Condensation is a problem most homeowners experience during the winter months. When there is an excess amount of moisture in an area, the dampness can cause wet walls, particularly on your interiors.
There are a lot of culprits that can cause condensation issues with your property. For many, condensation can be the annoying result they have to deal with occasionally because of leaks, defective gutter, or the poor construction material of their building.
If your walls are damp most of the time, you have to look for a way to stop it from happening in the first place. When nothing is done, condensation will grow worse, and it will eventually affect your house and health.
How to detect condensation on walls
Spotting condensation is easy. For you to know if there is condensation on your walls, it will be apparent when you look, touch, or smell the wall’s surface. Depending on the cause or period the wall was exposed to moisture, the signs may be less noticeable or more prominent.
Although there is a huge chance that you already know what condensation looks like, there is no harm in confirming your suspicions or rejecting your worries.
The main symptoms that many homeowners notice first are stains, peeling, or discoloration of their walls’ surface. You may notice some dark or yellowish spots on your painted wall, or you may see fading on your wallpaper.
If the dampness is severe and is continuing to seep through, it is possible to see water stains or the water itself dripping on its surface to your floors. This is what usually happens when the cause of the condensation is a leak.
Mold may also be a problem that will result from the dampness.
When an enclosed area is not able to let the extra air out, a change in temperature can be experienced by the owners. It is common to find some cold spots in a certain area around your home.
Contractors use a tool to measure the dampness of the wall, but if you want to check it yourself without a damp meter, touch the surface of your wall and notice if it feels damp and cold. Note: Only do this if there are no dark-colored stains on your walls, which may be mold. They can irritate your skin.
Excess moisture on your interior walls can cause a musty odor to spread in the area. Although this does not 100% indicate that there are leaks in your home, the presence of a stale and moldy smell can be a symptom of condensation.
Ways to get rid of the condensation on your walls
The frequent occurrence of moisture and humidity will not bring any good to your property. Most structures nowadays are constructed with materials that do not perform well when water is present, as it is an enemy that is damaging to several masonry units like brick and concrete.
Condensation will continue until the main issue is addressed. Depending on the root cause of the dampness, the solutions will range in ease, difficulty, and expense to fix.
Simple condensation solutions that will not cost you money
- Plan a furniture layout that will encourage the circulation of air
Condensation results from the damp air, and the weather or location where you live can add to the problem. If there are no issues with your building’s current condition: structure, roof, flashings, drainage, pipes, and gutters are in good working order, rearranging your belongings can help.
Take a look at the room where you notice dampness most. Is there some furniture that is blocking your vents? Are you placing your stuff close to your walls? Big and bulky beds, sofas, or refrigerators are the common things that can disrupt the air from flowing in your area freely.
Make a layout that will encourage airflow. Avoid placing your things (especially furniture) too close to the wall.
- Set a schedule to ventilate your house
The best way to stop and prevent condensation problems is to set aside an hour to let air in your building. We recommend doing this in the early morning when the air feels fresh and the pollution is lower.
This tip is for people who live in areas that allow them to open their windows, and this method may not be ideal during cold seasons.
It is important to remember that condensation is essentially trapped air. Let new air inside by opening your windows every day. If this is not possible, turn on your vents and a fan to dry your place.
- Don’t forget moisture-prone areas and rooms
Bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens are areas that are especially prone to humidity. Most things that you do in our home highly contribute to the moisture content in the area: cooking, showering, and even breathing adds moisture to your place. This is normal and unavoidable.
Obviously, you can’t stop doing those things, but you can add a routine to stop condensation from forming. If the weather allows you, dry your clothes outside. Wipe your windows frequently. Place a lid to your pots when cooking, and wipe counters and tables after meal preps.
Investments to stop condensation you will not regret
- Get a quality dehumidifier
Invest in a good quality dehumidifier for your place.
It will help remove extra humidity especially during winters, after cooking, or after taking a shower.
- Schedule an appointment with a professional
Did you find a problem with your building? Are there any leaks or defective systems? Make sure to contact a professional as soon as you notice them. Aside from condensation, a dysfunctional building will cause you more problems that can be highly expensive to fix.
If you want a contractor to find and fix the problem, request a home survey and inspection to detect condensation and mold. Waterproofing, re-painting, or grouting may be an option.
- Update or upgrade your existing HVAC system
Maintaining a constant temperature helps you avoid condensation issues. Vents have to be clean to function well.
Schedule a regular appointment to keep your HVAC system operational.