Damp & Condensation

When warm air which is full of moisture comes into contact with a wall or window, that is colder than it is, the warm air is unable to retain the same amount of moisture, and the water is released onto the cold surface, this can also happen when warm air and cold air meet, causing condensation to form. This is quickly followed by mould if the temperatures remain warm and condensation is not dealt with immediately.

Causes of Condensation

Through the daily routine of showers, baths, boiling kettles, cooking and drying clothes, a family of four will contribute approximately four pints of water per person a day; this is equal to over 100 pints of water vapour a week, which has to end up somewhere.

When the air contains more moisture than it can hold, it reaches ‘saturation point’. When this point is reached, the moisture turns back into water and condensation occurs. The temperature reached at saturation point is called ‘dew point’.

Useful Info

f you are a tenant and are aged 60 or over, disabled, infirm or receiving benefits you may be eligible for assistance with carrying out insulation, draught-proofing or heating works. If dampness has caused window frames in your home to rot, you can treat the wood with preservatives. 

However, it is important to remember that the only lasting remedy for wood rot is to cure the damp that caused it in the first place.

How to Prevent Condensation

  • Try to keep the inside temperature reasonably constant 

  • Avoid drying clothes indoors

  • Do not dry clothes over any radiators

  • Ensure tumble dryers are properly vented or the condensate is regularly emptied

  • Keep furniture away from walls

  • Do not disable extractor fans

  • Ensure extractor fans are well maintained and adequate

    Many people will choose to open a window to remove condensation within the home, the problem with this is that the weather outdoors tends to have more moisture and a higher humidity than indoors which will cause more condensation problems once you close the window. Having humidity levels of 50% or higher in your home can damage your property and can make allergies and asthma problems worse.