Condensation can occur in any home, new, old and listed buildings. If it happens occasionally, you may not be too concerned about it. But excessive and regular condensation on your windows or walls may well contribute to much bigger problems such as damp and mould and may cause damage to your home’s infrastructure. If this is the case, then you will need to take some remedial measures.
What is Condensation?
If you’ve ever spent time in a bustling kitchen, you may notice that the windows get steamed up. When warm air meets cold air it causes condensation to form. This generally occurs more often in the winter when your home is more enclosed, the heating is on and there are relatively high levels of humidity, like cooking.
Checking for Condensation
On areas like windows, condensation is simple to spot. You’ll see small droplets of water and mist forming. Walls can also attract condensation and if you put your hand to them you will feel the dampness. You may even notice small spots of damp forming in certain areas of the house.
When condensation in areas like the walls and ceiling are left unchecked it may lead to the development of mould which will appear as small black spots or stains. Apart from looking unsightly, this can also have health implications if you have someone who is very young or elderly living in the home.
Stopping condensation is relatively easy, thankfully, and you can choose between some or all of the following combative options:
Open a Window
The simplest way to combat condensation is to increase air flow by opening a window. This is generally what people do when cooking – if you find you have a recurring condensation problem in renowned trouble areas like the kitchen and bathroom, just make sure that you open a window when you cook, or after a shower or bath, even during the winter. Let the steam escape and you may well solve your condensation issues.
Install a Vent
Opening a window is not always possible or desirable. If you have a part of your home that is prone to condensation, especially during the winter months, you could consider a range of different vents.
These can be fitted into windows, walls, chimney vents or in the roof depending on the design of your home and where you need the extra ventilation. The disadvantage is that these can cause heat loss from your home when they are left open which can add to your fuel bills. They also can be costly to install.
Buy a Dehumidifier
Should you have only one or two areas where you are suffering from condensation, a good solution may be to invest in a dehumidifier. These take the moisture out of the air which makes it far less likely that you are going to get condensation build up. Dehumidifiers have the added advantage of being portable and can be moved from room to room as and when you need to.
Heating and Insulation
Another aspect to look at is your heating and insulation, particularly if you are having condensation problems with rooms below the loft. Turning down the heating can cut back on condensation, but you might also have a problem because you lack adequate loft insulation that is allowing cold areas to develop in your home. Adding some extra insulation in the loft can solve the problem.
Finally, try not to leave rooms that you don’t use regularly closed up. A little airing once or twice a week by opening a window or two can certainly help reduce condensation problems.