How To Get Rid of Condensation | Solutions Debunked

Condensation is often misunderstood

As a result, it is not treated correctly in many homes and buildings. This standard natural process occurs when water vapour in the air cools and changes into liquid form.

This phenomenon is most evident on surfaces like windows and walls but can affect various areas and materials within an environment.

Misunderstandings about condensation can lead to improper management and solutions that fail to address the underlying issues, potentially causing long-term damage to properties.

The most common misconception is that it is solely a problem during colder months, or in poorly heated spaces. While it’s true that it’s is more visible during winter—when the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures is most significant — it can occur any time of the year if conditions are right.

This misunderstanding leads to the belief that heating the space more aggressively is a viable solution. However, increasing the temperature without improving ventilation often exacerbates the problem, as warmer air can hold more moisture.

Another area where condensation is often mismanaged involves the overuse of dehumidifiers. While dehumidifiers can effectively reduce moisture levels in the air, relying solely on these devices without addressing other environmental factors—such as airflow and sources of moisture—can be futile or even harmful. For example, if a building has poor ventilation, a dehumidifier may lower humidity in one area while it continues to occur elsewhere, unaddressed.

Ventilation is perhaps the most overlooked solution. Proper ventilation helps regulate the air’s moisture levels and can prevent moisture from forming on cold surfaces by allowing excess to escape.

Condensation

Many assume that keeping windows and doors closed will help retain heat and reduce condensation, but this often does the opposite by trapping moist air inside. Introducing regular air changes through effective ventilation systems or even periodic window opening can significantly mitigate condensation issues.

Building materials and structural issues can also contribute to condensation problems, yet they are frequently ignored. Cold bridges—areas in a building’s envelope with less insulation than surrounding materials—can create ideal conditions for condensation.

Insufficient insulation on walls, roofs, and around windows can lead to persistent cold spots that attract condensation. Addressing these structural vulnerabilities through better insulation or redesign can provide a more permanent solution.

Moreover, lifestyle factors play a significant role in condensation. Daily activities such as cooking, showering, and drying clothes indoors generate substantial moisture.

Without adequate measures to manage this moisture, such as using extractor fans or opening windows, it accumulates and leads to condensation. Educating occupants on the impact of their activities and how to adjust behaviours can be as crucial as any mechanical intervention in managing it effectively.

It’s often approached as a simple nuisance that can be resolved with heating or dehumidification alone. However, effective management requires a comprehensive understanding of environmental factors, building science, and human behaviour.

Addressing ventilation, insulation, structural issues, and lifestyle factors can help control the problem more effectively and prevent associated problems such as mould growth, property damage, and poor indoor air quality.

These efforts not only correct the symptoms but also contribute to healthier living and working environments.

See more about condensation on Skill Builder

FURTHER READING

How to stop condensation in the home: safeguardeurope.com/condensation

About Dylan Garton

Dylan Garton is a co-founder, video producer and editor for the Skill Builder social media platforms.

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