If you’ve noticed damp inside your property, you may be able to tackle the problem simply by opening a window.
Damp is a common problem that all homeowners face at some point. It is particularly common in homes that have large families living in them and it is certainly more prevalent at this time of year.
If you encounter damp in your property, then you may have been offered the simple advice: “Just open your windows”.
But can that really make a difference? Or will you be left shivering?
Is dampness the same as condensation?
The first thing to understand is not all damp problems are equal. So, the cure for one may not be effective for another. The symptoms of mould and other types of damp are different.
While searching for a solution, it’s useful to understand what condensation is exactly.
If a building is affecting by condensation, it means there is problem with moisture, water or condensation forming inside. The moisture-laden air in your home has no way to escape the building. All air contains moisture and the warmer the air is, the more moisture it can hold. As the air cools, usually through the night, it cools and releases moisture into the atmosphere. This is the process of condensation.
You can usually identify if the damp you are experiencing is related to a condensation issue easily enough.
Signs that your property has one include mould growth, a damp smell, peeling wallpaper or a visibly damp wall and droplets of condensation running down surfaces.
What causes damp?
Damp can be caused by all sorts of different factors, making some issues more straightforward to fix than others.
Some of the different types of damp include:
Condensation is a problem caused when warm, moist air meets a cold surface, returning gas to its liquid form and producing condensation. It commonly occurs on windows, but can also appear on cold outside walls, floors and even ceilings. Condensation is made worse when there are high levels of humidity in your home along with poor ventilation.
Rising damp is less common and is caused by ground moisture and salts travelling up from the ground and into your home’s floors or walls by capillary action. It can cause a wet patch to appear on the floor or the lower part of a wall. When present there, it usually leaves a visible tide mark that runs horizontally.
Penetrating damp is caused by moisture seeping into your property from outside, often through the roof or the walls.
It may be caused by many issues such as leaks, poor external brickwork and mortar, external foliage or leaking gutters. You will likely see sporadic patches of moisture higher up the walls . The problem may appear worse after spells of heavy rain.
Generally, condensation is the most common type of damp and the simplest to fix.
Meanwhile rising or penetrating damp can be trickier, and more expensive, to resolve.
Dampness caused by condensation may be alleviated slightly by opening windows in your home, but depending on the extent of the issue, that is unlikely to resolve it.
Rising and Penetrating damp will require work to be carried out by a professional to solve the problem.
Condensation, on the other hand, can be simpler to resolve, depending on its extent.
You may be able to significantly reduce damp problems caused by condensation by taking this one simple measure at home.
Opening the windows to reduce damp from condensation
Condensation occurs when humid, warm air becomes trapped in your home and then meets a cold surface, like a window.
Opening a window allows humid air to escape from your home, thus reducing condensation.
If you don’t want to one ajar all the time, try opening them after you’ve performed an activity that creates high levels of humidity, like cooking or showering.
As well as opening a window, close doors to the rest of the house to stop humid air from moving into other rooms.
Other measures to reduce damp from condensation
Wet clothes: Avoid hanging wet washing to dry inside the house, particularly on radiators, because when you the moisture from them escapes into the air. Instead, put them outside to dry whenever possible.
Dehumidifier: Investing in a dehumidifier can help to draw some excess moisture out the air, but they can be expensive to run.
Temperature: Keeping the temperature inside your home at a consistently low reading throughout the day can help control condensation.
Ventilation systems: If, after following this advice, your home is still plagued by condensation then you may need to add ventilation to your home. This can include the installation of air bricks, wall vents, extractor fans or whole house ventilation systems.
Is condensation and damp dangerous?
As well as potentially causing serious damage to your home over time, untreated condensation problems can also pose a health hazard for you and your family, where toxic mould is allowed to form. There is some scientific evidence that homes with significant condensation issues have been linked to a higher risk of suffering health issues like allergies and other respiratory problems.
If you need help resolving a damp issue in your property, give our experts here at Atlantis Damp a call on 0800 0988 277.