Improving insulation, double glazing and draught proofing can reduce the natural ventilation in properties.
This lack of ventilation can result in high levels of humid air becoming trapped inside a building, which can become condensation and eventually lead to mould growth. Through our specialist partners we offer convenient and cost effective solutions for condensation dampness:
What is Condensation
Air can only hold a certain amount of moisture ‘water vapour’ – the warmer the air the more it can hold. If this air is then cooled by contact with a cold surface (a window, mirror, metal window frame or even an outside wall) the air temperature is lowered and the vapour becomes water droplets – condensation. The point at which the air cools enough for the water droplets to form is known as the ‘dewpoint’.
Everyday activity like cooking, washing, bathing or even just breathing releases moisture into the air. An average family of 4 can generate approximately four pints of water per person a day. Years ago this stale, humid air would have escaped through poorly insulated lofts and draughty ill fitted windows and doors. However, today’s energy saving measures (wall and loft insulation and double glazing etc…) now leaves few natural routes for this stale humid air to escape.
Condensation is usually a seasonal problem, most noticeable during the colder winter months. Obvious places condensation can appear – apart from windows, are cold walls and floors. Sometimes it can occur in hidden areas such as roof voids or suspended floors. Timbers in these particular areas may become susceptible to rot problem
Most properties will suffer from some condensation dampness over time. However it becomes an issue if it is persistent and leads to other tell-tale signs such as:
• Damp walls with blistering paint
• Damaged and peeling wallpaper
• ‘Musty’, damp odour
• Black mould growth
Mould growth, usually black mould (Aspergillus niger) is usually associated with condensation problems. It frequently forms along window edges, skirting boards, floor/wall and wall/ceiling junctions as well as behind furniture, on decorative surfaces (especially wallpapers) and occasionally soft furnishings, carpets and clothes. In fact wherever there is condensation mould growth will eventually occur.
If the dampness leaves a ‘tidemark’ on the surface there may be another cause such as water entering through rising or penetrating damp , faulty plumbing or loose roof tiles.
How to stop CondensationThere are several steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of condensation becoming a problem, however they may not be practical all of the time:
•Avoid drying clothes inside on radiators or in front of fires
•When cooking – cover pans, don’t leave kettles boiling and use an extractor fan if possible
•Ventilate bathrooms and kitchens, keeping doors closed when they are in use
•Try to maintain a constant low level background heating, helping to ensure no rapid temperature changes and keeping wall surfaces warm
•Having windows open to keep a property well aired and ventilated is not always practical. At night the priority is to keep warm and open windows are not energy efficient, they can also be a security risk.
If the above measures do not help to resolve the condensation problems adequately, there is a more permanent and convenient solution.
Positive Input Ventilation (PIV)
The system works by delivering fresh, filtered and clean air into a property at a continuous rate, gently ventilating it. The humid (water saturated) air is displaced without the need to open any windows. This method dilutes high levels of humidity and other airborne pollutants, significantly lowering or eliminating surface condensation and dampness – the main cause of mould growth.
Heat accumulates at the highest point of a building, with roof tiles often acting as solar collectors that radiate heat into the loft. A PIV unit situated within the loft space redistributes this dry, warm loft air throughout the property. The heat – which would otherwise be lost at ceiling level, when distributed through the property can reduce space heating costs by approximately 10% over a year.
The positive input ventilation solutions offered will help to eliminate condensation and mould problems, creating a healthier environment. The products also come with a 2 year parts and labour warranty.
For more information on condensation and mould solutions or to arrange for a survey of your property for condensation please call on Tel:01442-240-567