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Do I Need A Wall Tie Survey?

Do I Need A Wall Tie Survey?

If you are looking to buy a new home, you might come across a recommendation that you need a wall tie surveys and be left wondering what it actually means. This is also something that might need to be considered when selling a property or if you are living in a house that is built after 1920’s. This is when cavity wall construction became more prevalent in the UK. If you aren’t sure what any of this means, then you have come to the right place. We will explain everything that you need to know about wall tie surveys here in this article to give you a better understanding of what it is all about. 

When the walls of a house start to age, there can be complications that may arise due to damaged structures or those that need updating. This is to make sure that everything is safe and that nothing bad is going to happen. Often when looking at the walls of an older property, a wall tie survey will be carried out, and this will tell you whether or not your wall ties need replacing. To find out more about wall ties and surveys, just keep reading.

What is a Wall Tie?  

A wall tie is actually the part that ties the two leaves of masonry together within a cavity wall. It will also allow them to move independently and to be able to transmit live and static loads across the structure without unpredictable movement. The wall ties that are used in this instance are a vital part of the structure that helps to keep it safe. Wall ties are not often picked up during home buyer surveys, and this is because they are typically quite expensive to repair, which will only add to the overall costs.

Wall ties being installed by Altantis Northwich Cheshire

What is a Wall Tie Survey?  

A wall tie survey is a specialist survey that will be carried out by a trained survey specialist that has experience with wall tie surveys. They will be the one that assesses whether or not the wall ties are still doing an efficient job within the structure and if they need to be replaced or not. The wall ties need to be adequately tying the two leaves of masonry together, and if they aren’t, then they need to be worked on.

Throughout a wall tie survey, the surveyor will be looking at the grade of corrosion to find out if any action needs to be taken. They will determine the severity of the condition of the structure of the wall and decide what needs to be done about it.

They may find that the wall ties need to be replaced in some cases, and in others, they might not. This is a visual inspection that may require more surveying if the wall ties are not functioning as they should. If this is the case, then another type of inspection will be followed. This is to further assess the condition of the structure itself. If the wall ties are found to be inadequate, or they have started to break down, then it is likely that a replacement will be recommended. 

Types of Wall Tie Surveys 

There are two different types of surveys that can take place during a wall tie survey. These two types of surveys are intrusive and non-intrusive wall tie surveys. Typically, the surveyor will begin a non-intrusive survey if they can see inside the cavity using a thermal camera or endoscope. They will then be able to locate the wall ties and assess the condition of them. 

An intrusive survey is typically carried out when either the cavity cannot be exposed, meaning that the wall ties cannot be inspected, or the wall ties are found to be inefficient during the first survey. This is usually necessary when the wall ties are covered or not visible using the proposed methods. This type of survey will require that the bricks be removed from the wall in order to expose the wall tie. This will allow for a visual inspection to be carried out thoroughly. 

In both of these surveys, each panel will be inspected, allowing the surveyor to locate all of the ties within the wall. They will be able to look at them and determine whether or not they need to be replaced.

Do I Need a Wall Tie Survey? 

You might find that you need a wall tie survey when you are buying a new house, especially if it was built a long time ago. This is to ensure that everything is safe and structurally sound. In older houses, certain types of metal ties are more susceptible to rust and will start to degrade, which causes them to no longer be able to do their job properly. More often than not, the survey is nothing more than a precautionary measure that is in place to double-check that everything is safe and secure. However, in some circumstances, there may be defects that could cause a problem. This would mean that the wall ties would need to be replaced. The survey itself shouldn’t take any longer than around an hour.

 

What if My Wall Tiles Need to be Replaced? 

There are a variety of reasons why your wall ties might need to be replaced, but it is commonly due to them being badly placed when they were first put in. It is not unheard of them to have been misplaced, causing them to become inadequate over time. If you are living in a coastal area, you are more likely to need to have your wall ties replaced. This is due to the fact that in coastal areas, the corrosion of the wall ties is more likely, and therefore is more important to be inspected. 

