Condensation Solution?

Condensation Solution?

8:14 AM, 12th June 2015, About 7 years ago 29

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I have a flat with a concrete roof. It is top floor and the roof is flat. Below that by some 2-3 feet is a suspended ceiling with a grid/frame of tiles. Condensation Solution

My problem is condensation. There has been a steady drip of water onto the tiles from the cold roof. This also results in damp on the walls within the living space below.

I have been recommended a PIV system by Envirovent, who I am probably going to get in to do a survey.

First, I wondered what people’s thoughts might be? There is no leak – I have had a flat roof specialist look into it, and I’ve been up top myself. He tells me it is all condensation.

Would a PIV system cure this problem? How much should I expect to pay (if you know about them at all).

Thank you in advance.

Ian



Comments

by Mark Alexander

11:37 AM, 13th June 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Stephen Linley-Shaw" at "13/06/2015 - 11:32":

Fighting talk! LOL

As you may have guessed, Joe Bloggs isn't his real name but I have met him a few times now and know that he's a Chartered Building Surveyor.

As I said, this could make for an interesting debate but please keep it professional chaps, nothing personal please. I will be watching with interest and on Amber alert in terms of any moderation requirements.
.

by Nick Pope

17:23 PM, 13th June 2015, About 7 years ago

I will refrain from SHOUTING but must go with Stephen on this one - condensation has always a combination of causes but the real problem is that energy is expensive and heat must be lost in order to balance heating and ventilation and in general tenants can't or won't afford increased energy bills. The loss of heat can now be limited by various types of heat recovery but this also results in condensation in the units or ductwork which must be disposed of.
In this particular case I understand that it's a flat on the top storey of a block with a flat concrete roof. Surely defects are likely to be a matter for a freeholder or management company to which every owner will contribute. The question of course is whether this is a defect which, on balance it's not. It would not be designed in this way now but I don't think other flat owners could be expected to contribute to mitigate the problem.

by Ian Mabb

20:37 PM, 13th June 2015, About 7 years ago

Thanks so much to all who have offered their thoughts. Am I right in saying a Nuaire PIV device may be the preferred option on balance?... Or are there further contributions to the debate to be made - either way?

by Stephen Linley-Shaw

9:30 AM, 14th June 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Mabb" at "13/06/2015 - 20:37":

There have been many good comments - the flat would certainly not meet latest building regulations on insulation and probably not F1 ventilatin reegulations which stipulate a lot more air flow than in the past.

What you are seeking is an answer.

A. If you have an outside wall or some way to get a 100mm pipe to the outside then install a Nuaire Flatmaster 2000. they cost about £300 at dryhomes and can be fitted by a competent electrician just like a fan. This model will automatically input dry air from outside and lower the humidity. it has the added feature that when the incoming air is cold there is a small heater to temper the air to keep it comfortable.
they also cost peanuts to run and are guaranteed for 5 years by Nuaire - most last 10 years in my experience.

Envirovent install good systems but they are more expensive.

by Neil Patterson

16:41 PM, 14th June 2015, About 7 years ago

I Found this guide from the NHBC if it helps 🙂

What is condensation?
Condensation is caused when water vapour comes into contact with cold surfaces and condenses to form dampness or water droplets.
Air can contain varying amounts of water vapour; warm air can hold more water
vapour than cold air. When warm air comes into contact with a colder surface, it cools down and can’t retain the same amount of water vapour. The excess water vapour is released and forms condensation.

Water vapour is invisible in air and is formed when you breathe and when you carry
out normal daily activities in the home. It is also formed as the materials used in the
home’s construction dry out.

Condensation in the home
Condensation is not normally a building fault. It can occur in a new home because
building materials, such as mortar and plaster, contain a lot of moisture. Water vapour is formed as the materials dry out when the home is lived in and heated. This is a slow process that takes some time to complete.

Modern homes are built so that they don’t waste energy. Better insulation, draught
proofing on doors and sealed window units minimise draughts and stop heat escaping from your home. But they also reduce water vapour escaping, which can increase the risk of condensation.

