Ventilation: An Effective Way to Deal with Dampness and Condensation

According to a study conducted by the World Health Organisation, “In Europe, an estimated 10–50% (depending on the country) of the indoor environments where human beings live, work and play are damp. Too much moisture makes a home stuffy and gives it a faint odour. Humid walls create a coldness that makes more heating necessary and increases energy bills.”

This might be news to you, but a larger percentage of people live in damp environments and are probably experiencing a condensation issue. This can lead to range of further issues including health issues (through both damp conditions and Mould), higher energy bills, and damage to the property. This simple problem that is ignored by so many can actually make things worse in the long run. Here are some ways you can address the problem and find out more about it:

How are these issues created?

Damp and humid environments are created in a number of ways, the most common being:

  • Lack of ventilation and air exchange
  • Drying of clothes on radiators
  • Increased ‘air tightness’ of house, mainly through insulation
  • Increased periods of activity within the property

The activities mentioned above all end up producing water vapour being released into the air. This increases the humidity levels, which in turn increases the chances of condensation, damp and mould.

Are you experiencing these issues?

Here are some common ways of analysing whether you are facing these issues and if your property is actually damp:

  • Condensation forming on windows and walls (primarily external walls in the corners)
  • Mildew and/or black mould forming on
    • Windows
    • Walls- Mainly external walls and in the corners
    • On clothes
    • Behind furniture against a wall
    • Within furniture such as wardrobes and cupboards
  • Musty odours around the property
  • The property feeling colder than it actually is

How can you solve these issues?

The best way of dealing with these issues is to increase the ventilation rates of a property, which will lower the water vapour content in the air. You can do this by using an intelligent, humidity controlled ventilation system which has proved to be the ideal solution for controlling the humidity levels within a property.

Whilst installing a ventilation system, the location of units needs to be considered as well. This problem tends to occur most in the area where water is used extensively, that is the kitchen and the bathroom. Hence, it is best to locate mechanical ventilation systems in these areas.

Another area where we fail to recognise the use of a ventilation system is the bedroom. During an 8 Hour sleep cycle, an average adult releases in the region of 200ml of water vapour into the air. The release of this amount of water vapour can lead to condensation forming on windows within the bedroom and potentially mildew and mould over a prolonged period. By installing passive vents within a bedroom area, you can minimise the effect of the water vapour released throughout the night.

Another measure to be taken is to kill and remove any mould or mildew growth, which will further drastically reduce the chances of any regrowth of the mould.

 

Measures to prevent or reduce moisture are the main way to limit the development of mould (and any microbial) growth:

Without sufficient water vapour – no mould!

 

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