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First Signs of Condensation

What are the first signs of condensation?

By Claire Baldwin - Marketing Executive October 2020

Fogged up and streaming windows are often the first signs of condensation before the wallpaper and paint begins to peel, black mould patches appear, and musty smells are noticed.

Condensation dampness is a common problem for both new and older homes, especially during winter months when opening windows and drying clothes outside are less practical. Without proper ventilation, the moisture we produce from everyday activities such as cooking and bathing is trapped inside the home. The moisture is then absorbed into the air where it condenses on cool surfaces such as windows, mirrors, external walls, and fabrics.

Moisture in the air travels to the coldest parts of the house so properties that have cold spots or are heated intermittently are likely to suffer with condensation dampness. With rising energy costs, many homeowners and tenants cannot afford to keep the whole property heated 24/7, meaning condensation and mould problems are growing in the UK.

If left untreated, condensation dampness can become much worse than an unattractive repair bill; it can damage our health as well as the fabric of the property. 

How can excess moisture damage the home?

While fogging and streaming windows, walls, and mirrors may not seem like a problem, the effects of condensation can worsen over time, penetrating the fabric of the property, furniture, and household fabrics, and even producing mould.

Because mould eats whatever it is growing on, it can permanently damage a building and its furnishings. If left unchecked, mould can eventually cause structural damage to building materials; rotting wood, disintegrating drywall, costing the property owner money for remedial work and potentially reducing a building’s value.

Damage to the drywall could result in complete replacement, especially if it becomes badly affected by mould and mildew. These fungai usually make an appearance as a cloud of little black dots around windows or in the corners of rooms, behind wardrobes or any furniture where air doesn't circulate. However, mould can grow on almost any organic material as long as there is moisture and oxygen present.

If the humidity level in a home is above the recommended guide of 60%, certain moulds can grow and flourish in just under 12 hours. If condensation is present, there’s almost certainly mould present too, and that can become a massive issue over time.