What is condensation?


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Condensation occurs when warm damp air comes into contact with cooler air, or a colder surface. All air contains water vapour in varying quantities and its capacity to do so is related to its temperature - warm air holds more moisture than cold air. When moist air comes into contact with either colder air or a colder surface, the air is unable to retain the same amount of moisture and the water is released to form condensation. This excess moisture on cool surfaces such as walls, windowsills and ceilings often leads to damp problems such as black mould.

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What causes condensation?

Condensation moisture in the air can come from a variety of sources within your property. Water vapour is produced in relatively large quantities from normal day-to-day activities which inevitably can lead to condensation in the property. For example, a five person household puts about 10 litres of water into the air every day. More examples include:

  • Breathing (asleep) 0.3 litres
  • Breathing (awake) 0.85 litres
  • Cooking 3 litres
  • Personal washing 1.0 litres
  • Washing and drying clothes 5.5 litres
  • Heating - especially paraffin and fuel-less gas heaters
  • Moisture can also be drawn from the structure of the building into the internal air; from below the floor or through the walls/ceilings

The actions that cause condensation are often essential to everyday living and therefore unavoidable, however, simple lifestyle changes and improved air ventilation can minimise the impact condensation has on a property.

Condensation: Simply Explained

What does a condensation problem look like?

Condensation problems can take many forms from water collecting on windows to unsightly black mould growth. The pictures below illustrate the most typical signs of a condensation problem.

(click on images above for hi-res version)

What to do about condensation

It is unlikely that a home in the UK will never suffer some form of condensation within as most of us do not want to keep our windows open particularly when it is cold outside. However, by keeping your property well maintained you should be able to live with a certain amount of condensation. In order to try and keep your bills down visit our information page on how to prevent condensation.

Identify condensation

If you are still unsure is your property is suffering from condensation, Click below for help to spot the tell tale signs.

Condensation signs

Condensation treatment

If you have a condensation problem in your property and need professional help to fix it then Wise are here to help.

Condensation treatment

Contact a condensation expert

If you suspect that you need condensation treatment in your property then call 0800 65 22 678 to arrange a condensation survey.

Alternatively, you can ask a question online using our contact form for free help and advice from our condensation experts.

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