22 Jan How To Reduce Condensation In The Home?
Condensation is caused by warm moisture-laden air then hitting a colder surface, in turn causing the water vapour to condensate and turn return to a liquid form. This water then sits on the surface it has landed on, or drips down towards the floor if the surface is vertical such as a wall. Condensation causes a variety of issues in a property, some of which are bad for your health like toxic black moulds. It’s therefore important that we properly manage condensation in our homes and properties. We see many more instances of condensation occurring in the winter as we set our central heating systems to come on more often and have the windows shut, trapping in the moisture.
In the UK, it is estimated that around 20 percent of all properties suffer from condensation issues of some description. These properties face issues such as mould and deterioration of timber and decorative finishes. However, we actually see a great deal of properties with condensation issues so the figure could well be higher. If you are suffering, you are not alone it is a very common problem to face!
Where Does Condensation Come From?
In our day-to-day lives we produce a large amount of water vapour through normal activities. In our homes, these activities include:
- Boiling the kettle
- Cooking food
- Hot water taps
- Hot showers and baths
- Washing machines
- Tumble dryers
- Drying racks
How Do I Stop Condensation In My House?
Here are some top tips for reducing humidity in your property. Many solutions are lifestyle based, but it is also important to remember that a property needs to work for you too. Longer term condensation solutions are available and allow you to fit solutions and forget about them as you go about your day-to-day business condensation free!
Quick Fixes – Lifestyle top tips for reducing condensation
These solutions will help to reduce the amount of water vapour, humidity and condensation in your home through simply tweaking your lifestyle. They can drastically help with the situation but often a more permanent solution can be best for you and your property.
Dry clothes outside
The average load of clothes can contain up to 2 litres of water! So if you are drying your clothes on a rack or clothes horse you are potentially releasing up to 2 litres of water into the atmosphere of your home. If this is combined with poor ventilation then you are asking for trouble. Where possible dry your clothes outside to avoid any issues.
Be mindful when using tumble dryers
Using a tumble dryer without proper ventilation is a disaster waiting to happen. As with above you will be releasing up to 2 litres of water into the atmosphere of your home but in a much faster period of time than with a drying rack. If you are tumble drying, ensure you have either a condenser kit on the dryer or a vent hose which is extracting air to the outside of your property.
Keep doors closed when bathing or showering
Despite the need to move humid air from the bathroom, it can be best to keep the door shut when producing lots of steam as this humid air will be transported to other areas of your house. More than likely, without proper ventilation, it will find its way to a cold surface like an external-facing wall and condensate.
Make sure fans are running when bathing or showering
If you have extractor fans fitted in your bathroom already then make sure they are working and running a full capacity. To test your fans you can firstly use your senses, can you hear the fan and can you see any movement. Another good way of testing a fans capacity is to place a piece of toilet paper up against the fan. If the draw of the fan keeps the paper tight against it then your fan is working well. If the paper falls to ground, then there may be an issue.
Use lids when cooking
Leaving pan lids on when cooking or boiling water is a simple and effective way to reduce the amount of water vapour you release into the air. Not only this but this is more energy efficient too!
Open windows (only when weather is warmer)
Good ventilation is key to condensation control in a property. One of the simplest and easiest ways of improving air flow is to open windows. However, in the winter keeping windows open will also bring down the temperature of internal walls. This in turn can actually make condensation worse as humid air hits the colder surfaces. Therefore, we recommend installing proper ventilation fans to reduce the need for opening windows.
Keep trickle vents open
Many modern windows will have trickle vents built into them. These can be opened to allow a small amount of airflow in and out of the window without having to open the actual window. This is a good alternative as it will not reduce the temperature of the room so much and is also more secure.
Use a dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers can be useful for reducing the humidity in a property. They draw in excess water vapour from the air. However, they shouldn’t be considered long term solutions or permanent fixtures in your house.
Permanent fixes – Long term condensation solutions
We recommend installing a longer-term solution to your condensation problems as then you can rest assured that your property is in no further danger from excess moisture in the atmosphere. You will no longer have to rely on those who are living in your property to monitor and manage their lifestyles in order to keep humidity and condensation levels at bay. We recommend employing the following solutions together in order to solve your condensation problems once and for all.
- Extraction Fans (bathroom and kitchen)
- Whole house ventilation systems
- PIV (Positive Input Ventilation)
- MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery)
- Improve surface insulation
- Regulate central heating better
For more information on these solutions please get in touch.
How Can We Help With Condensation?
Insitu SCP are one of the most established names in building preservation in the South East of England, with over 40 years’ experience in the industry. We have a team of qualified and friendly damp and timber surveyors who have years of experience in the industry. We can conduct a thorough survey on your property, to spot for any signs of damp or timber issues. We will then produce a thorough written report highlighting any issues that we have spotted. We can also undertake any remedial work to solve the issues, as we have a brilliant construction team on hand. Once any work is complete, we cover it with our 10-year guarantee so that you can rest assured that your property is safe from the dangers of condensation for the future.