min read

Controlling moisture and condensation in homes


Condensation andmould:

This time of year,as the temperature drops, both new homes and old homes aresusceptible to the formation of condensation and unsightly mould: newhomes because they are effectively a sealed box, and old homesbecause they often lack effective wall insulation.

Internal moisturebuild-up is a particular problem for landlords because tenants oftencomplain to the landlord when they see black mould, with littleunderstanding of the cause '� they blame the building (landlord)when more often than not they are not maintaining a living / moisturebalance.

Moisture balance

Moisture issomething that'�s a part of living in a home, but it needs to becarefully controlled to achieve a balance which maintains comfort andgood health.

A properunderstanding of what causes moisture build-up and condensation goesa long way to minimising its harmful effects.

It'�s almostimpossible to elimination all signs of condensation however small,even in a new home. But there are certain things that are complete NoNos when it comes to condensation, and sometimes landlords must beprepared to educate their tenants about this.

There are three main causes of moisture build up inside a home:

  1. From construction / renovation work where plaster and screeds need time to dry out properly.
  2. From leaks and spills, where water enters the fabric of the building from bust pipes, flooding, overflowing baths and showers and leaking washing machines etc
  3. Moisture generated by the occupants from everyday living which can generate large amounts of moisture. The amount will vary depending on lifestyles, household size and time of year.

Points one and twoare less common, but point three is prevalent in most homes, sohouseholders need to be informed as to the best way to deal withthis.

A New MoistureGuide

A New guide from theUK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB), supported by the NHBCFoundation, explains where moisture comes from and identifies actionsthat can be taken by occupiers to maintain the right moisture balancein a home.

The guide explainswhy moisture balance is important, how to identify moisturegeneration and what to do to minimise excess moisture and its harmfuleffects.

This UKCMB guidehighlights good practice to ensure that occupiers achieve a correctmoisture balance in the home, including:

  • keeping the home adequately heated in cool or cold weather '� a minimum of 18 degrees at all times should be maintained. This is one of the main reasons why tenanted properties often suffer from black mould build-up
  • keeping trickle vents open to create minimal ventilation
  • opening windows when and where excess moisture is generated
  • making sure that extractor fans and cooker hoods are working and used when showering and cooking '� the two main sources of moisture generation '� extract the moisture at source and it cannot affect the rest of the home
  • avoiding drying clothes on radiators and anywhere else internally, and make sure that tumble dryers have a proper extraction system
  • moist air is warm air, so it rises to the highest points in the property, where most condensation and mould will appear '� bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Keep rooms clutter free to allow air movement within and between rooms.

The guide includes amoisture calculator that enables one to estimate a level of moisturegeneration and a video from UKCMB: Moisture guidance all for existinghomeowners, landlords and tenants.

Mainmoisture-generating activities in homes

A table compares 4different types of household and their typical daily activities andshows average moisture amounts generated each year.

A flowchart helpsthe occupant identify any issues resulting from excess moisture inthe home with an easy step-by-step process with guidance.

Richard Smith, Headof Standards, Innovation & Research at NHBC, say:

'This guide fromUKCMB highlights the importance of moisture control in homes and ofensuring homeowners have all the knowledge and tools available tothem to ensure a healthy home. NHBC Foundation are delighted tosupport UKCMB in the production of this publication.'�

Moisture in new homes: a guide for occupants


No items found.