Condensation is a serious issue affecting buildings around the world. Black mould, peeling and blistering paint, rotten timber structures, or rust and corrosion in metal building materials within the walls are some of the signs your building is affected. Poor insulation is one of the primary factors that can cause condensation and all its related problems.
The problems arising out of condensation can cause poor indoor air quality, leading to serious health problems. Additionally, poor insulation also reduces the expected thermal performance, leading to higher energy bills. Rectifying the damage is an additional expense you will have to bear when your building has condensation.
When installing insulation in your building, it’s vital to know what type of insulation is best for your needs. When you have the right insulation, you can confidently reduce the risk of condensation and all the resultant problems.
Kingspan Insulation has listed out 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.
1. Install insulation that is right for your climate
Australia has several different climate zones and the extreme temperature variances make buildings more susceptible to the risks of condensation. Depending on the climate, you will have to decide between vapour permeable insulation, which lets in a small amount of vapour through your insulation and vapour barrier insulation, which blocks the transfer of vapour. It’s important to discuss this with your supplier or architect before you go ahead and install your chosen insulation.
2. Double-check BCA compliance
Ensure the insulation you are using in your project is compliant with the Building Code. Have your supplier confirm that the insulation is suitable and compliant in your application. For further peace of mind, ask your supplier to carry out a Condensation Risk Analysis on the system. This will give you a clear idea of how the insulation will perform and how likely you will be affected by condensation.
3. Pre-plan your ventilation
Advancements in building technologies have ensured that window and door seals are now more effective in creating airtight buildings with reduced airflow. While this is great for energy efficient homes and lowering energy costs, it can also make eliminating condensation harder. Discuss your ventilation needs with your building designer, builder or architect during the building design phase. Pre-planned ventilation will eliminate the time, money and stress that come with condensation problems.
4. DIY ventilation
If you are 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 airflow through the building will also lower the build-up of moisture.
Condensation is a very real risk that can cause major damage, but it is an avoidable problem. Making smart insulation choices before you build will prevent heartache down the road.
Kingspan Insulation offers a number of services to help you avoid condensation problems in your building:
Comprehensive Condensation Risk Analysis (CRA) will give you an idea of how condensation will affect your building.
Thermal Performance Calculations (TPC) provide you with details on how your building will perform thermally.
Kingspan Insulation’s Technical Services department can provide expert advice and solutions for any building.