Kitchens and bathrooms are often primary sources of atmospheric water. Moisture is released into the air through normal daily activities such as washing, cooking, drying clothes, showering and bathing. This can occur commonly on windows or external walls, or cold surfaces within the fabric of the property. Look for it in corners, on or near windows, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards. It often forms on north facing walls.
The problems of condensation can lead to staining and mould growth, damaging wallpaper, wall surfaces, window frames, furniture and clothing. The development of mould growth is the most tell tale sign that it is frequently associated with condensation.. The appearance of mould may be black, yellow or green in colour, depending on the specific type of mould and the surface which it grows on. Black spot mould (Aspergillus niger or Cladosporium spp) for example, forms pyramid profiles in wall corners and at wall/floor or wall/ceiling margins as a consequence of condensation.
Moulds are hydrophilic fungi in that they require high levels of surface moisture. Capillary held dampness (such as that originating through rising dampness) is not sufficient to cause mould growth.
The mould requires free moisture on the surface to germinate. Tiny spores produced by the mould and the higher numbers of dust mites due to the moist conditions can increase the risk of asthma and respiratory illness in some people.
Maintaining a reasonable balance between heating ventilation and insulation can reduce excessive condensation however, a major review of lifestyle and occupation of the property is often necessary.
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