As we come into spring cleaning season, many of us come up against the awful problem of mould and mildew on our windows and walls. This can be the result of condensation formation which increases as the outside temperature falls, and the inside of the home is heated.
The possible consequences include health risks from unseen mould growth behind wall and ceiling linings, visual deterioration or staining of plasterboard linings, structural decay as moisture is trapped causing corrosion of metal structures or timber rot, and a reduction in the building’s energy efficiency due to moisture saturation of the insulation.
Indoor humidity can be reduced by ensuring ventilation fans in kitchens, bathrooms and clothes driers are vented directly outside, keeping air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed, proper maintenance of heating/cooling systems to make sure it is operating properly to remove humidity, ensuring underfloor space is dry or has a vapour barrier, and by sealing air leaks.
Vapour permeable sarking in walls and under the roof reduces risk of condensation, as water vapour is managed and drained away. This improves thermal performance, shielding the home from up to 97 per cent of radiant heat if used with an air-space.
So when building or renovating seek professional advice on how to prevent condensation as we improve the air tightness of our homes for energy efficiency.
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