The failure of wall ties, which can leave structures unsafe and at a high risk of collapsing. For these things to be avoided, inspection is necessary. If you are told that your wall ties are not correctly doing their job, then they will need to be replaced. You should only ever go to a reliable professional if you need to get your wall ties replaced.

Contact Us

 Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want/need a wall tie survey. Sometimes it’s obvious your cavity wall ties need replacing, but sometimes it’s best just to get a professional’s opinion for peace of mind.

Can I claim on my Home Insurance to fix my damp?

Can I claim on my Home Insurance to fix my damp?

Damp can affect any property of any age and there are many different types and causes of damp but ordinarily the costliest to resolve tend to be rising damp, followed by penetrating damp. 

Whilst rising damp is a problem that can affect any property it is the least common form of dampness found in properties compared to the other types of damp (penetrating and condensation). 

While rising damp can affect any property, it is more commonly found to affect older properties that do not have a damp-proof course in place or has one that has become damaged over time. 

Unfortunately, the simple answer is that it is more than likely that your home insurance wont cover any damp proofing works you may require. The reason for this is that when you sign onto the insurance policy you normally have agreed that the property is already in good condition. 

Having a damp survey carried out on the property is the best solution to sorting out the problem. This will help you understand the cause of the issue, to see what damp problems your property is affected by, and if any treatments will need to be carried out. 

This information will also help when seeking insurance to help validate any claims that are accepted.

What is Rising Damp?  

Rising damp occurs when groundwater creeps up the walls and/or through the floors of a building by a process known as ‘capillary action’. Building materials such as bricks, mortar and cement are porous, and so they can absorb and draw moisture upwards, just as a piece of tissue paper would if you dangled the end of it in a jar of water. 

The property has no damp-proof course (DPC) inside its walls or damp-proof membrane (DPM) under its concrete floors. Alternatively,  the DPC is place may be damaged – then the water is able to rise up above the foundations of the house and could eventually rear its ugly head in your ground-floor rooms.

Rising Damp in wall in Winsford, Cheshire

This form of damp can also be caused by the external ground level being raised – for example, if a flower bed is directly up against an exterior wall, or an area next to the building has been concreted over or paved. There may be insufficient height to the damp proof course or if the ground levels next to the walls becomes higher than the DPC, it can act as a ‘bridge’ for rising groundwater. This allows it to bypass the DPC. The situation can be made worse if there is inadequate drainage to carry rainwater away from the building.

Defective Ceiling cause by Penetrating Damp

What is Penetrating Damp?

 Penetrating damp is a common issue encountered by property owners, which is more common in properties which have been built with solid wall construction. This is also becoming a common problem in properties which have been built with cavity wall construction where cavity wall insulation has been installed poorly or been introduced in walls which are not suitable for the insulation material. This can allow rain to pass through a cavity wall and cause decorative spoiling internally. 

Penetrating damp can affect your properties ceilings, walls and roofs and it can happen at any level of a property. It is much more common in older properties as they are far more likely to have solid external walls. A newly built property with cavity walls provides properties with much more protection and as a result is less likely to suffer from penetrating damp.

Your damp walls are likely to be a result of property defects. These can be internal and external issues. Some of the most common external issues tend to be issues such as faulty downpipes, defective roofing, defective masonry and leaking gutters.

What Damage Can Rising and Penetrating Damp Cause to Your House?

Rising damp and penetrating damp cannot only provide you with an unsightly stain on the wall but if left untreated it can lead to significant structural damage.  This can occur if the dampness affects the timbers of the property which can lead to wood rot and wood infestation problems. If you are looking to sell the property, then this is going to deter any potential buyers. 

Rising damp and penetrating damp issues do not fix themselves, so the sooner you can get an expert opinion on the root cause of your damp issue, the better.


Claiming for Damage from Damp on Home Insurance

We’re often asked “does house insurance cover damp?”. The answer to this question is most likely to be ‘no’. 

