How to combat Condensation –
Whilst undertaking an monthly inspection of residential conversion works in Dunstable this week, DMP were requested by the client to inspect an adjoining property that had been constructed by others 18 months earlier.
Our surveyors inspection established multiple roof leaks at ground floor and first floor with some latent defects.
In particular it was noted there was a heavy build up of condensation to windows throughout the property and the tenant was drying wet clothing on an airier adjacent to a radiator at first floor level.
Specialist advice from DMP:
Condensation occurs mainly during cold weather, whether it is raining or dry. It appears on cold surfaces and in places where there is little movement of air. Condensation forms when warm moist air and steam are produced and the warm air comes in to contact with, and condenses on, a cold surface before it can leave the building. It can be found in corners, on or near windows, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards.
There is no immediate or easy solution but occupiers can be responsible for balancing the three main factors, which are Heating, Ventilation and Moisture.
Moisture reduction can assist cutting condensation in five easy steps:
- Cover pots and pans and do not leave kettles boiling.
- Avoid paraffin or bottled gas heaters.
- Try not to dry washing on radiators.
- Dry washing outdoors on a line, or put in the bathroom with door closed and window opening/extractor fan on.
- Tumble driers must vent outside.
Ventilation of your home without making a draught can reduce moisture:
- Keep a small fanlight window ajar when someone is in the room.
- Windows fitted with trickle vents ensure always left open.
- Ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when in use opening windows wider and ensure extractor fans are in operation.
- Close kitchen and bathroom doors when rooms are in use. This will prevent moisture reaching other rooms, especially bedrooms which are often colder and more likely to get condensation.
- Don’t block air vents.
- Allow ventilation behind drawers and wardrobes.
- Where possible, position wardrobes and furniture against internal walls.
What not to do
- Do not block permanent vents.
- Do not completely block up chimneys.
- Do not draught proof rooms where there is condensation/mould.
- Do not draught proof windows in bathrooms/kitchen.
- Do not tamper with any ventilation/extraction unit and ensure always operational.
Heating and Insulation
Ensure adequate heating and insulation to help reduce moisture as follows:
- Ideal temperature for living rooms including kitchen/bathroom is 19-22 degrees Celsius and 16-20 degrees Celsius in bedrooms.
- When not at home temperatures not to drop below 15 degrees Celsius to avoid condensation and increased humidity levels.
- Its important not to heat up cold bedrooms in evening by opening door of heated rooms. The warm air and humid air will condensate on cold walls.
Follow the above points and condensation will not be a problem in your home. However, remember that a balance between these factors and you may need to experiment until the problem is resolved.
Contact the Energy Saving Trust 0800 512 012 as grants are available for insulation or new heating system for example.