Controlling condensation in flats

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By Alan Draper | Jun 2020

Condensation can be controlled by a combination of heating, ventilation, insulation and reducing the production of water vapour.

Steps to reduce condensation:
Trickle vents to the windows should be left open.
The tenant should avoid drying clothes in the flat as far as possible, if there is no other option then clothes should be dried in one room with the door closed and window open.
Production of water vapour can also be reduced by covering pots when cooking, opening the bathroom window after the bath or shower have been used, opening bedroom windows in the morning to remove moisture from normal human respiration.
Where the walls are marked with mould they can be washed down with a dilute bleach solution. This will help to control mould growth but will not affect condensation.
A dehumidifier can be used to remove moisture but this is not a satisfactory long-term solution as it only deals with the symptom rather than the cause of the problem.

Minimising condensation
Install additional insulation in the roof space – a total of 470mm of fibreglass quilt is required to meet current standards (about 100mm to 150mm at present). Adding insulation in the roof increases the risk of condensation in the unheated roof space so designed ventilation should be provided for the roof.
Install cavity insulation in the external walls.
Improve draught stripping around the loft hatch.
Install extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom. Fans operated automatically by humidistats are to be preferred.

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