This natural phenomenon that you may observe on windows, doors, in the bathroom or in the kitchen occurs when water vapour in the air condenses and the drops become visible (and palpable), wetting walls and carpentry frames.
It is typical in winter because it happens when the interior temperature of the house is much higher than the outside, and when it is below the dew point of the air that is in contact with it.
Of course I am referring to condensation.
Condensation occurs when warmer air (the air inside your house for example) comes into contact with a cold surface such as a window. Warm air can carry much more water vapour than cold air, so when warm air cools due to proximity with a cold surface, the water vapour is released and condenses into water. Breathe on a cold window and you can see the problem in action (albeit on a small scale). Lack of air circulation can add to the problem, meaning that condensation will almost always be worse in the winter when the outside air is colder and doors and windows are kept shut.
The points where this condensation happens (window frames, tiling and glass, especially), are non-absorbent surfaces, and this humidity ends up producing fungi, black spots of mould and the resulting smell of dampness.
In addition to spoiling the paintwork and other finishing materials in your home, this humidity is very harmful to health and may affect the whole family, becoming a dangerous breeding ground for respiratory diseases, especially for asthmatics, children and the elderly.
To avoid these problems, take good note of the common causes of condensation moisture.
Causes of condensation
Our own use of water. Especially from hot water, when we shower, cook, dry the clothes inside ...even the mere act of breathing is already producing condensation. No!! I am not going to ask you to stop breathing, but to give you an idea, a family of four produces more than 8 litres of water per day. Surprising, isn’t it?
Thermal insulation and the lack thereof
To combat this condensation, it’s very important that the house be built and fitted with materials that act as steam barriers, combined with good ventilation. Double-glazed windows, for example, work that way (but don’t neglect other very basic household elements to insulate, such as doors, walls, etc).
Ventilating the house properly is, perhaps, the most important key to overcoming the battle against condensed air water. Here on the coast there is no excuse for not ventilating even on a cold day.
5 natural economical remedies to eliminate mould from your home.
• Do not dry clothes on the radiators, it will convert your moisture directly into steam.
• Dry clothes outside whenever possible and, if you have to do it inside, do so in well-ventilated rooms.
• Ventilate properly when showering or cooking, to avoid concentrating the steam at a single small point (especially, open the windows once you are finished).
• In the case of the kitchen, always use the extractor hood to better manage that steam torrent that can otherwise gradually permeate and spoil your furniture.
• Leave a gap between furniture and walls and windows to prevent the humidity produced from damaging them.
• Keep the heating on at a low level for a long time instead of switching it off for a long period and then switching it on at very high temperature for a short period of time, so that all the surfaces of the house have a pleasant minimum temperature that does not attract that condensation. Sudden changes in temperature, derived from an excessive blast of heating, are common causes of condensation in different parts of the house.
Also, if you have a major problem of condensation around your windows or places where you do not expect it, it is important that you inspect it, with the help of a professional. It is imperative to locate those damp patches. In this way, you can detect the place where you should make a study of the surfaces and consider the possibility of taking remedial action, as continual damp tends to slowly ruin all types of materials.
Better to be safe than sorry