Condensation Damp is generally a by product of how we live and can effect walls, ceilings and stored items in cupboards etc., especially leather goods such as shoes and handbags etc. Condensation results in mould occurring and may be more apparent in the corners of rooms, and behind furniture such as beds and wardrobes etc., where ventilation to the surface of the wall will be reduced. Various things that we do on a daily basis exacerbates the levels of atmospheric moisture in our homes and buildings and this has a direct bearing on the levels of condensation damp. Cooking, bathing, showering and even breathing will increase moisture levels in the atmosphere with the average person expelling up to 5 pints of moisture a night just while they are sleeping!
Condensation damp can occur:
- When there is a lack of natural ventilation
- When there is a constant change in air temperature in a room
- When wall surfaces are damp and cold
- When radiators have been used excessively to dry clothes
Basically, air molecules are larger when they are warm and so they can hold more atmospheric moisture. When the air cools the molecules reduce in size and so are unable to hold the same amount of moisture, and therefore deposit the excess moisture on the surrounding surfaces. Visually this can appear as actual moisture and wet to the touch, or as black spot mould. Both can have detrimental affects to the internal finishes and the spores of the mould can manifest themselves on the wall plaster or other surfaces.
Condensation damp can also be a health hazard especially to those who already have respiratory health problems.
Dealing with Condensation
It is important to provide increased and regular levels of ventilation to facilitate regular air changes within a room. If this cannot be achieved naturally by opening windows frequently etc, then some form of mechanical ventilation control should be introduced. This is especially important in areas of high moisture production such as kitchens and bathrooms.
In tenanted properties, landlords will have little if any control over the ventilation management and therefore will look to install an effective ventilation system which operates without the need for any user control. Kenwood ventilation systems are specifically designed for such situations and ensure that the function of ventilation is taken care of, without the need for tenants to be turning fans on / off etc and utilise low energy heat recovery, along with humidity controls etc., to ensure optimum performance.
In all situations however, we recommend that comfort heating levels are maintained along with appropriate occupancy levels.
Unlike Condensation, rising dampness is generally limited to the lower parts of the wall and will not occur on ceilings or above doors and windows.