Condensation Control in London South West
Damp Proofing London SW : Condensation Control In London South West & Solutions
On the right hand side of this page you can see photos of extreme cases of black mould on various jobs we undertook which required condensation control in London South West.
Condensation is one of the most common causes of dampness in buildings which can often lead to the appearance of mould growth. It is the presence of water condensed on walls, ceilings and other cold surfaces which support mould growth.
Throughout the UK the living conditions of a large majority of the population have been adversely affected by condensation. Its occurrence together with the subsequent mould growth has been the largest single complaint received by local authorities during the past twenty years.
The problem of condensation, particularly in dwelling houses, is very much a problem of today and results from a series of relatively simple, totally invariable conditions, and is directly related to standards and methods of heating, ventilating and insulating buildings.
Condensation in a building usually occurs when warm air comes into contact with a cold surface. The air is cooled below its saturation point causing its excess water vapour to change into liquid water. The condensed water usually appears as water droplets or water film on non-absorbent surfaces such as windows or tiles. This form of condensation is SURFACE CONDENSATION. It is obvious and always occurs on the surfaces which are at or below the dew point of the air immediately adjacent.
The more moisture present in the air the greater the contribution of water vapour to the total pressure of the air referred to as vapour pressure. Air inside a heated building usually contains more moisture than does the external air.
Condensation is a great problem because the high moisture content can often go undetected for long periods until serious structural damage has developed such as timber decay. It will also render ineffective any insulation within the component where it occurs.
Causes of Condensation
In dwelling houses condensation is related to modern living standards, economic pressure and change in building design.
1. The main cause of condensation is naturally the generation of moist warm air by domestic activities. Moist air can come from cooking, bathing, washing and drying clothes as well as paraffin heaters and flueless gas heaters – up to 17 litres of water can be produced daily in some homes . Usually in certain areas such as bathrooms and kitchens where moist, warm air can then spread to cooler parts of the house to condense on cold surfaces.
The effect of moisture generation is further aggravated by the way houses are ventilated – it is theoretically possible to avoid condensation by adequate ventilation. Up to about the late 1960’s there was natural ventilation in many homes because of the lack of double glazing, poorly fitting windows and doors, open fire places. Present attitudes have eliminated natural ventilation by the use of double glazing, draught excluders, fitted carpets (preventing air movement up through suspended wooden floorboards) and the removal of open fire places with the introduction of central heating.
1. Many houses remain unoccupied and unheated throughout the greater part of the day, allowing the fabric of the building to cool down. The moisture producing activities are then concentrated into a relatively short period. This sudden increase in warm air can produce condensation as the air comes into contact with the relatively cold structure which is still warming up.
2. Economic Pressure – dramatic increases in fuel prices force many occupiers to under use heating systems, not heat unused rooms and seal all draughts and reduce ventilation as described previously.
Background heating is often provided by flueless gas and paraffin heaters as a way of trying to heat and save costs. Excessive quantities of moisture are produced from such heaters. For every litre of paraffin burnt over one litre of moisture vaporises into air.
3. Due to changes in building design – many dwelling houses now have central heating systems where open fire places have been removed, thus reducing natural ventilation.
Windows without controllable ventilation became popular and permanent ventilators were not used in rooms without a flue.
Modern changes in roof design, including elimination or overhanging eaves and lowering the pitch, also reduced ventilation and increased the likelihood of condensation.
Condensation control in London South West
Damp Proofing London SW offer solutions for your problems – condensation control in London South West and other London areas. We offer a comprehensive range of products to control condensation such as extractor fans, heat recovery ventilators, positive pressure units, air-bricks and passive air vents.
Contact us for condensation control in London South and other London areas
Any condensation problems? For condensation control in London South West and solutions call Damp Proofing London SW on 08448 841 757 or 07552 949 123.