Condensation And Why It Occurs
The question Reveal Doors and Windows get asked about is condensation so we will try and explain it in this article.
What exactly is condensation?
Condensation is water vapour which collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air comes in to contact with that cold surface. When the air is warm it holds water in the form of vapour which when it cools the vapour condenses back in to liquid water.
It is the opposite of evaporation which is when you heat liquid water and it turns in to steam. It is this process of evaporation and condensation that can be a major problem for home owners as there are several causes of condensation.
What potentially causes condensation in your property?
The biggest cause of condensation in a property is hot air. I regularly get told I am full of hot air but insults aside it is this hot air which when it comes into contact with a cold surface will become condensation in the form of water.
Hot air, or more appropriately, humid air has several causes. Steam from baths, showers, laundry equipment, heating systems and even our breath all contribute to increasing humidity. An average family of four people will produce over 100 pints of water per week just by breathing!
Why is condensation a problem for your home?
Condensation is the biggest cause of damp, mould and mildew in UK homes. The damage that damp itself causes can be expensive to repair as it can cause wood rot, weakening of mortar and masonry and reduce energy efficiency due to increased heat transfer.
Mould and mildew are fungi which are everywhere. They grow on almost all surfaces but especially damp or wet surfaces. Both can exacerbate health problems like asthma and bronchitis and cause throat, eye, skin and nasal irritation.
Mould usually appears as black spots within your home but can also be green, red and blue. Mildew is white in appearance and is more likely to appear on fabrics especially if they are organic fabrics like cotton, wool or leather.
What can be done to reduce condensation from occurring?
Condensation on aluminium doors and windows can be reduced in several ways but not all are related to the door or window itself. Here is a list of tips to start with:
- Keep the temperature fairly constant
- Avoid drying clothes indoors
- Do not dry clothes over radiators
- Keep furniture away from walls
- Use extractor fans when cooking
- Only breathe when absolutely necessary!
How technology has changed with aluminium doors and windows so condensation is a thing of the past::
- Use thermally broken aluminium doors and windows
- Use trickle ventilators as a minimum on windows
- Ensure the glass is energy efficient
- Use solar controlled glass if south facing
- Keep the doors and windows well maintained
Many people believe it is the aluminium that causes the condensation but this is not true in the case of modern thermally broken aluminium doors and windows. Due to technical advances in manufacturing techniques and best practices, aluminium doors and windows are now one of the most popular solutions for modern home build projects.
By reducing the amount of heat and hot air (humidity) in your home you will reduce the build-up of any condensation around your aluminium door and window frames.
Hopefully this guide has been helpful and there is enough information for you to make an informed choice. For additional information please do not hesitate to contact us here at Reveal Doors and Windows. We are always happy to help you and discuss your requirements in further detail.