What is the Cause of Condensation on Walls?


Condensation on interior walls, particularly in areas where air ducts are installed, is an issue that owners of both newer and older homes commonly run into. The most simple explanation for why condensation occurs is moisture meets bad ventilation. The following brief article will go a bit more into the nature of condensation, how it’s caused in your home, and how you can resolve it.

The Basics of Wall Condensation

The air that is in our home and outdoors naturally contains moisture. The temperature of the air and how close that air is to bodies of water determines how much moisture it will hold. This is why Florida, a state in a hotter region and mostly surrounded by water, is more humid than Idaho, a state in a colder region and not near any large bodies of water.

[bctt tweet=”The temperature of the air and how close that air is to bodies of water determines how much moisture it will hold. ” username=”SanAirClean”]

In a more microscopic scale, this is also why you’ll see condensation more often in a bathroom (hot water) than a bedroom (no water) because as that warm, moist air hits a cooler surface or air environment, the warm body of air is forced to cool down and thus releases the moisture/water it was holding onto the surface or another body of air. This results in wall condensation.

Many of your day-to-day activities will produce some water vapor. Things like cooking, clothes washing, bathing, and washing and drying clothes all put moisture in the air. How much moisture air environments can hold are determined by a saturation point, which, once reached, forces the moisture to be released in the form of condensation. The relative temperature at which this occurs is known as the dew point.

Reducing the Condensation on Your Walls

There are a few everyday things you can do to reduce the amount of condensation that such day-to-day activities produce. Things like:

  • Routinely opening the windows on your property to naturally vent out some of the moisture
  • Keep window trickle vents kept open
  • Ensure that your clothes dryer is properly vented outside
  • Always use any extractor fans when cooking or using the shower/bathtub. You may also consider keeping the bathroom door closed when showering or bathing and opening a window to allow the warm, moist air to vent outside and not into your living spaces where it may condense on walls.

Extractor fans a key method for controlling relative humidity that most homes, no matter their age, and certain appliances (range hood) already come packaged with. The best way to use these fans is to shut any doors leading to other rooms and partially opening a window.

[bctt tweet=”Extractor fans a key method for controlling relative humidity that most homes…” username=”SanAirClean”]

Another effective way to reduce wall condensation is with proper ventilation. Talk to your HVAC technician about installing one of the following key venting systems as part of your HVAC system:

  • Heat-recovery ventilation unit :: This ventilation system takes the stale, damp air inside your home outdoors and replaces it with fresh outside air via a separated grill that passes through your air conditioning or heating unit and through a filter. Your home’s air ducts will then deliver it to the various areas of your home.
  • Positive input ventilation :: This ventilation system has a unit in a loft area and a distribution diffuser that gets mounted directly in the ceiling. Through this equipment, the system gently and continually supplies fresh and filtered air for an overall fresher and higher quality indoor air environment.

Additionally, if you haven’t already, consider adding insulation. Quality insulation will help keep internal walls at a temperature above the dew point of the air inside your home. You can add insulation either from the exterior side or internally between problem walls.

For over 20 years, we have been helping people who are working on improving indoor air quality by providing high quality workmanship with unparalleled customer service to both residential and commercial customers. Our staff of professionals are dedicated to serving your specific needs from the moment you contact us until the completion of your remediation project. Visit our website or contact us today for more information or to schedule your mold remediation consultation.

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