To claim costs for repairs at your house then the damage needs to be caused by one specific event, which rising and penetrating damp don’t tend to fall in to/. This is because damp is generally caused by gradual deterioration in the condition of the building over a number of years. 

There are a few insurers who do offer specific cover for rising damp, however, it is always best to carry out regular property maintenance to ensure that there are no expensive costs for treating rising damp in the future. 

How to fix your Damp Problem

If your home has signs of rising ad penetrating damp then it is best to contact a damp proofing specialist who is fully qualified. 

Fixing the root cause of your damp problem is the only the true way of getting rid of the issue so as not incur expensive costs in the future, which cannot be claimed through home insurance. Contact us now to help ensure the damp problem in your property is properly diagnosed and that you pay a fair price.

 

Do my cavity wall ties need replacing?

Do my cavity wall ties need replacing?

Do I Have A Cavity Wall? 

The first question that you need to ask yourself if the subject of cavity wall ties has cropped up in conversation, or crossed your mind, is whether or not your home actually has cavity walls. Generally speaking, there’s an incredibly easy way to tell. If your house was built before nineteen twenty, it’ll almost certainly have solid walls, and if it was built after that decade, it will have been built using cavity walls. 

However, that question does rely on you knowing, or having a good idea about when your house was built. If you don’t, another sure-fire way to ascertain whether your house has either cavity or solid walls can be done with a quick examination of the exterior brickwork. 

Bricks in cavity walls are always laid lengthways, while the brickwork in solid walls tends to have bricks that are laid both lengthways and side-on. Cavity walls were originally developed, and used, to prevent rainwater from seeping through a building and to help prevent occurrences of damp. The gaps between the two layers of brickwork in a cavity wall are also usually filled with an insulating material to make homes more energy-efficient and far cheaper to heat than buildings that have solid walls.

Wall tie

Do I Need A Wall Tie Survey? 

While it’s a good idea to have a cavity wall tie survey done, there are visible signs that, if they manifest themselves in your home, you should make an appointment to have your home surveyed as soon as possible.  The most obvious visible signs that you at least need a cavity wall survey, and will in all likelihood need to have the cavity home wall ties in your home replaced, are incredibly easy to spot and check. 

The signs of cavity wall tie failure include bowing and bulging of the brickwork in the external walls, vertical and horizontal cracking in the external walls (which can be especially pronounced in the mortar), signs of separation and lifting between the roof lintels and the brickwork of the supporting walls, gaps appearing between window reveals and the brickwork and cracks appearing in the render and plasterwork of your homes interior walls. 

Any, or a combination, of these visible indicators, are a sign that there is a problem with the cavity walls ties of your property, and that you should book a surveyor to make a complete and thorough assessment as soon as possible. 

What Does A Surveyor Look For? 

Surveyors will always check the same external signs that made you call them, and will usually spend some time with you talking about any and all of your property’s significant history before beginning their survey.

 Once they have the relevant information that they need, a surveyor will use a metal detector to locate the positions of the wall ties (which are usually made from steel coated in a layer of galvanized zinc, although it isn’t uncommon to find wall ties made from iron in homes that we built before 1950) with your property.

 After the ties have been located, the surveyor will drill a number of small inspection holes in the mortar close to where the ties are located. These holes are usually no bigger than twelve millimetres wide, which is just large enough to accommodate a borescope, which is basically a camera on the end of a long periscope. 

The borescope will enable the surveyor to get a clear image of the wall ties, which he can then assess based on their condition.  If the ties are still shiny and appear bright under the camera’s light, it means that they won’t need to be replaced and aren’t in any imminent danger of failing. However, if there is significant rust and signs of damage on the wall ties, the surveyor will then discuss with you, at length, what the next steps will entail. 

Why Do Cavity Wall Ties Fail? 

Cavity wall ties are usually made from steel, although iron was also used in a lot of buildings prior to nineteen fifty. Both, when subjected to damp conditions over an extended period of time are prone to corrosion, which can cause them to weaken and make them prone to failure. 

Even wall ties that were layered with galvanized zine can fail as the layer of coating can break down over time and make the ties as susceptible to damage as uncoated wall ties are. 

