Monday, November 21, 2016

Condensation in households

Condensation affects many households which are poorly heated and insulated in the UK, especially in winter. When the house is not heated up correctly, it has a lot of cold surfaces which allow moisture in the air to collect. This condition increases the dampness in the building and the risk of staining as well as mould growth, which damages window frames, wall surfaces and furniture. Mould growth is closely related to health problems such asthma, infections and other allergenic diseases.

What causes condensation?

Condensation occurs when the room is not insulated correctly, so that moisture in the air condenses on cold surfaces, especially window frames and inner walls of the room. You can see this condition easily after shower when the mirror in the bathroom gets steam on it or when you blow air to a mirror which has a lower temperature.

Where does the condition occur most often?

Condensation
image credit: freedigitalphotos.net
This condition affects more in bathrooms and kitchens, where moisture is produced easily by taking showers and cooking. And cooler wall surfaces inside a room are also very vulnerable when moisture is transferred there easily.

You should pay more attention to the following areas, for example cold surfaced mirrors, single-glazed windows and metal window frames. Poorly heated rooms with cold corners, or walls behind furniture are equally vulnerable. Sometimes you can see the condensation when water drops condense on metal window frames, but at other times, this moisture has been absorbed into the walls and black mould patches appear after a certain period of time. It will create health hazards if you don't remove them immediately.

How to solve the problem?

While structural dampness is mostly affected by weather conditions and causes damages to the building, you can solve the condensation problem in your flat by just changing your behaviours inside your room.

You cannot avoid moisture from being produced when you take showers in the bathroom or cook in the kitchen. But you should try not to produce excessive moisture, for example try not to dry your clothes inside the flat. If you really need to do so, please turn on the heater and heat up the room correctly. After taking a shower, ventilate the bathroom by opening the window and closing the bathroom door for a moment. But it is not so convenient to open the windows all the time in order to avoid moisture from escaping to other rooms, especially in the winter. To reach a better balance, a good ventilation system for the flat is a good consideration.

You should also check for black mould patches from time to time and remove them with special detergents. During steaming and cooking, try to close the saucepan, use a high power ventilator or an extraction fan. And remember to close the kitchen door during cooking and steaming.

Condensation condition occurs seriously when the room is under-heated and poorly insulated. Try to insulate the rooms better and avoid cool external wall surfaces by using effective insulated windows and keep the room temperature not lower than 15 degrees at all times.

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