It was a summer like no other that we won't soon forget, but as September approaches and the nights get shorter, our focus is once again on warming up our homes. But at the same time another problem appears: condensation and mould. Condensation is seasonal and coincides with the arrival of the colder autumn and winter months.
Condensation occurs when warm, moist air meets a surface (or air) with a lower temperature.
Most of us have experienced condensation in our property at some point and it is estimated that 25% of homes in the UK have ongoing problems with condensation, damp and mold, according to a report by the UK Estate AgencyBritish Center for Moisture in Buildings.
What is condensation?
Condensation occurs when warm, moist air meets a surface (or air) with a lower temperature. When the two temperatures meet, the warm air loses its ability to hold moisture, and the moisture it can no longer hold is deposited (condensed) on the cold surface.
Why is there condensation on my windows?
Double and triple glazing reduces condensation on windows by keeping the surface temperature of the glass warmer. However, windows are still generally cold surfaces and therefore attract condensation. This does not mean that condensation only occurs on windows. Moisture condenses on other cool surfaces, especially adjacent wall surfaces and level ceilings.
What causes condensation?
There are four main factors that cause condensation:
- There is too much moisture in the house
- Insufficient ventilation
- cold surfaces
- House temperature
Although it is generally accepted that older buildings that are cold and drafty are more prone to condensation and damp, this is equally common in more modern buildings and well-insulated new builds. When we improve the insulation and airtightness of our buildings to make them more energy efficient, we inadvertently reduce ventilation and limit the building's ability to 'breathe'. Less ventilation traps moisture and increases condensation in better insulated buildings. In fact, condensation is now recognized as the most common form of moisture in buildings and is the cause of this phenomenon in our newer and better insulated buildings.
Of course, condensation can affect any property, regardless of age, market value, or private ownership or rental. Prolonged condensation can lead to the formation of black mold and a host of potential health consequences, from itchy eyes to breathing difficulties to asthma and even the lung disease allergic aspergillosis.
What causes too much moisture in the apartment?
Cooking, washing, drying clothes, bathing or showering and breathing! That's right, our breathing alone can produce several liters of fluid per day. In fact, an average family of four can generate around 14 liters of liquid per day!
An average family of four can generate around 14 liters of liquid per day!
Take back control
After all, knowledge is power. An easy way to take back control and get kids involved is to install a hygrometer, an instrument that measures temperature and relative humidity. This will tell you when the humidity is outside of the optimal range. The ideal relative humidity for health and well-being is around 40-50%.
A hygrometer that shows temperature and relative humidity. The ideal relative humidity for health and well-being is around 40-50%.
Damp conditions provide an environment where dust mites multiply easily. Excessive condensation can lead to various moisture-related health problems such as asthma, bronchitis and allergies. Black mold on walls and ceilings can leave their marks. These can easily enter the body through inhalation. These allergens can cause unpleasant physical symptoms, from itchy eyes to difficulty breathing, including asthma. In the worst case, they can cause the lung disease allergic aspergillosis.
What are the solutions for high humidity, condensation and mold growth?
The solutions fall into two categories; Behavioral changes and mechanical or product-related interventions.
A simple behavioral change can greatly reduce the build-up of moisture in your home and minimize the risk of condensation. However, as our homes become more insulated and airtight to improve energy efficiency, there is an increasing need for mechanical or product intervention to control residual moisture. Ultimately, even the most conscientious anti-fog chaser will still create moisture through their daily activities, which can cause problems in our modern airtight and insulated homes.
How can I lower the humidity in the apartment by changing my behaviour?
There are several simple steps you can take to reduce indoor humidity and minimize the risk of condensation.
- Avoid drying clothes indoors near heaters or in front of fireplaces. Dry clothes outside or use a well-ventilated tumble dryer.
- In the kitchen, cover pans when cooking, turn off electric kettles and use a hood to remove excess moisture. Keep the kitchen door closed when cooking or washing.
- Keep bathtubs and showers short in the bathroom, and use a hood to vent excess moisture outside. Keep the bathroom door closed when bathing or showering.
- Keep vents clear of obstructions and leave window openings open year-round for a constant flow of fresh air.
