How to Stop Damp in a Conservatory
24 August 2021
Damp is a problem that millions of people through the UK face on a daily basis, be it in their living room, their kitchen or their bathroom. One place that people don’t expect to find the tell-tale signs of damp though is in their conservatory.
Maybe it’s because of the abundance of glass, maybe it’s because a conservatory can be seen as an extension of a property, rather than part of a house, but the fact remains that a conservatory is an often overlooked room when it comes to property care and upkeep, especially in the case of damp.
So, how can you keep your conservatory damp-free and fresh the whole year round? Hopefully, this article gives you some ideas not only on how to stop damp from appearing in your conservatory, but also how to remove it if it does settle in.
Can a Conservatory Develop Damp?
The first question you probably have is whether or not a conservatory is capable of developing damp. After all, damp is a problem you might commonly associate with brickwork and traditional walls.
Well, the fact of the matter is that damp can take on various forms, and depending on the type of conservatory you have, you might have one, or more, types of damp present.
For example, let’s say that your conservatory features a low brick wall below the PVC, timber or glasswork. It’s entirely possible that this low masonry could fall victim to rising damp.
Rising damp is a form of damp borne out of the moisture found within the ground around your property. When the damp proof course built into your property fails it’s entirely possible via capillary action for moisture to travel out of the ground, and upwards into your masonry.
This is a situation that creates damp in your walls that worsens with harsh weather, but it can have drastic effects on your buildings masonry all year round. So, if you had a conservatory that features a brick wall running into the ground, you might find that small level of masonry is still susceptible to developing damp.
That’s one way that damp can be set in a conservatory, but a much more realistic and common way is for condensation to set in within the conservatory itself, and provide the perfect environment for damp to grow.
Unlike rising damp and penetrating damp, condensation is a product made entirely from the inhabitant’s actions, and with a conservatory being a room used to trap heat it can be very easy for condensation to build up in there.
So, how do you stop condensation from building up in a conservatory and providing a space in which mould and mildew can grow?
How to Prevent Damp in Your Conservatory?
The easiest way to deal with damp in your conservatory is to make sure that you are never in a situation where it can develop.
For rising damp and penetrating damp that’s easy. Book a damp survey with a qualified surveyor to learn whether you have a working damp proof course to stop rising damp, and make sure that any faults or building defects are dealt with immediately to stop penetrating damp from occurring.
Now for condensation.
Right away, we would recommend that you limit and minimise the amount of condensation being created in your conservatory. One of the main ways that you can mediate this is by ensuring your conservatory is well ventilated. Yes, we understand that the main purpose of a conservatory is to trap in heat, but making sure that hot, moist air has a channel to leave your conservatory is vital.
If you notice that there is a lot of condensation present, for example, open your conservatory doors. Or, you could open your windows in the conservatory, and any other windows in your property that might allow for a draft through, pushing your moist warm air out. You can find out more about this in our “Does opening windows stop damp?” article.
It’s worth remembering as well that condensation occurs when warm air laden with moisture encounters a cold surface, causing the moisture in the air to revert from gas to liquid. So, making sure that your conservatory is heated consistently is going to be vital.
Look into options such as portable radiators and heaters to make sure that in the winter months, your conservatory isn’t dropping rapidly in temperature and allowing warm air from your home to settle inside as a liquid. Double glazing is another possibility as well that could help you retain heat, and making sure that is installed correctly within your conservatory could be a key step in securing it against damp.
So, we have talked about maintaining a constant temperature and ventilation – but what if you need ventilation on a cold or rainy day? Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep airflow steady in a conservatory even if the windows can’t be fully open. For example, the installation of trickle vents that allow a small amount of air through a window even if they are entirely closed.
You should also consider your own behaviour. Remember, condensation is the product of warm, moist air evaporating and having nowhere to go. If you often dry your washing, do exercise or generate humid air in other ways within your conservatory then it could well be time to put a stop to it, and find a different space in which to do so.
Drying clothes for example is one of the leading causes of condensation in a home, so make sure if you do need to air dry indoors you are doing it in a well ventilated room, rather than a sealed conservatory.
The next tip might be a bitter pill to swallow for some people as well, but make sure to understand it: consider the amount of plants, and the plants you use carefully. It’s so popular to fill your conservatory with plants, and we all know how stunning a well maintained interior garden can be.
However, many plants in fact add to the moisture and condensation levels of a room rather than feeding off that moisture in the air, making any condensation problem you might have potentially worse.
Just check that whatever plants you are going to be housing in your conservatory can absorb condensation if possible, or that you can strike a balance between humid emitting plants, and ones that feed on the condensation.
Finally, just check the materials used in your conservatory are going to be able to repel moisture and damp should you be unsuccessful in limiting the amount of condensation being generated.
Wood, timber and masonry are all very easily susceptible to damp, as are decorating materials like wallpaper and plasterboard. If you are ever presented with a choice remember that PVC and other synthetic materials will hold up much better against damp and will offer more protection against mould.
If things do get dire and damp sets in, how can you remove it from your conservatory?
How to Remove Damp from Your Conservatory?
The very first thing you need to do is establish what led to the damp developing If it’s condensation, then take any of the steps described above. If you have rising or penetrating damp then you will need to get in touch with a specialist to receive a comprehensive survey and a course of action on how to prevent damp from appearing in the future.
Luckily, Timberwise are ready to help. Just get in touch with our team of experts today, and we will be more than happy to help out in restoring your property to a damp free state. Call 0800 288 8660 or get in touch online today.