The location of your property can also be a contributing factor that leads to the failure of cavity wall ties. Properties and homes in coastal areas or which are close to the sea are more prone to wall tie failure, as there is an increased amount of salt in the air which can hasten and contribute to the process of corrosion and failure. 

How Often Should Cavity Wall Ties Be Replaced? 

Before nineteen eighty, all cavity wall ties were expected to last for the lifetime of the building in which they were fitted. However, since then it has become an established fact within the building industry that wall ties are now only expected to last between fifteen and twenty-five years. 

If there are no prominent signs of failure, it is usually recommended that a cavity wall survey is carried out after twenty years and at regular five-year intervals after that if no significant signs of failure have materialized. 

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Cavity Wall Ties? 

The overall cost of having cavity wall ties replaced can vary according to the size, and difficulty of the job that needs to be undertaken. As a general thumb of rule, it costs between five and eight pounds to replace each cavity wall tie, and each square metre of wall usually contains two or three wall ties. 

It should be noted, however, that in addition to replacing the wall ties, there may be other costs that need to be taken into account, such as the hire and set-up of scaffolding that might be needed for the cavity wall ties to be replaced. All of these factors will be taken into account whenever a quote for the replacement of cavity wall ties is requested and given.  

What Do House Surveyors Look For?

What Do House Surveyors Look For?

What do house surveyors look for?

The purpose of a house survey is to determine whether the property has any structural problems, or any repairs that are needed before the house can be deemed suitable for living in.  A qualified chartered property surveyor will study the property, looking for signs of fault and damage.

Examples of typical issues can include unstable walls, subsidence, broken roof, faults with the chimney, signs of damp, timber infestations and rot.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a house survey?

A house survey, also known as a property survey is a detailed inspection to determine the property’s condition.  Such an inspection is put in place in order to find all the faults in the property, and sometimes that can include issues that you may not have even been aware of yourself.

It’s basically a health check for a property.  It’s an important part of buying and selling property, since new home owners will want to be assured that their new home is up to current standards.

The beauty of a house survey is that it can be carried out by an independent contractor, rather than by an organisation that is linked to either the buying or the selling of the property.  That way you can be assured that the survey report will be completely free of bias.

Some house surveys highlight issues with damp and timber, and we’ll give special attention to that shortly.

When should I get a survey?

It’s not a legal requirement to have a survey on a property you are buying.  But it is a very good idea to have one.  They can help you avoid expensive and unwanted surprises, like an unexpected rewiring job or dry rot in your walls.  And on the flip side, it can also give you peace of mind by showing you that those hairline cracks don’t mean the house is falling down.

If you intend to pay for the house by way of mortgage, then your mortgage lender will require a valuation by a surveyor, to ensure that the property is sufficiently good enough to lend against.  The mortgage provider should arrange for a surveyor to value the property within a few days of agreeing the mortgage in principle.

This is often just a superficial survey however, but you can get the survey upgraded, or commission a separate survey.

Although buyers are able to arrange a house survey to be carried out before they put a property up for sale, it just doesn’t happen as often as it should, and it usually falls to the buyer to pay for the survey.

If you have taken a liking to a particular property, and have made an offer, then we strongly recommend that you arrange a survey as soon as possible after the offer has been accepted.

This allows you to make a good, informed decision about whether or not you still want to go ahead and buy the property.

A house survey is particularly valuable if you’re dubious about the condition of the property for any reason, or if it’s an old property, or if it has a thatched roof or is timber framed.

Keys in door of new home

Damp and Timber Surveys

Sometimes your home buyers report will mention issues with damp, rotting timber or timber infestations. The cause and extent of the problem can sometimes be clear for the untrained to see.  But other times it takes a qualified expert to spot potential problems with a damp and timber infestation.  This way you can be assured that any problems are diagnosed correctly. A general surveyor does not have the expertise to correctly identify the root cause of damp and timber issues, which is why they will recommend you contact a member of the Property Care Association (PCA).

