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Condensation is a severe issue in buildings that, when ignored, can cause critical dampness problems to the walls, windows, fittings, fixtures, and wallpapers. Condensation occurs when there is a high level of humidity inside a building. The process transpires when warm air collides with the cold surface. The phenomenon is predominant in the winter season.

Identifying condensation in the space during the early stages helps to prevent long-lasting problems. The article enlists the procedural steps and preventive measures to avoid condensation.

How to Prevent Condensation in Buildings?

The main factor of concern during the prevention of condensation is humidity. The three primary methods followed for decreasing humidity and preventing condensation are explained below.

  1. Control Humidity to Prevent Condensation
  2. Ventilation to Prevent Condensation
  3. Insulation to Prevent Condensation

The three requirements can be brought by following these tips:

1. Control Humidity

The use of extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms helps to control the relative humidity. Shut the doors and windows when the extractor fans are working to attain the best results.

The use of humidistat controlled extractor fan is the best choice to control high humidity levels. It is best suited for high-humidity-producing areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

Move the indoor plants as they release lots of moisture. Always ventilate the areas that observe activities that release steam or humidity into the atmosphere, like cooking, bathing, washing clothes, etc.

2. Ventilate the building space

Condensation reduces tremendously if you make sure that the interior rooms of the building are well ventilated. It includes:

  • Allow moist air to move out of the room by opening the window or the window trickle vent.
  • Open the windows across opposite sides of the room or house to promote effective cross-ventilation.
  • There are different ventilation systems like trickle vents, heat-recovery ventilation units, and positive input ventilation (PIV).
  • Always maintain a gap between the walls of the room and nearby placed furniture to allow the circulation of air.

3. Insulation to Prevent Condensation

The use of an insulated surface for a room helps to reduce the heat lost from the space. It maintains the internal temperatures within the optimum so that no artificial heating is required—control of the temperature within the room helps to avoid condensation.

Condensation on walls near the window
Condensation on Walls Near the Window

How to Treat Condensation in Building Walls?

Always find out the reason for the dampness on the wall. This can be determined by the foil test.

Foil Test to determine Condensation in Walls

The steps involved in the foil test are:

  1. Dry the wall using a fan heater.
  2. Cover the dry surface with a kitchen foil.
  3. Check the kitchen foil after 24 hrs.
  4. If the kitchen foil is wet after 24 hrs, the dampness issue is condensation.

Condensation issues, if detected early, can be treated easily without future defects. This can be treated by installing extractor fans in the humid areas so that the moisture in the air gets expelled out. Avoid the use of moisture-producing portable gas heaters to warm the cold and the damp rooms.

The condensation, when severe, may result in chipping or bubbling of paints on the walls. It can be treated by removal of paint, cleaning the surface, and repainting it. Repair of bubbling defects in interior plaster is a similar procedure.

How to Prevent Condensation in Windows?

Other than the treatment measures mentioned above, there are particular recommendations to avoid condensation in windows both from the interior and the exterior.

Interior Window Condensation Prevention

1. Use of Window Insulation Kits

Window insulation kits are installed to prevent interior condensation. It can be installed either on the inside or outside of the windows.

2. Use of Storm Windows

The use of storm windows during the winter months reduces condensation. Storm windows are installed on the inside or the outside of the main window glass. The space formed between the storm windows and the main windows helps the air to stay warm. Storm windows sometimes show condensation without influencing the main window. Condensation observed on the storm windows is also an indication of leaks in the interior windows that must be checked.

Exterior Window Condensation Prevention

The use of glass water repellents helps to reduce condensation in windows. It is applied to the exterior glass to reduce exterior condensation. The repellent brings the water droplets together and finally runs off the window surface.

How to Fix Condensation in Window?

The remedies to fix the condensation between the windows are:

1. Clean the Window

Identify the issue and correct it at the right time to avoid further deterioration of the windows. Clean the windows as soon as condensation is observed.

2. Replace the Window Panes

If condensation has extensively penetrated into the panes that it cannot recover just by cleaning, then the go for replacing the panes. This replacement depends on the type, age, and manufacture of the window.

3. Replace the window

In a situation where glass cannot be replaced, the whole window unit must be replaced. If the windows are old, a replacement is a good choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to know there is condensation in my home?

Foil test can be conducted to test whether the dampness issue in your home is condensation. The steps involved in the foil test are:
1. Dry the wall using a fan heater.
2. Cover the dry surface with a kitchen foil.
3. Check the kitchen foil after 24 hrs
4. If the kitchen foil is wet after 24 hrs, the dampness issue is condensation.

How to treat Condensation-Affected Walls?

Condensation issues, if detected early, can be treated easily without future defects. It can be treated by installing extractor fans in the humidity areas so that the moisture air gets expelled out. Avoid the use of moisture-producing portable gas heaters to warm the cold and the damp rooms.
Extreme condensation may result in chipping or bubbling of paints on the walls. It can be treated by removal of paint, cleaning the surface, and repainting it. Repair of bubbling defects in interior plaster is a similar procedure.

How to treat Condensation between the Windows?

The remedies to fix the condensation between the windows are:
1. Clean the Window
Identifying the issue and correction at the right time avoid further deterioration of the windows. Clean the windows as soon as condensation is observed.
2. Replace the Window Panes
If condensation has extensively penetrated into the panes that it cannot recover just by cleaning, then the panes must be replaced. This replacement depends on the type, age, and manufacture of the window.
3. Replace the window
In a situation where glass cannot replace, the whole window unit must be replaced. If the windows are old, a replacement is a good choice.

Read More:

  1. Window Treatments-Methods and Types
  2. Installing Windows in Concrete Walls

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Neenu Arjun

Neenu Arjun

EDITOR
Neenu is a Civil and Structural Engineer and has experience in Design of Concrete and Steel Structures. She is an Author, Editor and Partner at theconstructor.org.

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