- Open doors and windows regularly to ventilate your home, and leave interior doors open when you are not washing or cooking or when you are out during the day to improve ventilation.
- Try to maintain a constant low background heat to avoid rapid temperature changes, keep air circulating, ventilate your home and keep wall surfaces warm.
Is there another way to ventilate my house and increase the surface temperature of my walls without increasing my energy bill?
Nice of you to ask - this is where mechanical and product intervention comes into play and we'll look at two options below -Breathaplasta ultra breathable lime plasterIVentiv PVHR. Both are passive ways of creating healthy, energy-efficient homes without the use of energy-consuming mechanical ventilation and without the hassle of ongoing maintenance.
Check your walls. are you cold Maybe they are even wet?
If your walls feel cold to the touch, chances are your home is not properly insulated. In the case of a poorly insulated wall, the heat is quickly directed outwards, so that the wall remains cool in relation to the room. If the wall is well insulated, it creates a barrier that prevents heat from escaping to the outside. This means that the wall retains the heat and feels warmer.
Increasing the wall surface temperature is an effective way to reduce condensation, moisture and mold, and there are many ways to achieve this.
Breathaplasta is a simple, inexpensive product intervention to raise the surface temperature of your interior walls and prevent condensation and mold. At just £3.50 per square metre, Breathaplasta is on average three times cheaper than installing cavity wall insulation and around 30 times cheaper than installing external wall insulation (EWI) per square metre.
Breathaplasta is a very simple and very cheap way to prevent condensation and minimize the risk of mould.
Breathaplasta works in three ways:
The fine biomaterial incorporated in the plaster has an insulating effect and raises the surface temperature of interior walls.
This insulating effect makes them feel comfortably warm and reduces heat loss, so less heat is needed and you save money on your energy bill in the autumn and winter months.
Crucially, this insulating effect reduces the risk of condensation as wall surfaces are heated and prevents water vapor in the air from liquefying.
The image below shows how Breathaplasta increases the wall surface temperature.
Breathaplasta increases the surface temperature of interior walls and minimizes the risk of condensation by creating a warmer surface. This further reduces the heating requirement and saves money on the energy bill.
The fine biomaterial incorporated in the plaster also has a secondary function. It breathes with the occupants of a building and passively regulates the moisture generated by daily activities by drawing moisture from the air and holding it in its microporous structure, only to be released again when the humidity drops.
In this way, Breathaplasta ensures that the ideal relative humidity of around 40-50% is constantly maintained to ensure maximum health and comfort.
In the chart below, you can see how Breathaplasta naturally regulates moisture levels - moisture is freely absorbed and released by the patch as the water vapor level in the surrounding air rises and falls during the day and night.
Breathaplasta breathes with the occupants of a building and passively regulates the humidity created by daily activities. This helps prevent mold growth and create healthy living spaces.
Should the humidity level become too high and condensation continues to form, Breathaplasta's naturally high pH inhibits the growth of mold and mildew on the surface, ensuring a healthy and comfortable living environment for you and your family.
Learn more about Breathaplasta and find out where you can shop from one of our UK stockistsclick here.
Ventive is a company that offers passive ventilation with heat recovery systems (PVHR) for "naturally intelligent ventilation". Ventive offers a range of energy-efficient air handling units that provide buildings with fresh air without consuming or wasting energy. Ventive enables continuous ventilation of homes without the associated heat losses, operating costs and maintenance. With no power requirements, no noise and no running costs, Ventive offers a cost effective, easy to install (and retrofit) alternative to standard mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) systems and one that can still achieve 92-97% heat recovery.
The systems offered for sale are suitable for both existing buildings with a chimney and new buildings without a chimney. They ventilate your home with warm, fresh air and exhaust moisture-laden old air, reducing condensation and minimizing the risk of mold.
Improving the ventilation within the rooms where the walls are cold is normally the best solution to getting rid of any condensation damp. Improving ventilation not only removes the warm moist air from the affected room but also makes sure that the walls are dry.How do you treat condensation on a cold wall? ›
Keep vents clear of obstruction and leave window vents open all year round to ensure a constant flow of fresh air. Open doors and windows regularly to ventilate your home and leave interior doors open when not washing or cooking or when out for the day to improve ventilation.What is the best insulation for cold walls? ›
This type of insulation material is widely available and comes in various shapes and sizes. For cold climates, Loose-fill Fiberglass Insulation is the best as it has an R-Value of 60.