Damp surveys can typically take between 3 to 4 hours to complete, but this can be longer, depending on the building.

Similarly, the cost of the survey will depend on the building as well.

Where a damp and timber survey has been carried out, the report will include a sketch plan detailing if any treatment for damp or condensation, damp proofing, dry rot, or woodworm treatments need to be carried out.  Our surveyor will be able to answer any questions that you may have.

Damp report

The surveyor looks at the outside of the property to spot damp ingress.  They will look at the roof and rainwater goods, through to the ground floor level.  And they will look at subfloor ventilation

The surveyor determines whether the property already has an existing damp proof course of some sort, and if so identify the type.  He or she will then look out for high ground levels which may lead to a bridging of the damp proof course

Inside the house, ground floor walls are also profiled for signs of rising dampness. Throughout the property signs of penetrating damp may be observed. The surveyors will use an electrical conductance moisture meter to identify the moisture profile. This helps to identify the root cause as is different types of damp, display different moisture patterns.

The surveyor will also look into the roof void for signs of dampness, fungal decay or beetle infestation.

Timber report

Where accessible, the surveyor may look for potential timber decay in the roof void.  Where permission is granted, carpets will be pulled back on the first floor of the building to be examined for signs of woodworm or fungal decay e.g. dry rot.  In addition to the examination of the timbers, the sub floor void will also be looked at, should permission be granted.

What happens once the survey is completed?

Once a damp and timber survey has been carried out, the surveyor will produce a report detailing the condition the house is in.  This report can take up to 10 days to come through.  A copy of this report is then sent to the conveyancer or qualified lawyer who is handling the title transfer of the property.

If you survey uncovers notable issues, then you can use it to renegotiate the price you’re willing to pay, because you’re not legally bound to buy the property until the point of exchange.  All you have to do is say that the survey has identified issues that you were unaware of when you first made the offer and that these issues cost money to be addressed.

If however, you are happy to proceed, then, once your conveyancer has carried out all the necessary checks on the property, you will be asked to read and agree to the terms of your contract.

Contact Us For a Damp and Timber Survey

If you need a damp and timber survey, contact Atlantis Damp today. As a Cheshire based family business, we pride ourselves on the honesty of our reports. If no work needs doing, we will let you know and when treatment is needed, we will work with you to create the best solutions possible. Our honest approach to the thorough assessment of your property always helps our customers to feel that the options available have been thoroughly explained and that they can have confidence that the correct diagnosis and treatment is provided.

A is for… Anobium punctatum – The Common Furniture Beetle (Woodworm)

A is for… Anobium punctatum – The Common Furniture Beetle (Woodworm)

In this episode of The A-Z of Damp from Atlantis Damp & Timber Proofing Specialists, A is for…… Anobium punctatum – The Common Furniture Beetle (woodworm).

Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists recently sent our timber specialist surveyor to survey a local property near Cuddington in Cheshire. A grand old coach house with the potential to be a dream home, with parts of the property built as early as 1810. All of the rooms were stripped back to the bare brick to allow for a high quality finish and it was clear to see that the owners were not cutting any corners whilst developing their dream home.

How to Diagnose Woodworm

Once the bare brick and roof timbers were exposed the owners asked Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists to come and survey the timbers and offer their expert opinion.

Atlantis can find and then solve your woodworm problemsOur surveyor was able to diagnose the infection by small round exit holes of 1 to 1.5 mm diameter present on some of the roof timbers. He used his expert knowledge to identify if the Common Furniture Beetle (CFB ) was active.

CFB has a breeding season just like many creatures you are familiar with. This is the ‘flight season’ when mature larvae pupate below the surface of your timbers and emerge as beetles to mate and lay eggs. Summer is the season of love, but the period is a bit flexible in houses. This is due to heating and such, so you may get fresh holes anytime between about March, through to September. New holes you see are usually part filled with ‘frass’. Frass is the excrement of woodworm.

