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Property Care Association - The importance of ventilation in tackling condensation

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Published on Oct 5, 2017

As darker evenings loom and temperatures drop, homes across the UK are gearing up for one of the most common property issues to emerge at this time of year.

Condensation on windows is especially noticeable in the Autumn - so much so that it is often referred to as the ‘condensation season.’

But while condensation typically comes under the spotlight at this time of year, the PCA is identifying issues which increasingly stretch beyond this traditional timeframe.

The Association says a trend is emerging which sees levels of excess moisture in properties on the rise across the UK, as its members come across higher than ever levels of humidity and moisture in homes.

According to the PCA, the reasons for this rising figure are varied and include increased levels of occupation and rising fuel costs, as well as a drive to make homes more energy efficient.

Efforts to reduce air leakage through draught proofing and retrofit insulation, as well as the changing climate patterns, featuring warmer, wetter weather, are also of significance.

The association says that if the issue is left unchecked, the resulting problems from excess moisture can create problems including poor air quality, condensation, dampness and mould.

Stephen Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, says effective ventilation in homes is a significant way to address the issue. He said: “These are issues which can affect the liveability of a home, particularly in more serious cases where damp can take hold.

“One of the most effective ways to tackle the issue is to ensure homes are properly ventilated.

“However, despite the impact good ventilation can have, current regulation and guidance setting out minimum requirements in homes is mixed and usually ignored or misunderstood.”

In response to the situation, the PCA Residential Ventilation Group was formed last year to offer a specialist service in this area of work.

The focus of the group is to provide a service which considers all the factors in an individual home which can affect moisture levels, such as the building construction, style of occupation, heating, thermal performance of walls and floors and the provision of air exchange.

The PCA has a range of information to help homeowners to understand more about the issue.

The PCA also provides a free online guide, ‘Condensation in your Property,’ an eight-page guide providing several key pointers to help householders control the problem.

The guide available at www.property-care.org/Homeowners.Damp_Control.Condensation.asp includes a variety of useful tips, including using pan lids when cooking, avoiding drying laundry on radiators and even running cold water in the bath before adding hot water - a process which can reduce the steam which leads to condensation by up to 90 per cent.

More details about the PCA’s Residential Ventilation Group can also be found at www.property-care.org/homeowners/domestic-air-quality-and-ventilation/

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