Robert Horne MD of Damp Detectives discusses the common misconceptions about Condensation and Lifestyle.

What is condensation?

All air contains water vapour in various quantities and its capacity to hold water is related to its temperature as warm air holds more moisture than cold air.  When this warm air gets colder it cannot contain all the moisture and little drops of water appear.  This is called Condensation.

Why is condensation a problem?

The result of excess condensation in the air is mould which is the most easily spotted sign around the house and can be found lurking on walls, ceilings, windowsills and behind furniture.   This mould may be very different in colour such as green, yellow, white or black and can cause varying degrees of health issues if not adequately addressed.

Condensation is a genuine problem, and where it persists it is always advisable to enlist a specialist surveyor in order to identify the cause of the problem and provide the appropriate advice or solutions. Condensation and Mould however are only symptoms of a problem and the key to combatting condensation is to identify the source rather than simply covering up the Condensation.

Causes of condensation

It is easy to blame some primary sources of atmospheric water such as bathrooms and kitchens as a surprising amount of moisture is released into the air through cooking, showering, bathing and washing.  Maintaining a reasonable balance between insulation, heating and ventilation can certainly reduce excessive condensation, however it is not always a lifestyle issue and condensation, during normal living day to day in an average household, should never really be an issue at all.

A much less common form of condensation occurs when the Dew Point is reached within the structure of the building itself, not just on the walls. This is commonly known as interstitial condensation and can very easily be mistaken for penetrating damp or rising damp.  Damp Detectives will be able to assess your property by using a variety of scientific instruments to establish the true source and find the correct ventilation solution for you.

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