During the winter months, many properties suffer from damp and mould growth due to condensation.
Air can hold moisture - the warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold. If moist air is cooled by contact with cold surfaces, such as walls, windows or mirrors, the moisture condenses into water droplets, known as condensation.
Mould often occurs because of condensation. It appears as pinpoint black spots, usually on the side surfaces of external walls, in corners and in poorly ventilated spaces, such as behind cupboards and wardrobes.
The control of condensation requires a combination of sufficient heating, ventilation and insulation.
By introducing low level heating, the temperature of internal surfaces will rise and will reduce cooling of any moisture-laden air, as a result, the amount of condensation.
Ideally, low level background heating should be continuous, as any short bursts of heat may not result in a suitable rise in surface temperatures.
Thermal insulation, such as loft or cavity wall insulation, draught proofing and double glazing, will help to reduce the amount of heat lost from a property. This will not only help keep internal room temperatures higher, but will also help to keep fuel bills down.
Adequate ventilation is essential to allow moisture-laden air to escape from the home before condensation occurs. Extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom can prove very effective in reducing condensation, especially when fitted with an effective humidistat control.
In extreme cases, try the following:
Mould-inhibiting paints and sprays can also help to reduce the effects of condensation.
Check the following:
This type of damp is called penetrating damp, and generally leaves 'tide marks' and mould growth around the area of defect.
Housing Standards Team
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