Do you need a dehumidifier? How to prevent condensation

Its about this time of year when you start to see more condensation build up on windows. This can also be a problem in summer months but is exaggerated in the winter as the outside and inside temperature contrast is far greater.

Window condensationThe problem with condensation (apart from the fact that you cannot see out of your windows!) is the pools of water that it creates. Even small amounts of water can start to cause mould to grow and damage plaster, paint and woodwork. I can clearly remember as a child my mother going around the house every morning mopping up the water from the window sills!

Don’t despair though. A great way to prevent condensation and the associated mould and damp problems is by using a dehumidifier. The units are about the size of a small portable heater and work by removing all the excess moisture from the air and capturing it in a water tank (or discharging direct to a drain). I have to confess that I am not an expert when it comes to different models of dehumidifiers but plenty of websites offer good comparisons and reviews of the best dehumidifier for bathrooms.

I have however used dehumidifiers in some houses in the past and they do work. In fact I am often quite amazed by how much water they can remove from the air. Downsides are that dehumidifiers can be costly to run if used very frequently but according to the Best Dehumidifier Guide, compressor models have a lot lower power consumption than desiccant type dehumidifiers. When it comes to more details on dehumidifiers then the leading manufactures often have good information on their website, the Ecoair dehumidifier one in particular is good.

If you need any further advice on dehumidifiers then please use the comments form below or get in touch on the contact me page (or visit www.bestdehumidifierguide.co.uk for product reviews).

What type of damp do I have?

Penetrating dampOne of the questions I am often asked by customers is “what type of damp do I have in my home?”. In this blog post I will try to cover the 3 mains types of damp.

Basically you have rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation:

  • Rising damp – this is where the water rises up from the ground and affects the base of walls, typically around skirting boards. Normally this is prevented with the fitting of a damp proof course or membrane in the brick work
  • Penetrating damp – this is caused by water penetrating the walls (from outside) at any point. This can be a results of damaged guttering or poor pointing for instance. You will often see damp pages on a wall after rain. To fix this you need to address the root cause (for example, fix the guttering)
  • Condensation – this can be a common problem in winter and is caused by moist air touch cold walls or windows. This can often lead to a build up of mould and damage to paint or plaster