Condensation is a form of damp, and like all other forms of damp, it is dangerous to your health and your environment. The good news is that it can be recognised easily and that it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to fix the problem; as a matter of fact, with a little bit of studying it can be turned into a do-it-yourself project. That’s if you bother to study the problem and understand the causes of condensation, of course. Without the proper understanding, or if the problem is wide-spread, it may be necessary to seek professional help. Here’s how to deal with condensation in your home – and when to call in the experts.
What is condensation?
Condensation is formed when hot air (inside your home) gets to touch colder surfaces. The water vapour in the air cools down and become water droplets, which then seep down along walls and other materials, slowly but gradually destroying and seeping into various surfaces. It destroys the materials and becomes a wet spot, which becomes a breeding ground for mould and bacteria that then spread through the house.
What can be done about it?
Several things can directly affect the amount of condensation you have in your home. The first is limiting the water content (humidity of the air inside), which can be accomplished with a dehumidifier. However, often it’s not necessary to go that far – often simpler (and healthier solutions) can be implemented.
Improve ventilation. Improved ventilation promotes an even air temperature and reduces condensation because the air doesn’t have time enough to touch colder surfaces. Simple vents are an economical solution.
Consider insulation. Insulation prevents the hot from meeting the cold, and therefore reduces the formation of condensation. When walls are well insulated, less condensation will form.
Let the fresh air in. This doesn’t mean that you should open your doors and windows on a cold, damp winter day, of course – but during warmer days the new, fresh air can carry the excess moisture out and refresh your home.
You know you’ll need to call in an expert when the problem comes from multiple causes, such as a combination of excessive condensation gathering at the windows, inadequate ventilation and too many heating/cold sources clashing on certain elements due to lack of insulation. When quick fixes aren’t available, it’s always best to consult the experts so the problems can be properly identified and remedied with the experience, knowledge and long-term view only the professionals can manage. You should begin by requesting for timber and damp reports for your home so you have a better idea of what steps to take. So take a look around your house, and see what can be done. It’s time to get rid of that health hazard.
Image attributed to lobster20/FreeDigitalPhotos.net