation off your windows in your home? Is your home’s dehumidifier running for lengthy periods of time?

Our surveyors at Richardson and Starling would advise that you invest in whole house ventilation as a permanent solution. Home ventilation will improve your homes air quality and reduce air moisture content, making it a more comfortable space for you, your family, or your tenants.

Ventilating Your Home

There are several steps you can take, as a property owner, to improve the air quality inside of your home.

You should aim to normalise the Relative Humidity (RH) level in your home to between 40% and 60%. RH can be balanced by ensuring appropriate heating, ventilation, and insulation in your property. Once you install these factors into your home and you have reduced the generation of excessive moisture into the air this will avoid condensation.

What could be done to reduce the condensation levels within the property?

  • Did you know that from just drying one load of washing, two litres of water are emitted into the air? One way to reduce RH levels is to ensure that these machines are vented correctly.
  • Ventilation experts suggest that those living within a property dry their clothes outdoors. This prevents excess moisture escaping into the air of your property. If you do need to dry your clothes indoors, it is recommended that you open your doors or windows in these rooms.
  • There are little things you can do every day to reduce the RH levels within your property. Even when you are cooking, making a cup of tea, running the shower or bath, make sure that the doors of these rooms are kept closed. This will prevent steam escaping into colder rooms for condensation to form.
  • Another step you can do when cooking is to ensure that you are covering your pans with a lid, as this will reduce moisture in the air. It is also advised that you ALWAYS have a window open when you are cooking, or if your home has an extractor fan to have that turned on.
  • A top tip is that you should not turn off the extractor fan or close the window as soon as you finish cooking – try to leave them open/on for around 15-20 minutes afterwards. This will clear the air inside of the room.
  • The method above should also be applied when you are running the shower or taps in your bathroom. Make sure you turn your homes extractor fan or open a window inside of the bathroom. This will remove the high moisture created from the warm water in a cold room.
condensation on the window
  • If your home is at risk of having condensation problems and you do not have an extractor fan in your bathroom or kitchen, it is advised that you always wipe down your kitchen or bathroom surfaces. Excess condensation moisture that sits on the surface can quickly cause mould growth. It is important to have the proper ventilation in each room to keep the Relative Humidity (Air moisture content) at normal levels to stop condensation occurring. If you do not have proper mechanical ventilation you should consider fitting this to your home.
  • If you are using portable gas bottles and paraffin heaters inside of your home, you may be producing a lot of moisture that you are unaware of. For every litre of gas or paraffin burned you are creating one litre of moisture in the atmosphere. This is not the only problem with portable gas and paraffin heaters as they also create fumes that affect the air quality of your home. This form of heating should not be used where possible.
  • Did you know that your pets and plants could be the factor causing you condensation problems? One way to stop short-term condensation problems is to cover your fish tanks or remove your plants from the inside of your home when heavily watering them.
condensation caused mol on the wall
  • There are other ways you can reduce the chance of mould spreading in your home. One way is by not overfilling your bedroom wardrobes and kitchen cabinets. The lack of ventilation in these spaces means that warm moist air can be trapped. If over populated, these areas can become a breeding ground for mould as the air inside of them cannot circulate.
  • It is also advised that your furniture is at least 50mm away from your properties walls. This gives the air in your property space to circulate around the room and get between your furniture and the wall.
  • Make sure that if you are using one room more than others, such as your homes living room, try to open a window regularly. This may seem like a small move, however, it will improve the ventilation in the room.
  • As mentioned, heating can be a major factor in reducing air moisture content levels. Home improvements such as double glazing, loft insulation, and draft proofing may help to reduce heat loss within a property.
  • Finally, ….…it is very important to have the proper ventilation in your property. Installing an energy-efficient extractor within high risk rooms such as your kitchen and bathroom can improve the humidity levels and prevent condensation.

What is condensation paint and does it work?

This is a question that we are often asked at Richardson and Starling. Over the past few years, anti-condensation paint has gained popularity among homeowners.

The purpose of anti-condensation paint is to reduce a large proportion of moisture build up in sensitive areas of the home. The paint slightly insulates the wall improving the surface temperature.

Many of our customers use this type of paint to cover the walls of basements, attics, garages, sheds, and entry areas of the homes.

This type of paint is for use in areas where there is minor moisture that forms on the walls, instead of rivers flowing in a basement. Even in the event of moisture forming on the walls, the anti-condensation paint will not eliminate it. It will reduce it for easier management, but will not completely stop it.

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