18 December 2018

Condensation is a common build-up of moisture that develops in both new and older housing structures. It can appear as damp patches on walls, ceilings or windows and left untreated, it can cause significant structural damage to the property and have a serious impact on occupant health, due to mould.

So how does mould develop?

Mould grows as a result of untreated condensation causing a surface such as a wall or ceiling to become damp and an ideal breeding ground for mould spores.

Inhaling mould fragments or spores can inflame the airways, causing nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing or throat irritation. As such, the appearance of mould in a property is not just unsightly, it can actually have a detrimental impact on occupants’ health.

What causes condensation?

Condensation appears when there is a lack of adequate ventilation in the building, leading to rising humidity and a subsequent rise of moisture within the building.

Common causes of condensation involve everyday activities such as bathing, showering and cooking which all produce steam and moisture droplets. Cold surfaces and inadequate heating adds to these conditions. If the room is not then properly ventilated, this moisture will remain, leading to condensation and creating ideal conditions for mould to develop.

Mould in social housing: a growing problem

Condensation and mould can be more common within social housing properties, which are often older structures that are built in very close proximity to each other.

Therefore the need for sufficient and effective ventilation in these properties is vital, yet often challenging, as opening windows in these often urban and densely populated areas can result in noise and pollution from the outside coming in.

For landlords, mould and condensation can be extremely costly

If extractor fans are turned off by tenants who find them too noisy or inconvenient, the ventilation is significantly reduced, leading to a rise in condensation and mould. In turn, this can damage tenant health and also the fabric of the building.

Better, more efficient ventilation

Ventilation methods are crucial in tackling the issue of mould in buildings. However, manufacturers, developers and landlords alike all have a responsibility to ensure that the solutions available are:

- Easy to use and understand

- Not invasive or noisy

- Set to run efficiently in terms of energy usage and 'boosting'

- Designed to control humidity

- Monitored for usage and locked so tenants cannot turn them off

If all of these aspects are achieved and, most importantly, communicated to the tenants and users, it increases the likelihood of ventilation solutions such as extractor fans being used properly and the building being ventilated thoroughly and efficiently.

For more information about our ventilation solutions and our new CV3 dMEV fan, please visit our dedicated section on our website.