Condensation is arguably the leading cause of damage to plaster and decorations induced by dampness. If left untreated, it can lead to a number of unfortunate (and costly) problems. With condensation season currently in full swing, it is important to remain mindful of the associated potential dangers. From mould growth to rot, and from peeling wallpaper to lingering unpleasant odours, property owners and tenants alike need to keep themselves informed. Since Peter Cox is an expert in the fields of damp proofing and condensation control, we thought it only fair that we should round up our top five tips on how you can manage these issues, whether you’re looking to remedy an existing problem or prevent a problem from occurring at all.
When the weather is colder, we tend to keep our windows and doors closed to retain heat. This has the unfortunate side effect of preventing moisture from escaping a property, which will ultimately lead to mould growth. Moreover, air that is unable to circulate will become stale and stagnant, which will only serve to exacerbate conditions in areas which are already contaminated. Peter Cox Dry Air Whole House Ventilation units draw fresh air from outside before quietly and effectively circulating it around the building.
Minimise Interior Moisture
Everyday activities such as cooking, bathing and drying clothes indoors all produce moisture. This, coupled with the typically higher indoor temperatures that we all prefer during the autumn/winter months, creates humid conditions that are ideal for mould growth. To help combat the problem, we advise that you take the time to remove any excess moisture from surfaces (window sills, walls, tiled floors etc.). The Peter Cox Thermosave fan and Peter Cox filterless extract fan are perfect for bathrooms and kitchens, where moisture producing activities tend to be concentrated. With the Thermosave fan valuable heat is recovered resulting in up to 75% of the heat that would normally be lost, being recovered.
Maintain Warm Interior Temperature
As temperatures drop outside, most of us will turn to our indoor heading systems for comfort. While we appreciate that it might be tempting to utilise short bursts of heat as an when it feels necessary, with a view to saving on energy costs, these fluctuations in air temperature can sometimes aggravate the spread of mould as condensation forms in a ‘cold temperature cycle’. Maintaining a constant warm temperature throughout your property is a much safer way to go in the long run.
As we’ve established, maintaining a warm indoor temperature is a great way to reduce condensation in the home. The better-insulated your property is, the easier it will be to retain this warmth, which will help to keep energy costs low. Keeping the heat in is also important because it will prevent surface moisture from cooling too much, which in turn will lessen the amount of condensation even further. Good insulation is especially paramount on external walls. Poorly filled or partially filled insulation can create voids in the cavity where rainwater can collect and in turn may result in cavity wall tie erosion (for more information, see our cavity wall tie repair page).
Treat Cases of Wet Rot & Dry Rot As Soon As Possible
One of the most severe effects of long-term damp is the onset of wet rot and/or dry rot. These are fungi which attack both the structural and decorative timber of a building, making them incredibly dangerous. Common external faults to look out for include defective and leaking rainwater gutters and downpipes, poor pointing and blocked air bricks which lead to condensation under the floor, and internally symptoms to look out for include the sudden appearance of abnormal fungi growths, as well as shrinking, darkening and cracking of any visible timber. Treatment of wet and dry rot outbreaks varies from case to case. If you suspect an attack on your property, Peter Cox will arrange a free consultation, explain the issues and options, and propose a clear strategy for solving the problem permanently.
The true danger with condensation is that, since it is such a common occurrence, it can often go unnoticed until it has given rise to much more severe issues. By that point, much of the damage may have unfortunately already been done. We hope that these tips will be enable you to keep any household condensation issues under control, but don’t worry if not, we are here to help! Peter Cox Ltd offers a full range of services, including toxic mould treatment, replastering and basement waterproofing. To arrange a free consultation, contact us today.