Not All damp problems are caused by rising damp.
The form most common for unwanted dampness in buildings is water from the air that forms as condensation. This Condensation may lead to black or grey mould, damp clothes and an unhealthy environment in your home.
The air in buildings can have a higher level of relative humidity due to the occupants’ activity. Examples of this are cooking, drying clothes, and, yes, even breathing. When this water-loaded air contacts cold surfaces such as windows and cold walls, it can condense, causing water to be deposited. The point at which water held in the air changes from vapour to liquid is called the dew point.
Condensation In Colder Months
Condensation is most associated with poor heating and ventilation in buildings. It is more apparent in the colder winter months, as the external air temperature is low and exterior walls and windows are cold.
The usual events are as follows:
- Cold air enters the building
- The air is warmed for the comfort of the occupants
- The warm air takes up moisture
- The warm, moist air makes contact with cold surfaces, walls, windows and is cooled below its Dew Point
- Condensation occurs as excess water is released.
Walls in bathrooms and Kitchen areas where moisture levels are usually at their highest tend to be worst affected. Areas like solid external walls, un-insulated solid floors and cold bridges such as concrete or steel lintels set in cavity walls are the location commonly where condensation occurs.
Properties, where heating is used intermittently, can exacerbate condensation problems as this allows warm, damp air to cool, reducing the capacity to hold water. As a result, dew points are reduced, thus allowing condensation to occur. When air is reheated, water is taken back into the air to be deposited when the temperature drops again.
Air Brick and Core Drill Ventilator
Condensation Problems and Solutions
Improved Heating and Ventilation coupled with a specific action with colder spots will usually result in a significant improvement in conditions.
The installation of extractor fans in the moisture-producing rooms of a property such as a kitchen, bathroom, and en-suites will help remove the large proportion of this moisture-laden air from these areas with minimal running costs. These installations are a requirement within the Building Regulations for new properties being built while also applying to existing buildings.
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