During renovations or refurbishments, homeowners must consider the impact moisture may have upon their dwellings. Inefficient or insufficient moisture management in a building can lead to mould, cause paint to blister and peel, rot timber structures and rust or corrode metal building materials. All of these issues can be avoided by installing insulation correctly.
Incorrect installation of insulation could lead to condensation. Condensation is a result of changes in the climate conditions, leading to an increase in humidity and seasonable temperatures, culminating in the water vapour in the air condensing from a gas into a liquid (HIA, 2020). This process takes place in buildings where warm air carrying a lot of moisture meets cold vapour resistant surfaces.
There are two types of condensation: surface condensation and interstitial condensation. Surface condensation occurs on the visible surfaces of a construction. Interstitial condensation takes place between layers of the construction, such as inside the roof, walls and floor assembly.
Both surface and interstitial condensation will increase an insulation material’s conductivity and in turn, significantly reduce its thermal effectiveness. It can also damage insulation, which ultimately leads to mould growth, impacting indoor air quality and potentially causing health problems.
The National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 introduced new requirements in relation to condensation, helping to minimise its impact within homes (Condensation and water vapour management V2.4.7). The code presented new guidance around controlling the access of moisture through the external wall by using an appropriate pliable building membrane (sarking), ventilating the home correctly and the use of exhaust fans.
It is important to understand what type of insulation best suits your needs to minimise the risk of condensation. You must select an insulation that is compliant with the relevant building codes as well as suitable for your specific climate zone. Ensuring your home is well ventilated will also assist in preventing moisture build-up.
Kingspan Kooltherm K17 insulated plasterboard offers the perfect solution to combat condensation. Kooltherm K17 is a high performance, closed cell phenolic insulation with a fibre free core, making it ideal for roof, wall and floor applications.
Kingspan Insulation offers a number of services to help you avoid condensation problems in your home. These include comprehensive condensation risk analysis (CRA), which provides you with an insight of how condensation will affect your building, and thermal performance calculations (TPC) that give you an idea of how your building will perform thermally.