Moisture Management

Due to the small cubic volume of air, all small homes suffer from condensation.  Left unchecked and without management this will run down the walls, form black mould, damaging clothing and furniture.

What is condensation? Condensation is moisture that is suspended and invisible in the warm air that becomes a water droplet as it cools on a colder surface.

How can you stop the moisture condensing? In short you can’t.  Keeping the property warm and equally warm throughout the day will allow the air to hold more moisture be there will always be a saturation point and colder surfaces for the condensation to collect on.  The most common are windows, external wall, ceramic tiles etc.

What if I don’t create moisture? One of the ways a lot of moisture is created is breathing.  You can consider the times you know you are creating additional water in the air, boiling items in saucepans, drying washing, using the kettle etc.  Think of your home as an enclosed fish tank with a secured lid.  When you create moisture it has to go somewhere.  If there is too much of it and the air is warm enough it will remain suspended, but a saturation point will be reached when the air can hold no more moisture.  At this point condensation will form on whatever is the coldest surface.

Changing the air.  The best way of controlling condensation is to change the air in the property on a regular basis (every morning and when you know excess moisture is being created) to remove the moisture are and replace it with low moisture air.  If you are drying clothes do this in the bathroom where a window can be opened or extractor fan used and most importantly the door can be kept closed to stop the high moisture air reaching the rest of the property.

Changing the air does however loose the hotter air.  This is why most occupiers prefer to change the air in the morning to allow the home to reheat during the day.  Open several windows and created a wind tunnel if possible as this will change a lot of air quickly.

Heating the air.  Every time the temperature drops the amount of moisture the air will hold reduces.  This is why condensation often appears overnight.  Try to keep a constant warm temperature.

Using a Dehumidifier.  The modern method of moisture control is a dehumidifier.  This operates like a fridge and is left on constantly.  A fan sucks in air from the property and passes it over refrigerating element where it condenses, dripping water into a container below.  The container should by emptied by you when full.  A dehumidifier does not stop the need for moisture management but is a very effective tool and users are surprised at the amount of water they collect.

If condensation does form wipe it away as soon as possible.  Do not let it build up this is a quick route to mould growth and apparently permanently damp walls.