Normal daily activities (such as taking showers and baths, washing and drying
clothes, cooking and boiling kettles) produce warm air containing a large amount of
water vapour. If the warm air can’t escape through an open window or air vent,
it moves around until it finds a cold surface where it cools and forms condensation.
Homes that are heated intermittently are more likely to suffer with condensation
problems than homes that are heated continuously. This is because continuous
heating keeps the surfaces of the rooms warm which reduces the risk of condensation forming on them.

Condensation is most likely to appear on windows, colder parts of walls, around
external door and window openings, and where ceilings and floors meet with outer
walls. It can also appear in areas where air circulation is restricted, such as inside
cupboards and behind furniture that is placed against an outside wall.
If condensation keeps on occurring in the same place, it can sometimes cause black
mould growth.

Reducing condensation
Controlling water vapour levels is important when living in modern, well insulated
homes. You are unlikely to prevent condensation in your home completely, but you
should aim to reduce it to a level so that it doesn’t cause problems. The following
advice should help you to achieve this.

Produce less moisture
n
Put lids on saucepans while you are cooking to reduce steam.
n
Avoid drying laundry on a clothes airer or radiator. If you need to dry clothes
indoors, open the window and close the door of the room where the clothes are
drying, so that moisture can escape outside rather than circulate around your home.
n
If you use a vented tumble drier, make sure it is properly vented to an open
window or through an outside wall.
Stop moisture spreading through your home
n
While cooking, bathing or washing, use an extractor fan and/or open a window,
and keep the door closed. Keep the extractor fan on and/or the window open for
about 20 minutes after you have finished (with the door closed).
n
When condensation appears, wipe it away.
Ventilate moisture away
n
Leave trickle vents (slotted vents in the window frames) open when rooms are
occupied – even in the winter when your heating is on. These vents provide
constant ventilation which removes water vapour.
n
If you can, put free-standing wardrobes and other furniture against internal walls,
leaving a gap between the wall and the furniture so that air can circulate around
the room. Try not to overfill cupboards, wardrobes and drawers so that air can
circulate around the contents.

Provide even heating
n
Keep your home warm to avoid cold surfaces, and remember that it can take a
long time for a building to warm up.
n
If your home is unoccupied during the day, make sure the heating timer is set so
that your home is warm by the time you return home. During very cold weather it
is better to leave the heating on during the day to maintain an even temperature.
The temperature can be set a few degrees lower while you are out and turned up
when you return.
n
If you don’t usually use all of the rooms in your home, you should still keep
them heated to avoid cold areas. It is better to keep all rooms heated to a low
temperature than to have some rooms heated to a high temperature while others
have the heating turned off.

Treating mould
If you notice mould growing in your home, you should treat it straight away to stop it
from spreading and causing more damage to your home.
n
Sterilise the affected area with a suitable fungicidal wash (available from most
DIY stores), following the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep checking the affected
area for at least a week. If the mould reappears, wash it down again with the
fungicidal wash to make sure the area is thoroughly sterilised.
n
If the treatment appears to have been successful, you can carry out any
necessary redecoration. If painting, use a good quality fungicidal paint to help
prevent mould, but remember that this will not be effective if it is later covered by
ordinary paint or wallpaper. If wallpapering, use a paste containing a fungicide to
prevent further mould growth.
n
If mould or mildew is growing on clothing or carpets, you should dry clean them.
Don’t disturb mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning, as you can increase the risk
of respiratory problems.
n
To prevent mould returning, make sure that you control condensation in your home.

by Stephen Linley-Shaw

19:38 PM, 14th June 2015, About 7 years ago

I found this on my site ...Can I solve condensation problems by lifestyle changes?

There are a number of Self Help measures that I recommend. If you have the wholehearted support of all the family they may just work. In my experience it is a very hard trick to pull off these days so good luck!

