We’ve all been there. We wake up, open the curtains and that dreaded film of condensation covers our window, perhaps having dripped down onto a favourite book or photo frame. It’s an infuriating and widespread problem in the UK and yet it is one that is relatively easy to eradicate once and for all.
Condensation is caused as the air comes into contact with a colder surface, such as a window or wall. When this happens the warmer air cannot hold onto its moisture and so water is released onto the colder surface, leading to the droplets we know as condensation.
In addition to this, condensation is also likely to become a problem where airflow is restricted, like behind heavy furniture or inside dark wardrobes. This can lead to a pervasive musty smell and the growth of black mould on the walls, furniture and even on your less worn items of clothing. Such problems are not solely the domain of period properties and whether you live in a flat, bungalow or large detached property you can be affected by condensation.
The majority of severe condensation episodes happen in winter and when you open your curtains to find your windows smothered in the pesky wet stuff it is a sure sign of an underlying issue that must be addressed. If left unresolved you could soon have rotten window frames, black mould and it can even begin to impact on your health, not to mention your wallet!
One detrimental impact of our drive to become greener, more energy conscious and insulated in our properties is that through improved draft-proofing, double glazing and the closing of chimneys etc. we have increased the relative humidity of the air inside our properties.
For clarity’s sake, here are some of the most common signs of condensation:
• Streaming windows
• Damp patches on walls (look in corners and behind furniture)
• Peeling of wallpaper
• Little black dots around the window frames
• The appearance of black mould
• Mildew, a musky smell or mould on soft furnishings
Addressing the issue of condensation will have a positive impact on the health of inhabitants and the risks associated with not dealing with condensation are many, but include:
- Detrimental impact on health through black mould and humidity
- Time-wasting of housing maintenance workers addressing the same recurring problems
- The financial impact of dealing with the issue time and again
- Damage to property and possessions
- Unpleasant musty smell that can be very hard to mask.
There is no need to become accustomed to condensation. It is a problem for so many and yet it is not insurmountable, rather there are simple solutions. The longer the condensation is left unresolved the more expensive the work to address it will be.