This is probably one of the most common types of dampness in your home. As winter arrives, it brings our attention to the dampness and Condensation problems lurking in our homes. Damp patches appear on walls, and a build-up of moisture on your windows and ceiling. It will cause the wallpaper to lift. We must Reduce Condensation In Your Home to prevent ceiling mould.
If this Condensation is not treated, it will lead to mould growth, which is potentially harmful. This can lead to health issues and breathing difficulties.
The reality is that four people living in an average home can create as much as 8 Liters a day of Condensation in your home. We also create condensation by bathing, boiling a kettle, and cooking.
Condensation On The Ceiling
Condensation on the ceiling is not healthy. We need to find and fix the problem as soon as possible. Condensation will eventually lead to mould. As we all know, mould is harmful to the family. If you see moisture on your ceilings or walls, be warned you are facing Condensation in your home. It is time to take steps to prevent further damage asap.
So how can you reduce Condensation in your home?
To avoid mould growth o, one would have to regularly pe down the walls, and ceiling red use a dehumidifier. It is time-consuming and a rather expensive option. The best option is to get rid of the problem rather than try and make a plan to get through winter after winter.
Start looking at Ceiling Insulation like Isotherm Ceiling Insulation or Aerolite. Thermal Insulation will make the home or room warmer, reducing condensation. Also, look at ventilation in the house to allow better breathing. When Insulating your roof, use the correct Ceiling insulation with the recommended R-value for your region. The Western Cape and Johannesburg, and Pretoria R-value 3.70 is very important. Read the insulation specifications page to make the correct decision.
What is Condensation, and How Does it Form?
Let’s firstly define what Condensation is and what causes it. Water in the air as the water settles on much colder surfaces like windows, walls, and ceilings and makes them wet, very much like a glass filled with cold water sweating on the outside.
If moisture is left unattended, this will eventually affect paintwork wallpaper and ceilings.
Like older wooden windows, metal windows are well known for creating more Condensation in the home.
Dampness also encourages the growth of mould spores that thrive in these moist areas. It mostly leads to black sooty mould on windows, and you might also notice mould on walls, even on curtains, where cold has been allowed to build up over time. This will also have a strong odour.
How Condensation Forms
All air contains water vapour the amount of water that the air carries is affected by the temperature of the air. This is called Relative Humidity.
Hot air carries more moisture than cold air. As the air rises, it can maintain a higher volume of water.
Once the air is saturated with water vapour (at any given temperature), it will deposit water beads (Condensation) on any surface that is cold enough. The surface temperature at which this moisture will form is called the ‘dew point. (For example, take a cold glass bottle out of the fridge. The glass will immediately sweat on the outside.’
Most Effective Way to Control Condensation.
In most cases, an insulated roof will reduce the cold in the home. A well-insulated home will retain heat much longer than an unprotected home. So heating throughout the house should reduce Condensation in most homes. If the air in the home is freezing, remember that if the dew point is low, you will have Condensation in the house when there is cold air that meets warm air from breathing or bathing or cooking. If the air is warmer, then there is less of a problem.
Alternative ways to reduce Condensation.
- Washing machines and tumble dryers must be in an area that is well ventilated.
- It is better to hang wet clothing up outdoors to avoid Condensation. If this is not possible, leave doors or windows open.
- When cooking, bathing, or even taking a shower, ensure the doors are closed; this will reduce Condensation to other home areas. Also, look at the extractor fan to remove some of the Condensation.
- When cooking, make sure that you cover your pots and pans with a lid to reduce moisture, ensure that you have opened a window, or use an extractor fan if you have one fitted. Don’t turn off the extractor fan or close the window when you finish cooking. Leave it open for 15-20 minutes afterwards to clear the air.
- If you are taking a shower or bath, make sure that you switch on an extractor fan or open a window. This will eliminate the steam from running warm water in a cold room. It will help reduce the Condensation but will not eliminate the problem.
