About Condensation Damp
Condensation Damp is generally a bi-product of how we live and can effect damp walls, and damp cellars. Various things that we do on a daily basis exacerbates the levels of atmospheric moisture in our homes and buildings and this has a direct bearing on the levels of condensation damp.
Cooking, bathing, showering and even breathing can increase moisture levels in the atmosphere with the average person expelling up to 5 pints of moisture a night just while they are sleeping!
Condensation damp can occur:
• When there is a lack of natural ventilation
• When there is a constant change in air temperature in a room
• When wall surfaces are damp and cold
• When radiators have been used excessively to dry clothes
Basically, air molecules are larger when they are warm and so they can hold more atmospheric moisture. When the air cools the molecules reduce in size and so are unable to hold the same amount of moisture, and therefore deposit the excess moisture on the surrounding surfaces.
Visually this can appear as actual moisture and wet to the touch, or as black spot penicillium mould. Both can have detrimental affects to the internal finishes and the spores of the mould can manifest themselves permanently in the wall plaster. Condensation damp can also be a health hazard especially to those who already have respiratory health problems.
Dealing With Condensation Damp
For below ground damp problems, a full damp tanking system should be applied to the damp cellar. When dealing with above ground damp it is important to provide increased and regular levels of ventilation to facilitate regular air changes within a room. If this can be achieved naturally then some form of mechanical ventilation or climate control should be introduced.
In turn some attention should be given to the surfaces where the condensation is occurring particularly if damp mould has been present. Numerous people have found that using standard cleaning products or bleach can sometimes be a futile exercise when trying to remove penicillium mould permanently. If the spores of the mould have manifested themselves then the only option may be to remove the wall plaster or apply an impermeable damp proofing membrane over the affected areas.
Application of Damp Proof Membranes
Damp Proof Membranes can be applied to damp walls affected by condensation damp, staining and mould and penetrating damp. The recommended High Density Polypropylene and Polyethylene damp proof membranes would be moulded into a stud formation which creates an air gap behind the system.
The impervious nature of the damp proof membrane coupled with the 'egg box' stud profile means that when the membrane has been applied to the wall surface, mould spores caused by the condensation damp can no longer affect new finishes which would be applied to the Damp Proof Membrane. Similarly, any dampness in the structure will be prevented from affecting the wall finishes. They can be applied by a DIY damp expert, or a professional damp specialist.
The air gap provided by the studs of the membrane is a natural insulator and this means that when applied the membrane serves to gently warm up the surface of the wall and the thermal qualities can help to reduce levels of condensation damp. The damp plaster can then dry out behind the membrane, thus treating damp permanently.
Damp Proof Membrane Systems can be applied following the removal of contaminated wall finishes, or simply directly over the top of them. One contractor who regularly uses Damp Proof Membranes said "We don't mess about any more. Whenever we have a wall affected by condensation damp and damp mould we firstly install better levels of ventilation - naturally or mechanically - and then we apply a Damp Proof Membrane to the walls and dab fix an insulated plasterboard. That way we get a nice dry and warm wall surface which considerably reduces the chances of condensation damp re-occurring."
Are you in need of a damp proofing provider for your job? Then look no further as the team at Plasterers Redbridge can help. Call 020 8088 0926 today so that we can discuss your needs!