Our surveyor also looked for signs such as:

  • any adult carcasses,
  • fresh ejected frass,
  • number and density of the flight holes

After looking for these signs, our surveyor then assessed the risk of leaving the infestation as opposed to treating it. Our examination of the exit holes and the fine bore dust around the holes suggested an active infestation. In addition, we saw that two of the smaller cross beams in the bathroom area were heavily infested and significantly weakened.

Finally, we prepared a detail report containing our diagnosis and recommendations to the Client. Then they confirmed that they were happy to proceed with the work.

What should I look out for in my home?

There are several ways that you can spot and identify a woodworm infestation in your property and these are the signs that our surveyor looked for in the case study above:

  • Small round exit holes– tiny holes may be noticeable in timber suggesting an active woodworm infestation is present. These flight holes are created when the larvae pupate and hatch into adult beetles, boring their way to the surface of the timber to mate and reproduce.
  • Fine, powdery dust– woodworm also often leave a trail of bore-dust, known as frass. This will be noticeable near exit holes as the beetles emerge from the wood. The presence of frass would suggest that the woodworm infestation is active and treatment is necessary.
  • Movement in floorboards / damaged timbers – if you have noticed furniture, flooring or structural timber is noticeably weaker it could be a sign of woodworm.
  • Beetle activity outside of timber– If you notice beetles emerging from timbers, or dead beetles close to the proximity of holes then you more than likely have a woodworm infestation.

How can I tell if an infestation is active or historical?

It isn’t always easy. You could fill any holes with a shoe polish, wait for the emergence season in spring and then reassess the holes to see if the polish s till there. If it’s gone, your infestation is active. Alternatively, you could tape some paper to the beam or timber, again await for the springtime emergence season and then look to see if the frass mentioned above has collected in the paper.

How can you help me?

Remember, don’t panic if you think you see signs of wood boring insects in your home. At Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists we are committed to using our expertise to ensure that we only recommend the works that need to be done. That could be as little as treating a small area of your under stairs cupboard or replacing a floorboard or two in your lounge. The key thing is… don’t ignore it!

If you have discovered signs of wood boring creatures in your home, don’t delay! Contact Us at Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists. Our expert opinion to ensure accurate diagnosis and solutions to your property problem.

Condensation on Walls

Condensation on Walls

Do I have condensation on my walls?

Most of us will have seen condensation appear on windows or glass after an activity like showering or cooking that releases a lot of moisture into the air. However, when condensation then starts to appear on the walls this can be an sign that it has developed from a nuisance into a problem.

If you begin to notice the appearance of damp patches on walls or wallpaper beginning to peel from the wall, this could be a sign of condensation on your walls. This can sometimes be accompanied by an unpleasant damp, musty smell around the room. If left untreated, condensation on your walls can create a perfect environment for various types of mould to begin to germinate. It is recommended that if you see black mould beginning to form on your walls then you should take action.

Why is condensation on my walls?

Condensation can appear on any wall in your property if the air ventilation in the building is not adequate enough. Warm humid air is created through everyday activities such as cooking and bathing. This warm air is then trapped in the atmosphere and ends up finding its way onto the walls and wallpaper. It releases water droplets that can ultimately damage paint, plaster or wallpaper and lead to potential health hazards.  

Ventilation of your property is key to preventing condensation in the property and making its way onto your walls.

As we’ve explained, condensation occurs when conditions are humid. A build up of excessive humidity and moisture is exacerbated by a lack of air ventilation in the building.

Modern living standards, such as double glazing and insulation, can also exacerbate the problem as moisture laden air can not escape your home. They may keep us warm, but they can also seal humid, damp air inside a property. Ventilating your home provides a way for the moisture in the air to escape from your home.

What is Condensation?

Condensation is the change of water from its gaseous form (water vapor) into liquid water.

It mostly occurs in the atmosphere when warm air rises, cools, and loses its capacity to hold water vapour, therefore releasing it into the atmosphere.

It usually appears in the home as droplets of water on the inside of windows or on walls after, for example, you’ve had a hot shower, boiled the kettle or been cooking.

