Condensation on Window Glass and Frame

Guest Blog from Michael Tait of Taylor & Tait, Chartered Surveyor: Damp in the Modern Home


Guest Blog from Michael Tait of Taylor & Tait, Chartered Surveyor: Damp in the Modern Home

When I carry out residential survey inspections, one of the most common problems that I encounter is dampness. This can take the form of rising dampness, penetrating dampness, leaks from roofs or plumbing pipework, and condensation. By far the most common cause of dampness is condensation, particularly in more modern properties. This is because ventilation to the property is poor, due to sealed up windows, no mechanical extraction to remove moisture from bathrooms, and blocking up of air bricks or flues. Inadequate heating will also result in excessive condensation, as the walls and ceilings will provide colder surfaces on which the moisture can condense.

Modern lifestyles have led to greater use of showers, frequent drying of washing indoors, and sealing up of any potential draughts. As a result, condensation frequently forms on walls, windows and ceilings, especially in the winter. This causes staining and damage to decorations and can allow black mould growth to occur. Black mould can prove hazardous to health, particularly to those with existing respiratory problems.

It is therefore good practice to ensure that trickle vents in window frames are opened (if you have them), or that windows are frequently opened (when safe and secure to do so!) to allow cross ventilation through the property. Extractor fans should be switched on when showers are in use and for a few minutes after (even though the noise can be annoying). If you don’t have an extractor fan, consider having one fitted, or open your bathroom window when you are using the bath or shower. Air bricks in the outside walls should not be sealed up, as these provide important ventilation to the void beneath timber floors or through the walls. If a fireplace is removed from a chimney breast, ventilation should be installed into the flue, which will provide air flow through the building.

Also, ensuring that the property is adequately heated will also assist in reducing condensation. Maintaining adequate heating and ventilation will assist in keeping condensation to a minimum.

Taylor & Tait have carried out over 1500 residential survey in South Manchester and Cheshire, and are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year.