More than a third of all households (37%) report they have condensation issues. New builds, in particular, are susceptible to condensation as the building dries out.
It can take up to 12 months for a new build property to fully dry out.
As well as causing damage to a property, mould spores are a known allergen to humans, causing a raft of health problems.
Ventilation is key to keeping mould at bay. Believe it or not, ventilation is more important today than it was 100 years ago when properties didn’t have insulation in the walls, so fresh air could pretty easily enter through all the gaps, cracks, and holes in the building envelope. Today, in our drive to keep warm and save on heating costs, we have minimised natural ventilation sources.
Dave Pratt, Building Control Manager at Derbyshire Building Control Partnership explained: “Modern homes are built much ‘tighter’ than in the past, with better insulation, windows and materials that improve the overall energy efficiency. But that brings the problem of humidity with it.
“When damp air can’t escape, particularly as plaster is drying out, mould problems can begin. It’s important to be mindful of this both during and after the build, particularly if it is during wetter, colder months when there is generally more moisture in the air.”
If you’re planning a property renovation or new build, particularly during the colder months, ensure you minimise the risk of mould by following DBCP’s advice:
- Open your windows on dry days to provide added ventilation
- Gently heat the property. During very cold weather it’s better to leave the heating on during the day to maintain an even temperature
- Do not obstruct ventilation ducts
- Use suitable bathroom sealants and replace them when they expire
- Do not allow areas of damp to go untreated
- Do not entirely block an open fire’s chimney – these will have been included in the ventilation specification of a room
- Leave trickle vents (slotted vents in the window frames) open
- When placing free-standing furniture in the room, ensure you don’t place directly against internal walls, leave a gap between the wall and the furniture so that air can circulate around the room
For more advice on ensuring adequate insulation and ventilation in your new build, get in touch with our knowledgeable team for expert advice.