Due to having a similar appearance, condensation is regularly confused with damp. However, condensation is often caused by everyday living, which makes it a lot easier to control using a few simple measures. At Apollo Damp Proofing Ltd, in Beckenham, Kent, we control condensation, supplying and fitting a variety of ventilation systems to prevent the moisture from appearing inside your home.
Knowing the differences between damp and condensation will help you to determine the actions you need to take. If you wake up in the morning to find that your windows are wet, this is a sure sign that moisture levels are high and condensation is present. When this is left to develop, the moisture will then progress onto walls and all surfaces, forming mould spores and progressing into black mould. The mould spores will become airborne and are responsible for problems with the respiratory system and making us more susceptible to colds.
Condensation forms when the humidity level is allowed to build up. It also occurs when drastic changes in temperature are present, with moisture settling on surface areas where the temperature is much colder than the ambient temperature. This is escalated further when there is no airflow to move the moisture around the room. If left untreated, the moisture can cause severe damage to walls, furnishings, and clothing, and even pose a danger to our health.
The first step to preventing condensation is ensuring that all rooms have adequate ventilation, especially the bedrooms where the most moisture is released into the air while we sleep. Other measures include avoiding drying laundry on radiators and opening windows to let the stale moisture air escape.
Ventilation is a key factor in keeping your home free from high levels of moisture and moulds. The forms of ventilation vary from home to home depending on the building type, construction, and area. Available options include simple air bricks, passive air vents, and, for more extreme cases, electrically operated ventilators. It is important to remember, however, that bathrooms must always have electrical vents to enable good moisture extraction from bath and shower use.
Air bricks are primarily installed in older buildings, as they were the only available ventilation system at the time. They still work well and provide ventilation, but they can also allow damp air to enter as well as draughts.
Passive air vents work much better in situations where condensation issues are present. They allow damp air to escape while not allowing draughts or damp air to enter, thus keeping room temperature at a more normal level.
Bathroom ventilators come in various forms:
The heat recovery unit is the most advanced option but also the most expensive. It will run continuously, working as a two-way system that constantly monitors the air moisture content. The unit moves air around a room while simultaneously extinguishing the stale moisture air. What’s more, the unit also recovers the room temperature in an economical fashion.
The heat recovery unit works very well in areas measuring up to 60sq metres. However, in some buildings where high moisture is present throughout, a system called a positive ventilation system will be more effective. This system can be mounted in a loft space or at the top of the stairs and involves having ducting pipes leading to all rooms.