How to Stop Condensation
Condensation is a form of dampness in buildings that occurs when moisture-laden air comes into contact with colder surfaces.
Condensation is most commonly associated with mould growth as it provides mould with the water that it needs to grow. However, dampness caused by condensation can also lead to other moisture-related problems such as dry rot in timbers.
This page looks at remedies that can be taken to reduce or eliminate condensation in buildings. Useful information on diagnosis and causes of condensation can be found on the following pages:
How to Reduce Condensation
The most straightforward measure that can be taken to help deal with condensation problems is to reduce the amount of moisture that gets released into the air of the affected building.
In practice, however, there is usually only limited scope for reducing the amount of moisture that is being produced in a building. This is because modern lifestyles tend to produce large amounts of moisture from cooking, breathing (high occupancy rates per m2), washing, showering, bathing, etc…
Nevertheless, practical measures that can be taken to reduce moisture production include:
- Ensuring that tumble dryers are vented outside the building
- Drying clothes outdoors
- Consider keeping lids on pans when cooking
- Fitting eco shower heads (reduce amount of moisture produced when showering)
- Avoiding the use of paraffin or flueless gas heaters
Due to the fact that scope for reducing the production of moisture is usually limited, two other primary measures usually form the core of any condensation control strategy. These are improving ventilation and improving background heat.
Control of Condensation
The control of condensation is based on two very simple primary measures, supported by a number of secondary measures.
Primary Measure 1 – Improve Ventilation
Improving ventilation help to will sweep away the internal moisture-laden air and replace it with drier air from the outside (yes, external air is drier than internal air most of the year!)
Simple measures such as periodic opening of windows can help to improve ventilation. However, mechanical ventilation such as Extract Fans and Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) should be considered. These can provide a more consistent level of ventilation, particularly during the winter months when condensation problems are at their most severe.
Primary Measure 2 – Improve Heating
Coupled with ventilation, heating should be set or applied to give a low-level background heat. This will ensure no rapid changes to the environment, and will facilitate slight warming of wall surfaces over a period of time, thus reducing the risk of condensation.
Measures to improve the insulation of cold surfaces can also be effective when combined with a degree of background heating. The Ultrotherm system provides a simple method of improving the insulation of walls and window reveals – resulting in higher surface temperatures and reduced condensation risk.
The primary measures described above can be supported by a number of secondary measures designed to deal with condensation and its symptoms. These might include the use of dehumidifiers or the use of a mould-resistant paint.
Dryzone Mould-Resistant Emulsion Paint is a premium quality paint which prevents mould growth for a minimum of 5 years. Treating mould growth caused by condensation is often impractical or expensive. The Dryzone Mould-Resistant paint offers an inexpensive, long-lasting alternative to conventional condensation cures. The paint is quick drying, fully washable once cured and compatible for overpainting on all known paint finishes.
Dealing with other forms of dampness affecting the building (e.g. rising damp and penetrating damp) can also assist in dealing with condensation by improving the thermal properties of the fabric of the building (building materials have a higher thermal resistance when dry than when wet).
In situations where a condensation problem is persistent, it may be necessary to employ the services of a professional company to correctly diagnose the factors causing the condensation problem and implement measures to control it. If you would like a quote from a professional company in your area that offers a condensation control service, please contact our technical department on 01403 210204 or submit an enquiry.