If you have been living in your home a little while you may have noticed that parts of your home often have wet or damp walls? This is usually because of condensation build-up in your home and is usually a good indication that your home’s walls are not well insulated. If wet or damp walls are not addressed quickly, this can lead to black mould developing inside the home which in turn can damage your walls and furniture and seriously affect the health and wellbeing of your family. In this article, we are going to look at what causes condensation and steps you can take to deal with the issue.
What causes condensation in my home?
Condensation starts to occur when warm air and cold air meet. It can also occur when there is a lot of humidity in the air and not enough ventilation. It’s most evident in the winter months which tends to be caused from the efforts to keep your house warm. Everyday activities such as cooking, showering, and drying clothes can also release moisture into the air which can also lead to a build-up of condensation in the home.
For older New Zealand homes, there may be many breaks in your home’s thermal barrier which allows air in and out of your home. When the inside warm air starts mixing with the outside cold air it cools down quickly, releasing the water molecules from the air. These turn into liquid droplets that attach themselves to cold surfaces such as your walls and develop into condensation.
Condensation tends to be less of an issue during the summer months. During this time we’re always opening the windows and doors to let fresh air in. Good airflow keeps the home ventilated and dry. In the winter months, we typically keep all the windows and doors closed. This means the cold air doesn’t come inside but prevents good ventilation which can cause condensation to quickly develop. While most houses have extractor fans in the bathrooms, these small fans are usually not enough to keep the entire house ventilated, and when the outside air temperature starts to drop you can start to notice wet or damp walls.
While a little bit of water may not sound like a major issue, if left unattended, it can create the perfect environment for black mould to grow which can lead to several health issues including respiration problems, skin rashes, and sore or itchy eyes.
What can you do to fix condensation issues in the home?
Luckily, There are some simple steps you can take to fix your condensation problems. The first thing you want to do is prevent the outside air from getting into your home. There could be several weak points in your home contributing to this issue including:
- Gaps around the windows and doors in your home
- Poor insulation in your walls, underfloor, or roof
- Leaks in your roof
- Damage to your homes cladding
- Poor ventilation in your home
Damage to your home’s cladding or structure creates weathertight issues and should immediately addressed. Homes exposed to the harsh climate for an extended duration can lead to an expensive repairs and numerous health issues.
You could also invest in better extractor fans and/or a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. In most situations however, the underlying issue related to condensation build-up is either poor or no insulation.
Insulation is the best answer to this issue
Insulating your home is the single best thing you can do for your family’s health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, New Zealand homes usually only have the minimum standards of insulation. We find most homes have a little insulation in the roof and floor but usually none insulation in the walls. Insulation provides a barrier that keeps the outside air temperature out and the inside temperature in. Heat easily escapes from a home that lacks good wall insulation. Insulation your walls helps close your home’s thermal envelope which helps permanently fix condensation issues in your home.
Insulation products like CosyWall Insulation can be easily blown into the walls of your home without having to remove the linings. An installer pumps the insulation through small holes in your exterior cladding. The insulation is blwon at a high density so that it will never shrink or slump inside the walls. CosyWall Insulation also comes with a 50-year durability rating so the insulation will last the life of the home.
Talk to the team at Insultech Insulation today about organising a free home assessment for your property.