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Cold evenings are back, which means it is the start of the new condensation season which typically occurs between September and April. For homeowners in the winter months, condensation can be a significant problem as the external air temperature falls, the moist air reaches a dew point causing it to cool and create condensation on cold surfaces such as windows and external walls.

We have provided some useful information about condensation and the problem it can cause, whilst including ways in your home to control and prevent condensation and the severe black mould that accompanies excessive humidity.

Why does condensation occur in the home?

As temperatures drop in cold climates condensation is more likely to cause problems, which occurs when moisture in the air forms water droplets on cold surfaces like windows or outside walls. The moisture in the air comes from a number of sources within the home, including cooking, bathing, breathing, washing and drying clothes. A five person household can generate about 10kg of water every day.

What are the problems caused by condensation in the home?

Excessive condensation can lead to extensive mould growth, which therefore can lead to unhealthy and unpleasant living conditions, as well as damaging furniture and clothing. Condensation can sometimes occur within the structure of a wall (interstitial condensation) leading to damp issues.

Condensation dampness is frequently misdiagnosed as rising or penetrating dampness. Correct diagnosis of condensation issues is essential to ensure effective control.

Typical signs of excessive condensation in the home

  • Streaming windows
  • Water pooling on window sills
  • Damp walls with no ‘tidemarks’
  • Damp and mould patches
  • Mould in corners of rooms
  • Mould behind furniture
  • Mildew on clothes & furnishings
  • Musty and damp smells

How to Control Condensation

The key to controlling condensation is to address the imbalance of heating, ventilation and insulation.

Lifestyle changes to reduce condensation problems

  • Dry clothes outdoor or in a tumble dryer. If you must dry clothes indoors make sure the room is well ventilated or use a dehumidifier whilst clothes are drying.
  • Ventilate bathrooms and shower rooms externally during and after use, keeping door closed.
  • Ventilate the building by opening windows, keeping ventilation strips on windows open and using extract fans.
  • Maintain an even temperature within the building. Avoid periods of very high or very low temperatures.
  • Use an extractor fan when cooking or bathing.
  • Wipe off any excess moisture on surfaces before it causes mould.

Building improvements to reduce condensation problems

  • Improve insulation of lofts and cold walls.
  • Re-position or upgrade radiators in cold areas.
  • Upgrade existing ventilation fans with run on timers or humidistat controls.
  • Add ventilation strips to double glazed windows.
  • Fit new passive or mechanical ventilation to kitchen, bathroom and utility room.
  • Fit whole home ventilation systems.

Biocraft is based in Reading, Berkshire, and we offer a full range of condensation control services throughout Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Oxfordshire. We can cure condensation problems in Reading, Newbury, Hungerford, Oxford, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Maidenhead, Henley on Thames, Marlow, Slough, Windsor, Ascot, Sunningdale and other locations within Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Oxfordshire.

Biocraft is a member of the Property Care Association (PCA), the Federation of Master Builders and Construction Line. Biocraft is an approved installer of Nuaire home ventilation products.

Biocraft supply and install all types of home ventilation equipment including passive vents, extract fans and whole house ventilation system. We also test existing ventilation equipment and service Nuaire Drimaster and Flatmaster ventilation systems.

For advice on condensation control or to arrange a condensation survey please call 0800 781 8358 or email [email protected]