What Causes Condensation?

What Causes Condensation?

“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” wrote Benjamin Franklin in 1789. For the purposes of this blog, it’s (very briefly) worth considering whether he dreamt up this line while gazing out of his study window on a warm summer’s morning. Because if he did so in the depths of winter, after noticing patches of moisture on the window’s sill, then he might have added another certainty to the list.
Is there a homeowner out there who hasn’t sighed when he or she opens the curtains and sees such a thing? Or perhaps spotted that wallpaper near a radiator – over which he or she casually drapes clothes to dry during the winter months – has started to bubble and peel.
Add plaster deterioration to the list and it’s clear that the consequences of condensation can be a pain. But when one adds the potential for the growth of bacteria and mould (which may cause respiratory problems) and even rot (which may, if left untreated, cause structural problems) it’s clear that consequences of condensation can – if left unchecked – be significant.
‘But what can I do?’ asks the owner. Well…exactly. Simply living within walls and under a roof creates condensation; the very act of breathing is a contributory factor, as are cooking, bathing, washing and drying clothes. Don’t worry, though: we’re not going to recommend that you always eat out, never bathe or do laundry – all the while holding your breath for as long as you possibly can.
Condensation is basically a dampening of the air until water gathers on cold surfaces such as windows, tiles and walls. And the colder the room, the worse it can be. Yet simple steps can help fight it. For starters, get hold of a dehumidifier and see for yourself how much water it can collect in a day.
Here are a few other ideas:

  • Temperatures might be on the low side, but that shouldn’t stop you from opening a window – if just a little – to reduce moisture
  • Wipe down surfaces, such as window sills, where moisture tends to collect
  • When cooking always use pan lids and open a window to ventilate the kitchen
  • When drying clothes, try and do it outside. But if that’s not viable (and, let’s face it, it isn’t quite a lot of the time) use a clothes horse rather than place clothes on a radiator. Better still, set up a dehumidifier nearby
  • If you use a tumble dryer that isn’t self-condensing, make sure it’s vented properly
  • When running a bath, turn the cold tap on before the hot; it’ll reduce the amount of steam
  • After bathing or showering, wipe down the tiles to remove the surface water. Then open the window and shut the door
  • When using extractor fans fitted in either the kitchen or bathroom, remember to close all windows and doors so they work more effectively
  • A temptation might be to switch the heating off to save money. However, heating set at a moderate temperature tends to be more cost-effective in the long run – while helping prevent condensation, of course
  • Always keep your house ventilated (even during the winter) and prevent the blocking of airbricks e.g. by leaves
  • Try not to place furniture against walls - particularly outside walls - as this prevents air from circulating freely and traps moisture

The war can never be won; it’s more a case of holding the enemy in check. But what if you’re losing the fight? Say you’ve bought a new property that does have damp and needs treatment?
Danford Brewer & Ives can help you. Damp is a tricky phenomenon to treat effectively – there are different types, misdiagnoses can happen and the wrong form of treatment can lead down a (potentially expensive) blind alley. However, we have the experience and nous to assess each and every situation and suggest an appropriate course of action.
Please contact us if you have any queries – whether it’s about condensation, damp, or any of the other building services we offer, such as timber treatment, basement conversions, extensions or building maintenance. As always, we’re more than happy to help.

DBI North West

Damp Treatment Experts Expand into the North West

Damp Treatment Problem in Cheshire?

Here at Danford Brewer & Ives, we’re going from strength to strength. Business is, we’re proud to report, on the up, and a natural consequence of that is that we’re expanding our reach from North Yorkshire…up and over the Pennines and into the North-West of England. So, then: Are you a homeowner, builder, architect or property developer in the North-West who might be interested in contracting (or subcontracting) one of the best in the business in the fields of damp treatment (Damp Proofing), timber treatment, basement conversions, extensions, and building maintenance? If so, then there’s no time like the present to get in touch. Fast response times are a natural consequence of good customer service – which is particularly good news if you live in the Cheshire area since that’s where our new surveyor is based.
Therefore, if you are situated in or near one of the following:

• Macclesfield • Poynton • Bramhall • Prestbury • Alderley Edge • Knutsford • Wilmslow • Cheadle/Cheadle Hulme • Buxton • New Mills

… we can cover all your concerns regarding specialist property care and preservation needs. The need to, say, cure rising damp or penetrating damp, undertake the waterproofing of basements or sump pump installations, might suggest that all is not well with your property, our trusted help will ensure that the problem will not become an emergency. And even if the damp has risen just that bit too far for comfort, or you finally decide that either a wet rot or dry rot treatment really is the utmost priority, then our local team of highly skilled and professional tradesmen will be quickly on hand to offer the full breadth and depth of their experience. As damp, timber and structural repair specialists, for example, we are fully conversant in this particular field: from examining timber defects and woodworm, through the use of anti-condensation units for condensation control, to the creation of damp and timber reports, Danford Brewer & Ives have the wherewithal to both examine the cause and offer the remedy, which may include specialist treatment.
Our expert surveyor can produce reports and quotations for specialist works that might be needed. Damp and wood rot can seem inevitable in a climate like ours, yet it doesn’t have to be that way: simple measures can help keep them at bay. And, as has already been mentioned, our expertise is offered not just to homeowners: domestic and commercial contracts are both undertaken, with a good chunk of Danford Brewer & Ives’ business coming as a partner for builders, architects, and property developers. We provide a skillful and efficient sub-contracting service, allowing you to play to your own strengths and so giving the customer all the necessary guarantees - not to mention peace of mind.
Guarantees? We offer long term insurance-backed guarantees on all works undertaken, and, local Fully Certified Surveyors in Remedial Treatments (CSRT) with The Property Care Association (PCA). So regardless of whether you’re in the business or not – whether you can tell your lateral restraints from your replacement stainless steel wall tie systems, or masonry crack stitching from specialist re-plastering – we have it covered. It’s nothing less than the level of service you should expect from an established company such as ours: a Specialist Property Care and Preservation Company from Yorkshire…which is now in Cheshire.
So if you’re in the North-West and feel you have the need for one or more of the services offered, then please get in touch. Not only do we offer a quick, efficient survey and quote procedure, Danford Brewer & Ives are more than happy to offer relevant advice as part of our commitment to you the customer. Contact us now!