When showering, washing or cooking open windows and close internal doors. Do this for at least 20 minutes.
Dry clothes outside – even on a cold day it can be done. On rainy days dry clothes under a shelter or porch. Or dry clothes in a spare room with the window open and the door shut.
Where there is a manual fan keep it switched on in the bathroom till the mirror is clear of “steam” – a sure sign the humidity is OK
If you have a timed fan leave the light on so it keeps running at least 20 mins – we do not recommend manual or timed fans.
Open windows whenever possible – especially effective if you can achieve a cross draught through the house during the day.
Leave windows on anti-thief locks, slightly ajar, when you are not at home
Hang wet things, coats, shoes etc.in a room well vented to the outside
Vent tumble driers to the outside through a duct
Remove plants and fish tanks…… all the water you feed plants and aquariums ends up making mould in your home
Mop up floors, windows, water spills & empty bowls or this water will evaporate inside your house and cause trouble
Put a lid on pans.Saves fuel! A pressure cookers is much cheaper but they are now out of fashion.
Don’t heat a room with a gas burner – the burning of gas adds a lot of water to the air
Insert trickle vents in window frames
Fill bath with cold first – this reduces steam by up to 90% say Leeds council
Swap fan/s for a humidity controlled fan – this can be done easily & is very effective – see Dryhomes Cyfan
On warm, breezy days open every door and window to let the whole house dry out.
Wring out wet cloths before hanging up.
Remove Aquariums – if not acceptable then at lease cover the top to reduce the evaporation – water into home = water to top it up
Keep the heating low but more constant through the day; switching off leads to a rapid fall in temperature which then triggers condensation.
Dehumidifiers – if you already have one or can borrow one – give it a try. Dehumidifiers have local effect and can solve a minor condensation problem. They do cost a lot to run!
Draught proof loft hatch to stop damp air rising into the roof – this advice is if you have a damp roof.
Damp wardrobes/cupboards will be improved if the doors are vented to an allow air flow. Vent top and bottom. Or leave wardrobe doors open when possible
Dry wet animals before they come inside
Dry wet things before putting in a wardrobe or small cupboard
If there is room leave a space between your clothes in a wardrobe to improve air flow
Only put up the central heating if you are cold – HEAT DOES NOT STOP CONDENSATION & IT COSTS A FORTUNE !!!!!
Allow more air flow…. watch TV under a comfy blanket…. fewer condensation problems and cheaper fuel bills.
Practice ‘not breathing’ and keep ‘exercises’ to a minimum…….difficult
Benefits of Self Help

It’s either absolutely free or very cheap – a humidity controlled Cyfan costs about £90 in our shop
Each change reduces condensation
Any reduction in humidity will have benefits – health, time, money, comfort
Drawbacks to Self Help

It requires the co-operation of the whole family
It’s hard to change enough to reduce the humidity to levels (less than 60%RH) to eliminate condensation problems
Opening windows results in uncontrolled heat loss …..it isn’t environmentally friendly… and it’s expensive!
It requires sacrifice – most of us don’t want to pile on fleeces and live in draughts
Many homes are small and overcrowded – for this reason they may need a little more than “self help” to keep them dry
Leaving windows open creates a security risk, causes draughts ans allows in pollutants and noise to enter the home.

by Stephen Linley-Shaw

19:40 PM, 14th June 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "14/06/2015 - 16:41":

I found this Self help list on dryhomes site....Can I solve condensation problems by lifestyle changes?

There are a number of Self Help measures that I recommend. If you have the wholehearted support of all the family they may just work. In my experience it is a very hard trick to pull off these days so good luck!

When showering, washing or cooking open windows and close internal doors. Do this for at least 20 minutes.
Dry clothes outside – even on a cold day it can be done. On rainy days dry clothes under a shelter or porch. Or dry clothes in a spare room with the window open and the door shut.
Where there is a manual fan keep it switched on in the bathroom till the mirror is clear of “steam” – a sure sign the humidity is OK
If you have a timed fan leave the light on so it keeps running at least 20 mins – we do not recommend manual or timed fans.
Open windows whenever possible – especially effective if you can achieve a cross draught through the house during the day.
Leave windows on anti-thief locks, slightly ajar, when you are not at home
Hang wet things, coats, shoes etc.in a room well vented to the outside
Vent tumble driers to the outside through a duct
Remove plants and fish tanks…… all the water you feed plants and aquariums ends up making mould in your home
Mop up floors, windows, water spills & empty bowls or this water will evaporate inside your house and cause trouble
Put a lid on pans.Saves fuel! A pressure cookers is much cheaper but they are now out of fashion.
Don’t heat a room with a gas burner – the burning of gas adds a lot of water to the air
Insert trickle vents in window frames
Fill bath with cold first – this reduces steam by up to 90% say Leeds council
Swap fan/s for a humidity controlled fan – this can be done easily & is very effective – see Dryhomes Cyfan
On warm, breezy days open every door and window to let the whole house dry out.
Wring out wet cloths before hanging up.
Remove Aquariums – if not acceptable then at lease cover the top to reduce the evaporation – water into home = water to top it up
Keep the heating low but more constant through the day; switching off leads to a rapid fall in temperature which then triggers condensation.
Dehumidifiers – if you already have one or can borrow one – give it a try. Dehumidifiers have local effect and can solve a minor condensation problem. They do cost a lot to run!
Draught proof loft hatch to stop damp air rising into the roof – this advice is if you have a damp roof.
Damp wardrobes/cupboards will be improved if the doors are vented to an allow air flow. Vent top and bottom. Or leave wardrobe doors open when possible
Dry wet animals before they come inside
Dry wet things before putting in a wardrobe or small cupboard
If there is room leave a space between your clothes in a wardrobe to improve air flow
Only put up the central heating if you are cold – HEAT DOES NOT STOP CONDENSATION & IT COSTS A FORTUNE !!!!!
Allow more air flow…. watch TV under a comfy blanket…. fewer condensation problems and cheaper fuel bills.
Practice ‘not breathing’ and keep ‘exercises’ to a minimum…….difficult
Benefits of Self Help

