When you think of condensation you might think of an ice cold glass of lemonade on a hot summers day but it is much more than that. Condensation is a serious issue effecting buildings around the world and you insulation could be the cause.
When installing insulation in any building, it’s vital you know what type of insulation is best for your needs. Too many buildings are plagued with black mould, peeling and blistering paint, rotten timber structures, or rust and corrosion in the metal building materials hidden within the walls due to being poorly insulated.
Not only can condensation cause serious health problems, it can also cause your insulation to perform poorly, lowering its thermal performance and in some cases making it completely ineffective. Not to mention the big bill you are lumped with to rectify the damage.
But there is good news; the risk of condensation can be reduced by simply ensuring you are using the right insulation for each application.
Below are four tips for choosing the right insulation and ensuring your insulation will continue to be effective for years to come, unaffected by the dangers of condensation.
Install insulation that is right for your climate.
There are many different climate zones throughout Australia and the extreme temperature variances make us more susceptible to the risks of condensation. Deciding between vapour permeable insulation which lets small amount of vapour through your insulation, or vapour barrier insulation which blocks the transfer of vapour, is important and should be discussed with your supplier or architect before you go ahead and install your chosen insulation.
Get a Condensation Risk Analysis
A condensation risk analysis can save you a world of hassle down the track. By pre-determining the likelihood of condensation occurring in your building, you can effectively and actively reduce the risk of condensation before the building is completed. Completing a risk analysis gives you time to correct any weak spots in your building design and allows you to analyse your buildings effectiveness before it is actually built. It is an important step in ensuring your building will perform as designed and will reduce the risk of condensation damaging your building.
With the advancements in building methods, seals around windows and doors have improved, resulting in more air-tight buildings and reduced air flow. While this is great for energy efficient homes and lowering your energy costs, from a condensation point of it can make eliminating condensation harder. Be sure to run through your ventilation with your building designer, builder or architect when you are in the designing phase. Pre-planned ventilation will save you the time, money and stress that comes with the results of condensation problems.
Pre-plan your ventilation
If you find yourself in a home or building that has poor ventilation and is clearly suffering the effects of condensation, there are a number of things you can do in the short term to alleviate the problem. Using exhaust fans in bathrooms, laundries and kitchens will help extract some of the water vapour produced from the running of hot water and the operation of hot plates or dryers. Opening windows to allow air-flow through the building will also aid in lowering the build-up of moisture.