Moisture is always present in the air around us in different volumes. Condensation occurs when the moisture within the air reaches the dew point and condenses on a surface that is at or below the dew point temperature.

The amount of water the air can hold will depend on the environment temperature and this is known as the Relative Humidity or RH. Warmer air can hold more moisture than cold air but once the air is saturated with water particles, these can be deposited onto colder surfaces when the dew point temperature is reached.

Condensation can appear in several different forms:

  • Cold-bridge condensation
    Once moisture laden air starts to cool, water vapour within the air starts to condense on colder surfaces when the surface temperature is below the Dew Point.
  • Warm-front condensation
    A common occurrence in empty properties, warm-front condensation occurs when warm, damp humid air enters a cold property.
  • Interstitial condensation
    This type of condensation occurs when material is cold on one side and warm on the other. Moisture gathers and then condenses within the material and is often located in cavities within the construction.

Condensation is caused by high relative humidity in the air which condenses when the temperature reaches the dew point. Moisture levels in the air can be increased by anything that exudes moisture. This can be having a shower, running a bath, drying clothes indoors and even boiling a kettle. It is important to know that any human activity will generate moisture as just by being in the room a person will breathe out moisture.

Insulation, double glazing and draught proofing make people’s homes warmer, but this also means that homes are less ventilated. Without proper ventilation, the high moisture levels in the air does not have a way to exit the property and eventually can condense on some surface.

Condensation On Windoww

It is important to understand that condensation is simply a type of damp. Condensation is often a seasonal issue with properties. In winter, windows and doors are kept closed to keep the heat in the property but this can also lead to a build-up of moisture in the air which can cause condensation as the cold outside can reduce surface temperatures. The condensation problems will often disappear during the summer months as properties are kept well ventilated by keeping the windows open.

When it comes to damp problems, most frequently used terms such as rising damp or penetrating damp are referring to structural defect that allows moisture to penetrate your property and affect the interior of the property from the outside. Note that if your property is affected by one of these damp issues, condensation is likely to follow as any pre-existing damp issue will increase the internal air moisture levels and cause cold spots on the wall.

If you are sure that your property is ventilated adequately, but you are still experiencing condensation issues, we can carry out a survey of your property and specify a specialist solution. Our damp specialists can specify efficient extractor fans or Positive Input Ventilation systems to increase air ventilation within your home.

Positive input ventilation - condensation solutions

Did you know that drying just one load of washing can release two litres of water into the air?

Make sure to check white goods such as tumble dryers, washing machines and dishwashers are properly ventilated along with the rooms they are in. Where possible, dry your clothes outdoors.

Cooking food most evenings? Try and keep the kitchen door closed to other parts of the house and ventilate the kitchen to remove the high moisture in the air due to cooking. If you do not have one, consider investing in an extractor fan. Once you have finished cooking leave the extractor fan on and open a window to ventilate the area. The same applies for when running a bath or shower.

This type of condensation occurs when the water vapour in the air condenses within the thickness of the material and not on the surface. Moist air, driven by differing air pressure permeates through wall, roof or floor construction and travels across the fabric. Once the moisture reaches its dew point, it starts to condense within the fabric. This is less of a problem within specially designed cavity walls but can cause issues if the cavity is filled with cavity wall insulation. This can result in penetrating damp issues or affect cavity wall ties in older properties as they can start to rust.

Dehumidifiers are helpful to dry out rooms that are needing to be dried out once the source of the moisture has been rectified. If you have damp walls, then you are more likely dealing with a property fabric defect along with rising or penetrating damp. We recommend asking a specialist to survey your property to locate the source of the problem and solve the root cause of the damp issue.

damp dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is limited in what it can do to prevent condensation and mould if the source of the moisture is not fixed. Rather than tackling the symptom, it is more effective to tackle the problem at the source to prevent further damage and costs.

Most people think that condensation and black mould are two different problems, while the truth is that mould is simply a symptom of condensation. If the room is affected by black mould, this is one of the most recognised symptoms that the room is affected by condensation and action is requires to eliminate the condensation from affecting the area.

If you notice black mould, mildew or condensation signs within your property, try to heat and ventilate it more frequently. If you see that these issues continue to persist, then consider contacting a damp specialist, who will be able to identify the source of the excess moisture or property defect causing the damp problem and offer and effective solution to rectify the condensation and damp issues affecting your property.

Richardson & Starling Customer Reviews

Let’s Discuss Your Property Issue

Contact your local branch for advice or a property survey.
Local Branch