It’s either absolutely free or very cheap – a humidity controlled Cyfan costs about £90 in our shop
Each change reduces condensation
Any reduction in humidity will have benefits – health, time, money, comfort
Drawbacks to Self Help

It requires the co-operation of the whole family
It’s hard to change enough to reduce the humidity to levels (less than 60%RH) to eliminate condensation problems
Opening windows results in uncontrolled heat loss …..it isn’t environmentally friendly… and it’s expensive!
It requires sacrifice – most of us don’t want to pile on fleeces and live in draughts
Many homes are small and overcrowded – for this reason they may need a little more than “self help” to keep them dry
Leaving windows open creates a security risk, causes draughts ans allows in pollutants and noise to enter the home.

by Joe Bloggs

21:19 PM, 14th June 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Stephen Linley-Shaw" at "13/06/2015 - 10:23":

DEAR STEPHEN,

I SHALL REPLY TO YOU IN UPPER CASE FOR CLARITY, BENEATH EACH OF YOUR CONTENTIONS. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE RUDE, BUT IS TO MAKE READING EASIER. IM ALL FOR EASY AND CLEAR AND CORRECT.

‘Sorry to contradict your last comment but there are 2 myths about condensation……….’
IF YOU THINK YOU ARE A MYTH BUSTER YOU NEED TO PROVIDE EVIDENCE RATHER THAN OPINION. FURTHERMORE, NONE OF WHAT YOU NOW DOES CONTRADICT WHAT I SAID SO ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO APOLOGISE FOR THAT, BUT I DO THINK YOU SHOULD CORRECT YOUR MISLEADING STATEMENT (I.E. ‘Heating the air more will allow the humidity to rise…..this adds to the problem!’) AS POINTED OUT IN MY PREVIOUS POST. THIS STRONGLY IMPLIES THAT HEATING MAKES THE PROBLEM OF CONDENSATION WORSE. IS THIS WHAT YOU REALLY MEANT TO SAY?

'1. increasing the heating will solve the problem.
This will only work IF ventilation is also improved AND the raised heat level is maintained. Heating is a very expensive way of solving a ventilation problem…….most tenants suffering the problem do not have money to heat the house 24/7- they switch it off and night and the higher humidity causes WORSE CONDENSATION at night.'
I NEVER SAID HEATING WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM (OF CONDENSATION)! YOU CLAIMED HEATING MAKES CONDENSATION WORSE! THIS IS JUST NOT TRUE.

'2. Improving insulation will solve condensation.
Wrong. Condensation will still occur if the humidity problem has not been tackled. you can insulate all the walls, floor and ceilings – a very expensive “exercise” – but the windows will then start streaming even worse than before…WHY ? Because the windows have become comparatively cold and water condenses on the coolest surfaces first.'
I NEVER SAID INSULATION WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM (OF CONDENSATION)! YOU CLAIMED HEATING MAKES CONDENSATION WORSE! THIS IS JUST NOT TRUE.