- Portable gas bottles and paraffin heaters produce a lot of moisture, along with a lot of toxic fumes. This form of heat causes excessive Condensation in your home; it is also a health and safety hazard.
More Ways to Reduce Condensation
- Most homes have dogs and cats as well as plants that produce moisture. If you have fish tanks, make sure they cover them. And when you are suffering from excess Condensation, look to move your plants outdoors as well.
- If you don’t have an extractor fan in your bathroom or kitchen, ensure you wipe down all walls and ceilings after a bath or shower.
- Do not pack too much clothing into bedroom wardrobes, etc. This will help mould growth in these areas. If there is no space for airflow, the clothes etc. will become mouldy.
- For the same reason as above, ensure that your furniture in the room is at least 50mm away from all walls so that airflow can move around the room. Also, put wardrobes against internal divisions rather than the colder external walls to create mould in the clothing. A very musty smell will develop.
- Ensure your home has enough heating as a warmer home will reduce Condensation.
- If a few people use a lounge on a cold day and have a condensation problem remember to open a window to help airflow and reduce the Condensation.
- Insulating the roof space with Roof Insulation and Double glazed windows will make the room warmer, reducing Condensation.
- Ensure your home can breathe. Check all vents and extractor fans, and roof extractor whirlybirds greatly help certain applications.
- These symptoms are listed in the order they are most likely to occur. In other words, in the places most at risk of condensation forming.
Other Areas Contributing to Condensation
- Window condensation – Beads of water on windows
- Pools of Water on the windowsill
- Beads of water on external walls
- Patches of dampness showing on exterior walls
- Damp patches on ceilings
- Another area is damp patches in the corners of rooms
- Damp internal walls
- Black mould on window frames, window recesses and windowsills
- This black mould in cupboards is easily visible
- Black mould on curtains and clothes
- Wet internal walls
- Black mould on carpets – can be a symptom but is more often a sign of penetrating dampness, especially if you don’t have any of the symptoms above.
- Black mould on walls – particularly corners and recesses with little airflow
Is it rising damp or Condensation? Let us look at the rising damp myth; all damp at a low level must be rising damp. Let us be clear here, and it is rarely rising damp. It is usually Condensation, although it can also be penetrating damp. Water is getting in through damaged or shoddily built areas such as a roof leak. Cracks render failed wall ties and damaged brickwork or badly fitted window frames. Rising dampness may occur in certain circumstances, but it is rare in modern housing.
Rising Damp or Condensation – Busting the Rising Damp Myth
Important Questions and Answers on Condensation
Question – Wet walls below 1 Mtr. Is this Condensation or Rising dampness?
Answer – Heat rises, so the lower part of the wall is where the surface is cooler and more likely to suffer from Condensation. Also, water always tries to travel down to the lowest point. So if the Condensation runs off the walls, it stands to reason the lower part of the wall is most affected.
Question – “I have black mould on my external walls and not on the internal walls in the same room, so it must be coming in from outside”
Answer – The interior surface of external walls tends to be the coolest surface in the room, so they naturally attract Condensation.
Question – “My walls are wet, not damp or mouldy, so it can’t possibly be just condensation”
Answer – Yes, it can! There is no such thing as ‘just condensation’. If allowed to carry on unchecked, it can cause major structural damage and damage paintwork, soft furnishings, and clothes.
More Important Facts
Answer: Warm moist air meets cooler surfaces than its dew point temperature. When it meets the cold glass of your bedroom windows, the air cannot hold so much moisture, which condenses. The problem with heating some rooms and not others is that the warm air in the heated rooms will absorb water vapour. And then migrate throughout the house.
The best option is to warm the home and increase the dew point.
Plastic, double-glazed windows can often make Condensation worse because they are airtight. Old metal windows leak air, which has helped get airflow and move out warm condensation air rising. This could be an easier fix because vents are installed above window height.