Moisture is in the air all of the time, even if you cannot see it, if air gets colder it will not be able to carry all the moisture, tiny drops of water then form, this is condensation.
Condensation on windows usually appears during cold spells and you will see it first in bathrooms and kitchens on cold surfaces, it shows in corners of the room, behind wardrobes and other furniture where there is little air movement.
Damp caused by condensation will not leave a tidemark.
If you have condensation on windows and walls in your property this can cause mould on walls and ceilings and also furniture, it will affect wooden window frames and fittings causing them to rot if left untreated.
a common example of this is on smooth, non porous surfaces such as mirrors and windows but if the problem is severe then the moisture will also be absorbed by the interior walls causing the growth of mould.
Households can create an astonishing amount of moisture from general day to day living, and as improvements are made on both insulation and and heating systems this can cause a lot more trapped moisture, it has to go somewhere so it takes the easiest root.
an example of the moisture created by a family home
|Cooking and boiling the kettle||6 Pints (2.839 US Litres)|
|Washing Clothes||1 Pint (0.473 US Litres)|
|Having a bath or shower||2 Pints (0.946 US litres)|
|Drying Cothes||9 Pints (4.258 US Litres)|
|Using bottled gas heater||3 Pints (1.419 US Litres)|
|Two active people in one day||3 Pints (1.419 US Litres)|
|TOTAL||24 Pints (11.352 US Litres)|
How To Prevent Condensation
Condensation on windows and walls is the easiest and cheapest type of damp to combat. Here are some of the things you can do to reduce it:
Keep your home heated
It is recommended to keep your heating on a constant heat of around 17 degrees Celcius
Insulate the walls
warm walls are less likely to condense the water
Allow the humid air to escape by opening windows at least once a day for a decent amount of time to enable air to circulate.
Also turn on your extractor fan in bathrooms / kitchens or have them fitted.
Close bathroom doors when you shower to help contain the moisture.
Dry clothes outside or vent dryers directly to the outside world (refrain from drying clothes on radiators as this will cause a huge amount of moisture in the air – and its got to go somewhere!)
If trickle vents and air bricks are present, check they are not blocked.
It is advisable to leave a gap of around 50mm between furniture and the wall, try not to position wardrobes and drawers right up against the wall as this can reduce air flow and cause condensation ending in mould behind items.
- Cover pans when cooking and do not leave kettles boiling
- keep a small window ajar whilst in the home and remember to close it when you leave the property, especially if the window is ground floor
- if possible position beds and wardrobes again internal walls
- keep radiators on a low heat and do not restrict the flow by covering them
- avoid placing too many clothes in one wardrobe as this will restrict air flow
- avoid draught proofing an area which is affected by condensation – air flow is key in tackling condensation
If you live in a brand new house home there will still be a lot of moisture in the air from the new paint and plaster if possible leave windows open and the heating on a low setting to air.