Condensation Control

Condensation in your home…

An example of severe condensation

An example of severe condensation

The most common form of unwanted dampness in buildings is water from the air that forms as condensation. It is a relatively new problem and is a reflection on our modern lifestyle. On a daily basis we generate large amounts of moisture within our properties via cooking, baths, showers, drying clothes on radiators and even breathing. In years gone by, this moisture would be removed via natural draughts within the property i.e. open fireplaces, ill-fitting windows and doors etc. These days many of us have double glazed windows, UPVC doors and gas fires, draught excluders are used extensively therefore in essence we live in a well insulated environment which whilst being comfortable, has a down side. All the moisture we generate remains trapped in our properties. The result being in many cases “condensation”.

 

The moulds can be black, white, yellow or green in colour and require high levels of surface moisture. Capillary held dampness (such as that originating through rising dampness) is not sufficient to cause mould growth.

 

What are the signs of condensation?

 

  • Water on the inside of windows
  • Water running down walls
  • Black Spot Mould
  • Fungal growths within wardrobes, on clothes or furniture
  • Musty smell (this is caused by the fungus that accompanies the condensation)
  • Bedding feeling damp/cold
  • Feeling like you have a cold when you get out of bed (this is your nasal passage being effected by black spot mould spores)
  • Dampness/mould growths commonly found in corners, near windows, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards

 

Black Spot Mould
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Regular cleaning away of mould is vital. To remove mould, wipe down walls with fungicidal wash which carries a Health & Safety Executive approval number. Follow manufacturer’s instructions precisely which will provide longer term prevention. Never use bleach on black spot mould. This will worsen the problem in the long term!
Black Spot Mould is also known as Aspergillus niger or Cladosporium spp.

 

How to help prevent condensation

 

It is quite difficult to prevent condensation occuring in your home. You should aim to reduce moisture levels in the property to such a level that it doesn’t cause problems. There are several ways you can contribute to this yourself

 

– Avoid drying laundry on a radiator or an airer. If you do need to do this, try to ventilate the area. A good option is to put the clothes on an airer with a dehumidifer in the room, which will take the moisture out of the air. If you wish to order a dehumidifer from Marsden Damp Services Ltd please contact us.

 

– Make sure tumble driers are completely vented through an external wall or open window

 

– Keep lids on pans and use a hood extractor if you have one.

 

– Use an extractor fan in the areas that create the most moisture, your kitchen and bathroom. A lot of standard fans are poor quality. We can supply and install top spec fans, which are detailed below.

 

– Where possible, put free standing furniture against internal walls (which are not as cold as external). The bigger gap the better, so air can circulate around the room.

 

– Don’t over fill cupboards, as there will be a lack of air circulation.

 

– Provide moderate and constant heat in your home, which helps avoid cold surfaces.

 

– If you still have condensation problems, it’s time to let Marsden Damp Services Ltd get involved.

 

Marsden Damp Services Ltd methods of controlling condensation

 

We have several methods of condensation control. We are able to create an effective system using a combination of several of the products detailed below.

 

Positive Input Ventilation

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Positive Input Ventilation Units offer a cost-effective, whole home ventilation with intelligent heat recovery for homes with lofts. There is also a compact version for homes without lofts.

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They are mounted in the loft space, then draw air through filters and inputting it into the property.

 

They are extremely cost effective to run, and create a fresh and healthy indoor environment. They introduce fresh, filtered air into the home at a continuous rate, encouraging air movement in the property, and causing movement of air from inside to outside. The damp air in your property will be replaced with good quality fresh air. This results in an environment where condensation cannot exist.

 

Constant Trickle and Boost Fans

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It is important to eliminate as much of the moisture as possible. The two areas we generate the most moisture are the kitchen and bathroom. Most either have fans which are not good enough, not turned on, or have no fans at all. The moisture generated in these rooms then has no where to go and remains in the property.

Our constant trickle and boost fans are the most effective in the market. Not only because of their power, but also because they do what they say – they constantly trickle, and then boost up when necessary. They are also extremely quiet.

 

Heat Recovery Units

 

Heat recovery units work by combining supply and extract in one unit. Areas which generate high mositure content, such as the kitchen and bathroom, have air extracted from them. The heat from this stale air is recovered via a heat exchanger, and this tempered air delivered into the living areas of the home.

 

One Way Ventilation

 

We can supply and fit one way airbricks, to provide one way ventilation. This allows warm moisture laden air to leave the property via an airbrick (usually located at high level, as warm air rises) however as it is one way, it does not allow any air from outside the property to enter, therefore does not create any kind of draught or cold spot.

 

Depending on the size and the nature of the problem, we would recommend either one of the above or a combination to tackle the problem. You can be confident that we are experts in condensation control.

 

Treating the Mould
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Once the condensation problem is under control, it’s time to tackle the mould.

 

After a lot of research, we have found what we believe is the most effective products on the market for mould cleaning and prevention. If you wish to discuss the products with us please don’t hesitate to contact our office.
To clean the mould, sterilise the affected area with fungicidal wash following instructions. Leave for half an hour to allow the solution to do it’s job. Wash off with soap and water using a sponge.

 

You can then carry out any necessary redecoration.

 

To prevent mould growing, make sure there are adequate measures in place to control condensation in your home.

 

What harm can mould do?

Mould can be very damaging internal surfaces and be the cause for a lot of expensive redecoration. It can damage clothes and furnishings, such as suede and leather. It can also cause decay in window frames and suspended timber floors.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.