Condensation is the function of change from a gas to a liquid, typically caused through changes in temperature. It occurs where moist air comes into contact with a surface having a lower temperature. The air inside buildings often incorporates high moisture content due to the activity of the inhabitants in cooking, bathing, drying clothes etc. When this humid air cools its capacity to hold water vapour reduces and, once a dew point is reached, the condensate is deposited onto surfaces having a lower temperature than the moisture-laden air. This condensate is immediately obvious on non-porous surfaces such as glass and ceramics but is initially less noticeable on porous surfaces such as plasterboards, wall plaster and timber, which may simply absorb the dampness and permit mould growth.
Stagnant air encourages condensation and mould-spore germination. Typically air circulation is most unlikely to occur in cupboards and corners and behind furniture. These areas are often where the first appearances of mould growth will become evident and musty odours accumulate.
It is most unlikely that we will change our living habits and reduce day-to-day activities such as boiling kettles, washing and tumble drying all of which adds moisture to the air. Therefore condensation is likely to remain a fact of life and our contribution is merely to manage and control condensation by regulating humidity levels. in the home
This can be achieved by ensuring:
Painted surfaces can be treated with mould remover and a fungicidal wash to remove mould and get rid of fungi. Anti-mould paints are available, though it is often more cost effective to supplement standard emulsions with a fungicidal paint additive to protect against further mould growth.