Moisture in the air will form condensation (droplets of liquid water) when it comes into contact with a cold surface such as a window. Ventilate so the moist air leaves the house – always use the extractor fan when you're cooking, showering, or bathing, leave any window vents open, and don't block off any other vents.What can I put on my walls to keep them warm? ›
If you have inadequate wall insulation, wall tapestries are an easy decor fix that will help to warm up your rooms. The heavier the material, the better. A quilt will also work. You can even create a fabric feature wall by applying fabric like wallpaper to one or more walls in your space using liquid starch.How do you heat up a room with cold walls? ›
Consider built-in radiant floor or ceiling heating, duct booster fans, toe-kick heaters and other safe heating techniques first.Do cold walls mean bad insulation? ›
Simply put, cold walls are caused by poor insulation. If your home is poorly insulated, it means that heat from inside the home is easily escaping to the outside. Warm air moves from inside the rooms, passing through the walls to be lost outside.What is the cheapest way to insulate a wall? ›
Pipe lagging or pipe insulation is cheap and readily available in DIY stores, making it a simple way to save money. Simply cut it to the desired length and wrap around the pipe, covering the joins in tape.Is aerogel the best insulation? ›
Air in microscopic pores make up the remaining 97% of aerogel's volume. This air has very little room to move, inhibiting both convection and gas-phase conduction. These characteristics make aerogel the world's lowest density solid and most effective thermal insulator.What materials prevent condensation? ›
Applying vinyl-backed insulation on the walls and roof stops contact between warm, humid air and the cool, dry surface of the panels. Another option is to use spray-foam insulation. Closed-cell foam insulation creates an effective water vapor barrier.
The elastomeric coating could potentially stop some leaks, at least for a period of time. It will not significantly help the sweating / condensation.Does vinegar prevent condensation? ›
If you wake up and find condensation on your bedroom windows, a great way to clear away the condensation is by mixing a home-made solution. Simply mix two cups of water and two cups of white vinegar, then add a couple of drops of washing up liquid.What is the best material to keep cold out? ›
Styrofoam is the best insulator for preventing ice from melting.What material keeps a house warm? ›
1: Mineral Wool
No matter what kind of insulation you choose for your home, the bottom line is that it's got to keep you cozy. On average, mineral wool is made of 75 percent post-industrial recycled content. It comes in both blanket and loose-fill forms.
- Heat your home, not your walls. ...
- Pop on some pipe-lagging. ...
- Draught-proof your home. ...
- Bleed your radiators. ...
- Get your boiler serviced. ...
- Close the curtains. ...
- Use the oven to heat the house. ...
- Roll out a rug.
- Close up any cracks in your window frame. ...
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. ...
- Invest in the best blankets. ...
- Make your curtains work harder. ...
- Use draft stoppers on your doors. ...
- Cover your floors with rugs. ...
- Prevent drafts around electric outlets.
Cold wall, cold home
Without adequate insulation, they're not keeping heat inside your home. As well as making them cold, that makes it harder to maintain a comfortable temperature, causing your energy bills to rise as you crank up the thermostat or leave the heating on for longer.
Install an Electric Floor Heater
Installing electric floor heating is another tip on how to keep a poorly insulated house warm. Floor heaters maintain heat across all rooms with a floor heating unit. You'll get the best results with a professional installation, but it's also possible to perform a DIY installation.
The World Health Organisation guidelines suggest 21 degrees in a living room and 18 degrees in the bedrooms, falling lower at night and when you are out. You don't need to keep your home at these temperatures all the time, but you should aim to bring it up to these temperatures at least some of the day.Why am I getting wet walls in my house? ›
There are several causes for damp patches appearing on interior walls including damaged guttering, cracked roof tiles and more commonly condensation. Condensation forms when warm moist air within a room touches a cold internal wall or surface.
