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Condensation Solutions

When looking for solutions to resolve a condensation and mould issue, it is key to tackle the sources of moisture in the air.

This can be as simple as opening windows throughout the day, turning on extractor fans whilst cooking, and drying clothes outside rather than inside. For more serious condensation and mould problems however, professional mechanical solutions may need to be considered such as installing ventilation systems.

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Tips & solutions for minor condensation and mould issues

For minor mould and condensation problems, this can normally be resolved through simple lifestyle changes. Activities such as cooking, drying clothes inside, using the tumble dryer, showering and even breathing, release moisture into the air. To help manage (and ideally remove) some of the moisture from these activities, try to keep your property well ventilated by opening windows. 

In terms of removing minor mould growth, this can often be improved through the use of DIY products such as mould sterilising sprays and the use of anti-condensation paints or additives that can all be purchased online or via your local DIY store. However, please note, that unless you address the excess moisture issue within your property, the condensation and mould issue will return.

Tips to stop condensation 

Condensation solutions - Help for Homeowners - PCA

Condensation, heating and improved ventilation

Improved heating and ventilation coupled with specific action in relation to cold spots will usually result in a significant improvement in conditions. A modest but constant background heat is preferable to intermittent heating since this will help to maintain a higher average ambient temperature in the fabric of the building.

If you have central heating, set it to provide background warmth in ALL rooms including any unused rooms.  Use the heating system on a regular balanced cycle with all radiators working in all rooms, especially during colder periods.

For those that do not have central heating, consider the installation of suitable thermostatically controlled heaters where necessary. However, do not use paraffin or bottle gas heaters for this purpose.

It is worth highlighting however, that simply heating the air is unlikely to be a satisfactory condensation solution, both in terms of cost and practicality. Unless there is sufficient background ventilation with efforts made to reduce excess moisture and rectify cold spots, heating is unlikely to resolve your condensation and mould issues. 

Alternative solutions to heating and ventilation

An alternative solution to heating and ventilation for the control of condensation moisture in the air is a dehumidifier. This is a device which draws in air, cools it to remove moisture which is collected in a reservoir and reheats it to an acceptable temperature before re-circulating it.  Depending on the efficiency of the dehumidifier, these can both be costly to purchase and expensive to run.  

It is also worth noting that dehumidifiers are very much a short term fix and are typically not considered as a long term solution to the problem.

 

Condensation solutions - Help for Homeowners - PCA

Condensation - installing extractor fan - PCA

Extractor fan solutions for condensation

The installation of a suitable ventilation system in areas of your property that produce the most moisture (& condensation issues) such as the kitchen, bathroom or en-suite; will help remove the majority of this moisture-laden air within these areas with minimal running costs. 

There are many different types of extractor fans available such as those that run continuously in the background or those which incorporate a humidistat which will control the operation of the fan within certain humidity limits. It is also possible to install fans that have an integrated heat exchanger and these have the advantage of providing effective ventilation while reducing heat loss from the property. It is very important that these types of fans are professionally specified and commissioned by a suitably trained and qualified specialist.

Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) System

PIV systems have become increasingly popular since the 1970s due to its ease of installation within existing buildings. These systems work by continually diluting, displacing and replacing indoor air with filtered, low moisture, external air from either the loft roof spaces or an external source into a central position, typically a hallway where possible. 

PIV systems can be used in conjunction with extractor fans, especially where wet rooms i.e., ensuites are accessed via other rooms. They are available in two varieties:

  • Loft mounted: can benefit from solar gain
  • Wall mounted: where there is no loft void to install them

Condensation - positive input ventilation systems - PCA

Sometimes, it is simply best to speak to a professional

As much as there is a variety of condensation solutions above, sometimes specific properties can have unique issues that simply need more investigation and consideration.  In addition, sometimes there needs to be combined solutions to help resolve the issue. 

If it is the case you have tried some of the solutions above, or you simply want to try and resolve the issue as soon as possible, then we would suggest that chatting to a qualified ventilation and damp specialist is a good starting point to resolving your issue. You can find one by using our ‘our search tool below’.

In addition to the industry leading dampness & ventilation knowledge that our PCA members are equipped with, all installations are commissioned and registered in compliance with building regulations and government standards. All contractors working under the PCA banner have been vetted and assessed to ensure that they are capable of surveying properties and identifying the appropriate ventilation solution to resolve excess moisture, air quality and condensation problems. 

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