Mould caused by condensation

Background and preventative measures

Condensation is the most common cause of dampness in buildings and affects properties of all types and ages. In particular it is directly associated with black mould growth. Triton offers a comprehensive range of products to control condensation including passive air vents, extractor fans, heat recovery ventilators and positive pressure units.

Effects of condensation

Black Mould growth is often the first visible sign of condensation, usually present on decorative surfaces such as wallpaper. The mould and its spores also cause a musty odour and often give rise to respiratory health problems. When condensation occurs in roof spaces or sub floor areas, timbers in those areas can become damp and susceptible to dry or wet rot.

Mould caused by condensation
Mould caused by condensation

Condensation is more common in the colder months when water vapour levels are higher. It should also be noted that sometimes the problem can occur away from the site of water vapour production. For example water vapour produced in a bathroom or kitchen may diffuse through the house and condense on the walls of a cold bedroom.

It should be noted that Black Mould can only flourish on the pure water associated with condensation – therefore it is not an indication of rising damp.

Primary Measures

1. Improve Ventilation

Ventilation can be achieved by a variety of measures including simply opening the windows, however the most effective method to control local condensation problems is the installation of a powered extractor fan. However, where the condensation is a widespread problem, a more successful approach would be the installation of a positive pressure system. This will draw air in to the roof space, gently push it down in to the property, and cause moisture laden air to be continually pushed out.

2. Apply Heat

A constant low level background heat will gradually warm wall surfaces and reduce the risk of condensation.

Secondary Measures

The following supporting measures may be required in severe cases of condensation: remove excess water sources such as bottled gas heaters; insulate cold surfaces; insulate solid walls and floors; prevent water penetration which may be the cause of cool walls.

Other Useful Measures

1. Dehumidifiers

A strategically placed dehumidifier, to lower the water content of the air, can be very effective.

2. Surface cleansers and anti-mould paints

Surface cleansers or anti-mould washes are an effective short term measure to remove Black Mould from walls and other surfaces.

Anti-mould paints are particularly useful in kitchens and bathrooms or other areas where condensation is often difficult to control and where there is a high risk of mould growth. They must not be decorated over and will remain effective for many years.

3. General advice

When cooking, washing, bathing or drying clothes, keep the door closed and the window open. This will prevent warm, moist air moving to colder areas of the building.

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