Dealing with excessive condensation

Air on the side of caution!

Over the months gone by we have had ample opportunity to swing open our windows and doors and air out our homes.  As we drift through autumn hopefully we will not have to batten down the hatches just yet, however, as temperatures plummet we will be reluctant to let in too much fresh air if any!

Everyday activities in our homes like washing and cooking create moisture which is released into the air.  The rooms that can be prone to excessive levels of moisture and steam are usually the bathroom and kitchen.

Within your home the air can only hold a certain amount of water vapour – the colder it is, the less it can hold.  When this air reaches a cold surface like a mirror, wall or window, the water vapour turns into water droplets which results in condensation.  You will notice this when perhaps your mirrors or windows mists up.

Without sufficient ventilation in these areas, you may experience condensation problems.  This may present itself with flaking ceiling or wall paint or perhaps as a black mould.  This damp created by condensation can also cause damage to timber windows and plasterwork.

Not only is this black mould unsightly on your ceilings, walls, furniture and curtains but research has found that it can be particularly unhealthy, contributing too many allergic and irritant symptoms.

Depending on the scale of the problem, you may have to consider installing an extractor fan.  With upstairs bathrooms, if your attic above is not fully insulated it may be contributing to the problem as the bathroom ceiling may be too cold.  To reduce the likelihood of excessive condensation you should focus on the following:

  • Produce less moisture.
  • Ventilate well to remove moisture.
  • Heat and insulate your home.

In order to treat affected areas you will need to remove any mould or fungal growth.  Once the surface is completely clean and dry you should scrape away any loose plaster or flaking paint.   You should then make good the area by filling and then sanding smooth before painting.  Finally, using a suitable foam roller or synthetic brush apply two coats of an anti-condensation paint and to complete – over coat with your chosen colour.

Let’s just say when it comes to mould – prevention is most definitely better than cure!

MaintainingClodagh Doyle