Dampness and condensation

Guide to reducing condensation

Find out how to reduce condensation in your home.

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What is the difference between dampness and condensation?

Water vapour in the air occurs naturally and in general, does not cause any issues. However if the air contains excessive levels of moisture, or it comes into contact with cold surfaces, the moisture can be released forming liquid droplets. This can often go unnoticed until black mould starts to appear. This mould is a naturally occurring fungus that thrives on these moist conditions and can grow quite quickly. It is a common misconception that black mould growth is a sign of a dampness problem rather than a condensation issue. Condensation problems generally get worse in the colder seasons, as ventilation to the property is reduced due to closed windows and moisture levels are increased through activities such as drying washing on radiators.

Dampness issues such as rising damp or penetrating damp are a very different issue and result from a physical problem with the property. Rising damp is usually caused by a failure of the damp proof membrane which is designed to prevent moisture being absorbed from the ground. One of the signs of a damp proof membrane failure is the forming of white salts at low level to ground floor walls. Penetrating damp is often caused by a blockage within the cavity allowing moisture to pass from the external brickwork through to the internal walls. Signs of penetrating damp are discolouration and plaster damage to a very localised area on an external wall.

Please see the video below for advice on how to clean any mould in your home. Please note, if you have mould growth in excess of one square meter, please contact North Tyneside Council repairs for further advice.

The attached guide also has some helpful tips on ways to combat condensation, as well as information on how to tell the difference between condensation and dampness issues.

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How to clean mould