'Heating is a permanent expense and solves nothing! Insulation is essential to improve the energy saving and should be encouraged for that reason – not to combat condensation.'
THAT’S YOUR OPINION, WHICH IS NEITHER A FACT NOR ACCEPTED KNOWLEDGE. I EXPLAINED THE MECHANISM BY WHICH HEATING DOES HELP REDUCE CONDENSATION IN MY PREVIOUS POST. JUST GOOGLE DOES HEATING REDUCE CONDENSATION. HERES A LINK TO A GOVERNMENT PUBLICATION:
http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2005/05/10103020/30217
THIS STATES:
4. Heat your home a little more
In cold weather, the best way to keep rooms warm enough to avoid condensation is to keep low background heating on all day, even when there is no one at home. This is very important in flats and bungalows and other dwellings where the bedrooms are not above a warm living room. If you have central heating set it to provide background warmth in all rooms including unused rooms.

'I have been in the condensation control business at Dryhomes and Dampco for over 30 years and the cheapest, fastest and most effective way of solving condensation is PIV. Positive Input Ventilation. We install many Nuaire Drimasters and other PIV products each week, in South Devon, and all are effective.'
I DON’T THINK YOU ARE INDEPENDENT, AND LACK OF INDEPENDENCE CAN AFFECT EXPERTISE (AS DOES MISLEADING INFORMATION).

by Joe Bloggs

21:30 PM, 14th June 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nick Pope" at "13/06/2015 - 17:23":

HI NICK,

I SHALL REPLY TO YOU IN UPPER CASE FOR CLARITY, BENEATH EACH OF YOUR CONTENTIONS. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE RUDE, BUT IS TO MAKE READING EASIER. IM ALL FOR EASY AND CLEAR AND CORRECT.

‘I will refrain from SHOUTING’
SUCH A RIDICULOUS COMMENT. I OBVIOUSLY USE UPPER CASE TO DIFFERENTIATE QUOTES FROM COMMENT. IF I COULD USE ITALICS OR BOLD I WOULD DO THAT INSTEAD (BUT THAT IS NOT POSS AS FAR AS I CAN SEE ON THIS SITE)!

but must go with Stephen on this one – condensation has always a combination of causes but the real problem is that energy is expensive and heat must be lost in order to balance heating and ventilation and in general tenants can’t or won’t afford increased energy bills.
HAVE YOU UNDERSTOOD MY OBJECTION TO STEPHENS CLAIM? HE STRONGLY IMPLIED THAT HEATING MAKES CONDENSATION WORSE! IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE AGREEING WITH STEPHEN ON!?!? IF SO WHERE IS YOUR TECHNICAL ARGUMENT OR EXTERNAL LINKS?

The loss of heat can now be limited by various types of heat recovery but this also results in condensation in the units or ductwork which must be disposed of.

NONE OF THIS IS RELEVANT TO MY DISAGREEMENT WITH STEPHEN, BUT IN ANY EVENT YOU ARE ASSUMING THAT THE ONLY VENTILATION SOLUTION IS THE PRODUCT THAT STEPHEN SELLS. DO YOU HAVE ANY INTEREST TO DISCLOSE. HEAT RECOVERY EXTRACTOR FANS IN KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS WITH HUMIDISTAT CONTROLS WILL ALSO BE EFFECTIVE, PROBABLY CHEAPER AND IF INSTALLED IN GLAZING OR EXTERNAL WALLS THEY WILL HAVE NO DUCTWORK.

‘In this particular case I understand that it’s a flat on the top storey of a block with a flat concrete roof. Surely defects are likely to be a matter for a freeholder or management company to which every owner will contribute.’
IF THAT’S A QUESTION THE ANSWER IS NO! CONDENSATION IS NOT DISREPAIR AND IS OFTEN LINKED TO LIFESTYLE OF THE OCCUPANT.

‘The question of course is whether this is a defect which, on balance it’s not. It would not be designed in this way now but I don’t think other flat owners could be expected to contribute to mitigate the problem.’
YOU SEEM TO BE CONTRADICTING YOUR PRECEEDING SENTENSE.

by Michael Barnes

21:55 PM, 14th June 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bloggs" at "14/06/2015 - 21:19":

My reading of Stephen's comment was "in this case increasing heating will make the condensation worse because it will increase the amount of warm, moist air reaching the cold convrete roof"", not that heating always makes condensation worse.


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