Raise the temperature of cold surfaces where moisture condenses. Use insulation or storm windows. (A storm window installed on the inside works better than one installed on the outside.) Open doors between rooms (especially doors to closets which may be colder than the rooms) to increase circulation.Will a dehumidifier stop condensation on walls? ›
Dehumidifiers seem to be the obvious way of reducing humidity, removing condensation, stopping walls becoming damp and preventing mould. But a more effective solution is to give your home a small but consistent background movement of fresh air. This will help keep your home feeling fresher, healthier and mould free.Will a dehumidifier help with condensation on walls? ›
Dehumidifiers work by removing moisture from the air. This can help to reduce condensation on walls and prevent mould and mildew growth. However, dehumidifiers will not necessarily dry out damp walls. If your walls are damp, you may need to use a combination of a dehumidifier and a fan to help dry them out.Where should you not put insulation? ›
Never place insulation close to water heaters, oil burners or anything hot. The backing is especially flammable and will be a major fire hazard for your home.Why is my house so cold even with insulation? ›
The reasons your house is cold even with the heat on could be because of poor insulation, your furnace not working properly, rooms with high ceilings, or your heating system doesn't cover the whole house. Each of these issues can prevent your home from properly heating.Is it better to insulate walls from outside or inside? ›
Adding interior insulation makes the walls colder, which will result in condensation both inside and on the surface of the wall, causing mold and mildew. Exterior insulation is much better in this regard, as it prevents dampness from penetrating the walls, without affecting their temperature on the inside.Is bubble wrap foil insulation any good? ›
(The bubble wrap layer is unnecessary, since it adds cost to the material without adding any useful thermal performance.) Since the main benefit from foil-faced bubble wrap is due to its radiant-barrier facing, the product is basically worthless unless it faces an air space.How to insulate an old house cheaply? ›
You can simply use a foil for insulation as a cost-effective alternative. By stapling the foil sheets to your attic, the heat reflects down into your living space. Hence, it lowers your heating costs. Attic Insulation Installation Services in Lincolnwood provide satisfactory assistance and properly insulates your home.How do you insulate an old house without tearing down walls? ›
Injection foam insulation is the answer to insulating walls without removing drywall. There are several types of injection foam available out there, including the RetroFoam product we use. These materials don't require the drywall in your home to be taken down.What are the negatives of aerogel? ›
|Lightweight||Potential upper respiratory effects from inhaling and/or handling|
|R-Value of 10.3/inch||Use of PPE required when handling|
|K-Factor of .01||Amorphous silica listed as a hazardous substance|
|Per IARC, aerogel with TiO2 is possibly carcinogenic to humans if inhaled|
Even though producing more aerogel at a time would bring its price down, the process and materials alone come with a high price tag of about $1.00 per cubic centimeter. At about $23,000 per pound, aerogel is currently more expensive than gold [source: NASA JPL, FAQs]!What is the lifespan of aerogel? ›
with aerogel granules to a single glazed window. The predicted performance of this product over a 15 year lifespan is estimated based upon the results of in-situ testing, carried out by the corresponding author prior to this streamlined LCA .What clears condensation? ›
- Turn on your heater. Turning on your heater is a good starting point – providing you use it properly. ...
- Use your air con. If you have air conditioning in your car, then switch it on. ...
- Roll down your windows. ...
- Keep your windows clean.
The main cause of condensation is a lack of ventilation. The remedy is to improve ventilation to help equalise humidity inside and outside a property. Once upon a time, houses had badly-fitted windows, doors, chimneys and air vents that allowed for the circulation of air.What device gets rid of condensation? ›
Positive Input Ventilation is the most effective method of curing and preventing condensation dampness. PIV systems are most popular condensation solution for existing properties as it is an easy and simple solution to install.
