Condensation is the most common reason for tenants and homeowners reporting damp in their properties, the main cause can be attributed to poor ventilation, heating and insulation which can present extreme problems such as staining and mould on walls, window frames, furniture and clothing. This inevitably leads to negative effects on health and wellbeing of the occupiers. So what prevention methods can be put in place?
Condensation is mostly a problem in cold weather – whether it’s raining or dry. It appears on cold surfaces and in places where there is little air movement such as in corners, on windows, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards.
Mould growth is caused by excess moisture due to condensation through, for example, cooking, showering and drying clothes indoors where there is poor ventilation. Leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors or rain seeping in because of damage to roofs or around window frames are other causes.
The following are the optimum conditions for mould to thrive:
- Moisture (e.g. water leaks, humidity, cooking)
- Oxygen in the air
- Mould spores already present
- A food source for the mould spores (e.g. rotting food, paper, wood, cotton)
- Darkness (mould can’t grow under ultraviolet light)
- Warmth (mould can’t grow in freezing temperatures)
- Enough time (most moulds can begin to grow in 24-48 hours if the conditions are right)
If your home is damp for any of these reasons it may take weeks of heating and ventilation to dry out. You also need to address the cause of the problem to stop it coming back and damaging your home even more.
There are many recommendations on how to prevent condensation, these include:
- Keep lids on saucepans while cooking
- Tumble driers should be vented to the outside
- Avoid the use of bottled gas and paraffin heaters, which produce high levels of vapour
- Dry washing outside when possible
- When creating steam in the kitchen/bathroom open windows and close the doors to these rooms. This will let moisture escape and prevent it from spreading through the house
- Increase ventilation throughout the house
- Try to keep temperatures in all rooms above 15 degrees C
- Do not draught proof kitchens and bathrooms
- Move furniture away from external walls to allow air circulation
Improving ventilation within your home is the process of “processing” or replacing air in any space to provide high indoor air quality (i.e. to control temperature, replenish oxygen, or remove moisture, odours, smoke, heat, dust, airborne bacteria and carbon dioxide). Better ventilation will also remove unpleasant smells and excessive moisture, introduce outside air, to keep interior building air circulating, and to prevent stagnation of the interior air.
Ventive™ concentrates on the importance of fresh air and have pioneered a device which works using natural buoyancy: hot stale air rises through flexible ducting installed inside the chimney/wall cavity through a single hole installed above any disused fireplace. This air passes through a low pressure drop heat exchanger and loses its heat to incoming fresh air which sinks through the heat exchanger and enters the room pre-warmed. On top of the heat exchanger is a specially designed roof cowl which serves to capture the wind to add to the driving force of the device.
Because the heat exchanger has a low pressure drop, there are no narrow constrictions to keep clean or any horizontal surfaces to collect dust. The device is maintenance free and there are no moving parts to replace. The efficiency of the Ventive is comparable with mechanical systems but since it works at atmospheric pressure (balanced ventilation) using no power, the energy and cost savings are far greater. Ventive™ is quick and easy to install (often under one hour per unit or ½ day per house) and there is no making-good or redecorating work required.
- One hour to install
- No power or plumbing needed
- No moving parts
- Maintenance free
- No visual impact – internally or externally
- Heat recovery over 95%
- Designed for easy retrofit
If you are interested in finding out more about our products, contact us via email or call the team on 0208 560 1314.