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  • Writer's pictureMark

Condensation Chaos

Updated: Feb 2, 2023

Water causes the most damage to buildings! Even above fire!

Most people are interested and surprised to learn this.

That dripping gutter you meant to fix ten years ago – seemed like a minor problem, but left unchecked it can cause a lot of damage to a structure because the slow drip drip drip has been chipping away at the building and causing all sort of unseen damage like rot, decay, paint peeling, etc. This year (winter of 2022 going into 2023) UIL has received numerous calls regarding damp and water ingress. Most times the customer has believed water has come in from the heavy rain we have been having. A lot of builders will be happy to provide solutions such as roof repairs, repointing, brick sealant, new gutters, camera inspections of the cavity wall to look for blockages, etc, etc, and whilst these can sometimes be the solutions a lot of the time the first (and cheapest) place to investigate is how the inhabitants of the building are using the spaces. Is clothes being dried inside, pots on the boil without lids, mechanical ventilation (fans/extractors) being used in bathrooms and kitchens, windows open (ventilation), heating switched off (due to the energy crisis), more working from home since Covid?? The detective work and fault finding process can begin …

What is important is to figure out where the water is coming from; a lot of the time it is internal (i.e. not caused by rising damp or rain!). One way to begin to analyse this is installing a number of cheap hygrometers in your home. These are small cheap devices to measure moisture levels in your home. By positioning them in various rooms (hall, landing, living room, bedrooms, but not steamy rooms like kitchens and bathrooms) you can measure the moisture levels in the rooms at different times of the day. For example you may find condensation on bedroom windows in the morning – this has come from the occupant sleeping and water vapour is produced through breathing overnight.

With this data recorded patterns will emerge and it can provide further detective work to track down, manage and solve the water/condensation problem.

It is very difficult to say what normal levels should be expected as every home is different and used in a different way, but in the winter generally speaking if your humidity level is around 70% this is certainly very high. 60% is high but to be expected if drying clothes indoors – open your windows and get a good airflow through the rooms with the high reading. 40-50% would probably not produce any problems of condensation or damp.

Of course, with the current energy crisis homes are being heated less which will further exasperate the problem, one solution is to increase the insulation in the loft. For a no obligation quotation please get in touch here or WhatsApp on 07971461101

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