We do not recommend using Flex Seal on foam. Some foams may react poorly with Flex Seal, and may warp or dissolve. We also do not recommend using it in situations where it is subjected to high heat or pressure (such as engine radiators) or gas tanks. We do not recommend the use of Flex Seal spray on vinyl.How long does Flex Seal last once applied? ›
It's easy to use, and can be used on homes, boats, cars, and even RVs. Before you begin, you're probably wondering how long does Flex Seal last. When applied correctly (according to instructions) Flex Seal will last for three years, even longer.Does anti-condensation paint work? ›
Anti-condensation paint won't reduce moisture in the air, but it can improve the thermal performance of your walls so that they are less cold and thus less at risk of damp. It can work, but only if cold surfaces are the sole cause of your condensation.Does wd40 stop condensation? ›
The team at WD-40® have shared a simple step-by-step guide to help remove any marks as a result of condensation. The team said you should “spray the entire surface with WD-40® Multi-Use Product” and work it in with a clean, dry microfibre cloth.Does baking soda stop condensation? ›
Owen explained: "You can use baking soda to naturally dehumidify a room that has high-moisture levels. Simply fill a small bowl with baking soda and place it on the window sill. "Over time you will notice the baking soda will harden as it absorbs the moisture.
According to experts, salt can remove excess moisture in the air, therefore reducing the amount of condensation on your window. Salt has adsorption properties, which means that it can bind to moisture and prevent it from developing condensation.How do you insulate walls without removing drywall? ›
You may add insulation to your walls without removing it by cutting holes into the siding. You can blow spray foam or cellulose into the walls from outside. Just cut a 1 inch to 2-inch hole between the studs at the top of the wall and then spray the insulation into the hole using a hose.What can you do about drafty walls? ›
- Create draft blockers for your windows and doors. ...
- Install insulated window treatments. ...
- Hang up old blankets over exterior doors. ...
- Add fresh weather-stripping to doors and windows. ...
- Use bathroom and kitchen fans less frequently.
PermaSEAL Anti Condensation Paint is a specially formulated coating that can be applied to various internal surfaces to prevent condensation. When you apply this condensation paint, it raises the surface temperature of the internal walls - it's actually warm to touch!How do I stop my walls from sweating? ›
One way of doing that is by keeping the inside of your home warm. Warm air holds more moisture, meaning there's less chance of it sitting on surfaces like walls and windows. Keeping a space well heated will also keep the walls warmer, which eliminates the cold surface to stop them becoming a condensation magnet.Is blown in wall insulation worth it? ›
Blown-in cellulose insulation is an excellent choice when insulating a home, especially when re-insulating or adding insulation to an existing home. Cellulose is an affordable, eco-friendly, and easy-to-use material. It insulates hard-to-reach areas and fits around in-wall obstructions.Is it worth insulating an old house? ›
It will improve the energy efficiency of the property. Reduce your heating bills. It will allow your home to hold onto its heat longer. You'll make it more comfortable to live in.What should I put between drywall and insulation? ›
After the insulation is in place you will want to add a vapor retarder, sometimes called a vapor barrier, if you need one. Not every wall does. A vapor retarder is a material used to prevent water vapor from diffusing into the wall, ceiling or floor during the cold winter.How do you insulate a wall without opening it? ›
Injection foam insulation is the answer to insulating walls without removing drywall. There are several types of injection foam available out there, including the RetroFoam product we use. These materials don't require the drywall in your home to be taken down.How do you seal an old drafty house? ›
- 1) DOORS AND WINDOWS: RE-APPLY CAULKING.
- 2) REPLACE WEATHERSTRIPPING.
- 3) INSTALL DOOR SWEEPS.
- 4) INSTALL WINDOW FILM.
- 5) INSTALL INSULATED WINDOW TREATMENTS.
- 6) SEAL RECESSED LIGHTS OR POT LIGHTS.
- 7) SEAL BASEMENTS.
- 8) ENSURE ELECTRICAL BOXES ARE INSULATED.
There are several types of insulating paints, the prominent of which are Nansulate, Insuladd, Hy-Tech, and others. The way they work is that you either apply the insulating (or thermal) paint to the interior walls or you mix an additive into your existing paint. Multiple coats are recommended.What paint is best for cold temperatures? ›
Acrylic and latex-based paints are also excellent choices for cold-weather applications. These paints resist moisture to provide the perfect finish. In addition, you may benefit from using paint and primer-in-one options. All-in-one options are a mixture of water-based acrylic and oil paints.Will paint dry on a cold wall? ›
Low temperatures affect both the application and drying of paint. Alkyd and oil paints, based on natural oils and resins, become more viscous in lower temperatures and require thinners to be added. Some paints are, however, manufactured with special additives to overcome this problem and improve their performance.