Condensation Control

condensationVery few buildings won’t have some condensation thanks to lifestyle and decorating choices. It can be a menace, leading to ugly black mould, but once it isn’t caused by a structural problem, it is possible to minimise it with a little forethought.

Condensation almost always occurs with single glazed windows. If your budget can’t stretch to replacing the windows, you can add a simple secondary glazing by screwing a sheet of glass or plastic to the window frame with a seal in between. You can’t, however, put fixed secondary glazing on all opening windows, as you need some ventilation. So in these areas, you should fit removable secondary glazing. While double or secondary glazing won’t eliminate condensation completely, it will definitely reduce the amount you get.

Ceramic tiles and mirrors famously attract condensation, and also tend to be in rooms with high humidity such as kitchens and bathrooms. The only solution is to keep the room evenly heated or improve the ventilation. Again, this doesn’t have to be expensive, and can be as simple as opening the windows regularly. Try to ventilate humid rooms to the outside rather than the rest of the house. Simply opening the window and closing the door will suffice.

Wallpaper is back in fashion, but if you have too many layers of paper, it can act like blotting paper for condensation – leading to dampness. The only solution is to strip back all the layers and re-paper the wall. Before you paper, you should line the wall with thin expanded polystyrene; this will help prevent the paper from absorbing the water.

If you prefer painted walls, you may find that they are rather cold and attract condensation. You can line the wall with wooden panelling or cork tiles, or think about fitting a “false wall” with a layer of insulation behind it. Make sure the front is panelled or covered with plasterboard, so that the new surface can be painted or papered. This is just a cover up, though, and if you already have rising damp, the problem will only be exacerbated over time. Ensure that you have resolved any damp issues before fitting the wall. High gloss finishes will attract condensation, so consider a matt finish to help reduce the amount of condensation it attracts.

Feeling inspired by our tips and advice? Why not find out more in our Plumbing & Heating section?