The reason this happens is that warm air, which is full of moisture, comes into contact with a wall or window that is colder. Because the warm air is unable to retain the same amount of moisture, the water is released onto the cold surface.

This can also happen when warm and cold air meet, causing condensation which is visibly formed (think of the puff of cloudy breath that forms when you exhale in freezing temperatures).

Sometimes condensation can be more easily dealt with by removing the sources of moisture or through ventilating the property. However, if it is forming regularly it can develop into damp problems such as black mould, which is a health hazard.

The signs of condensation will usually worsen during cold weather and when you have the heating on in your home and windows closed, whereas other types of damp tend to worsen during wet weather and heavy rainfall.

Six causes of condensation appearing on your wall

  • Boiling a kettle
  • Cooking
  • Taking a hot shower or bath
  • Washing or drying laundry
  • Using an unvented tumble dryer
  • Heating like paraffin and gas heaters

You’ll notice if you’re doing the washing, taking a shower, or making a cup of tea, that the atmosphere may become more humid.

That is because moisture is being released into the home.

Condensation on window

However, as the room air temperature drops, the ability for air to hold moisture reduces.

At this point, the air becomes too saturated, leading to water droplets (condensation) forming on cold surfaces, including the wall and ceilings of your home. This is why you will be more likely to see mould forming on cold external walls. It can also commonly occur at the wall to ceiling junction where insulation isn’t present in the roof space

Problems caused by condensation

If you have problems caused by recurring condensation, you’ll eventually know about them as the signs are pretty easy to spot.

They can include:

  • Damp walls and peeling wallpaper
  • Water droplets on windows or walls
  • Black mould on walls, soft furnishings, bathroom tiles and window sills
  • Decaying wooden window frames, particularly stained and wet corners
  • Musty smells
  • Mildew on furnishings
  • Water droplets on felt and timber in the loft, possibly leading to rot

Can condensation make you ill?

Condensation in itself is harmless, but if left untreated over a period it can cause the kind of damp problems that will have serious consequences on health.

Issues such as damp, moisture and mould are said to not only trigger asthma, but may also cause other respiratory problems such as allergies, bronchitis and even lung disease.

This happens after mould spores enter your nose, which can cause allergy symptoms such as sneezing and coughing.

If they enter your lungs, it can trigger asthma.

Some people may develop a more serious illness known as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis – this is when someone has both an allergic and inflammatory response to mould spores. The symptoms are similar to that of asthma including wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.

How can I improve my home’s ventilation to prevent condensation on my wall?

In some cases, this can be by simply opening a window.

However, there are instances where this may not be enough to resolve the issue.

In that case, advice should be sought from specialists to find out where the root of the problem lies and how the ventilation of your home can be improved.

Opening windows

Often, simply leaving the windows ajar in the rooms where condensation is a problem can help the humid air to escape and prevent condensation from causing damage.

Window with condensation left open

If you don’t want to leave the windows open all the time, try opening them when you’re performing activities that produce a lot of water vapour, like boiling the kettle, showering, or cooking.

When performing these activities, remember to also close the doors to the rest of the house to prevent the humid air from escaping and spreading around your home.

Ventilation systems

If opening windows isn’t enough, or you’re looking for a much more permanent solution to your condensation problem, get in touch with our team of experts here at Atlantis to find out more about our cost-effective ventilation systems.

Just some of the ventilation solutions that may help to rid your property of condensation include:

  • Air bricks – Bricks with holes through them which are installed in outside walls to improve ventilation.
  • Extractor fans – Typically installed in the bathroom and kitchen. Extractor fans are turned on when cooking or showering to remove the steam and humidity from the air.
  • Sleeved wall vents – vents in the wall that improve airflow to ventilate the property with little or no heat loss.
  • Window vents – Vents that are added at the top of window frames to improve ventilation and reduce condensation.
  • Positive Input Ventilation systems – this whole house solution utilised the positive pressure in your roof space, to fore humidity from your home before condensation has time to form.

If you need help resolving a condensation problem in your property, you can give our experts a call on 0800 0988 277.