Damp in any building can be caused by dampness rising from foundation walls or floors, rainwater getting into the building through the roof, windows or cracks in walls, defective plumbing, especially where waterlines are concealed, and can also be a result of poor drainage. Dampness can also be caused by condensation.

When moist air comes into contact with a colder surface like glass in a window, mirror, and even walls the air will condense. Condensation is the change that occurs when the gas phase changes to the liquid or solid stage and is a natural phenomenon that is often produced when the air in any living space is saturated with humidity. The excess of the water gets then deposited in the places that are the coldest and leads to dampness by condensation. In the environments inside buildings, there is always water vapour present from the breathing of its residents, activities like cooking, washing, showering, laundry activities, the use of electric heaters and others. This increased humidity appears as condensation especially in living and working spaces that are poorly ventilated or inadequate insulation. Air is then unable to hold the increased moisture and tiny drops of water appear as condensation.

Dampness due to condensation can become a major problem in residential homes and can cause the growth of mould, which can have blurred and soft edges instead of a mark that appears like a stain. This dampness can cause the mould to appear on walls and furniture. Timber frames of doors and windows, floors, skirting boards can rot due to the excess moisture that has condensed. Dampness due to condensation encourages the growth of mites in house dust, and this increases the chances of its residents developing respiratory problems. This dampness will persist in places where the air is still, like inside wardrobes, behind furniture and the corners of rooms. Wall plaster can get damaged. Condensation resulting from dampness can also result in Black Mould, a naturally occurring fungus.

How then do you deal with this problem? It requires positive action to reduce the condensation in a home. Simple things like keeping lids on pans when you are cooking, drying clothes outside the home instead of on radiators, ensuring the venting of tumble dryers, using flueless gas heaters, and curbing any other activity that produces an excess of moisture. Ventilation of a home is very important if you want to reduce the dampness caused by condensation. You need to take out the moist air and let in air that is fresh and has less dampness. Extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens can go a long way to reduce the excess moisture. Cooking or bathing does produce moisture that can condense and this must be prevented from reaching other parts of the home by keeping doors closed, and windows open to encourage the circulation of air. Look at places where the air is still and see if you can make arrangements to circulate fresh air in them. Leave some space between the furniture and the walls, and also give your cupboards and other storage a good airing once in a while.

A warmer home will have lesser problems for condensation and doors and windows must be draught-proof. If rooms are unused give them a good airing at frequent intervals so that any dampness in that space is removed and mould is less likely to form. You can always invest in equipment like humidifiers but this is an expense and will have a running cost as well. Wipe down cold surfaces so that condensation does not take place. Dryer homes are always healthier places to live in and preventing dampness from condensation can go a long way in ensuring this.

Author's Bio: 

Thirlmere Deacon are a leading UK property investment company. With a focus on Off-plan property investments. For more information on how to combat condensation issues in your home, click here.