Damp And How To Deal With It – Part 1 – Condensation

The main cause of damp in most peoples homes is actually caused by us just living there, condensation.

Kitchens and bathrooms are where condensation is the most obvious but it can occur in any room in the house. This time of year (Winter) is the worst for it.

Time for the science bit. Condensation is formed when the atmosphere containing water vapour (all of it normally) comes into contact with a cooler surface and is cooled to the point where it cannot hold the water vapour in suspension. The water vapour “condenses” into droplets and adhere to the cooler surface. (Rain works on the same principle just many many times bigger)

So when the air in the room is warmed by our bodies, it is drawn to the cooler surfaces like the windows and exterior walls and condensation forms. On windows it is obvious when this happens, they mist up, on walls it is much harder to detect and can over time seep into the plaster and brickwork if left alone.

There are a number of ways to deal with condensation, one option is to increase the heating in the home, make sure all the radiators are on in all the rooms, even the ones that are not used constantly, the best way to keep rooms warm enough to avoid condensation is to keep low background heating on all day, even when there is no one at home. This is very important in flats and bungalows and other dwellings where the bedrooms are not above a warm living room. Otherwise install suitable thermostatically controlled heaters where necessary (do not use paraffin or flueless bottled gas heaters for this purpose). The thermostats will help control heating and costs.

Remember to provide background ventilation at the same time. Dehumidifiers will help dry out damp in newly built houses. They can also help reduce condensation but they are of limited use in cold damp rooms.

Another option is to make use of moisture absorption products. The majority of these make use of moisture absorbing granules and are small enough that they can be placed in troublesome areas like window sills without being intrusive and work constantly while the granules are viable. The biggest advantage they have is that they are inexpensive and can generally be refilled once they have reached saturation and are portable.

We stock a large variety of moisture control products and their associated refills, Click HERE to be taken to the product page where you will find the right one for you.

Other options include:

Produce less moisture:

Cover pans
Dry clothes outdoors
Vent your tumble dryer to the outside
Avoid using paraffin or flueless bottled gas heaters

Ventilate to remove moisture:
Ventilate all the time, especially when someone is in
Increase ventilation of the kitchen and bathroom when in use and shut the door
Ventilate cupboards, wardrobes and blocked chimneys

Insulate and draughtproof:
insulate the loft
draughtproof windows and external doors
consider cavity insulation
consider secondary glazing
find out if you are eligible for a grant or other help

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