Condensation in loft spaces: Myths and realities

Phil Parnham, Chartered Building Surveyor and Director, Blue Box Partners

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Abstract: Both European and national governments see the insulation of the existing housing stock as an effective method of reducing energy use across the UK and the EU. Although the proportion of insulated ‘hard to treat’ properties remains low, a variety of government initiatives has resulted in the insulation of a high proportion of accessible lofts and cavity walls. In relation to the insulation of lofts, anecdotal feedback from residential surveyors indicates an increase in condensation problems in loft spaces. Although this problem has been described and solutions proposed in a variety of publications, the defect is still misunderstood by many in the surveying and contracting sectors. In this paper the author draws on a range of published guidance and research and separates the myths from reality. The paper discusses the factors that cause condensation in loft spaces; describes how condensation can be distinguished from other forms of dampness and outlines how loft space condensation can be reduced to manageable levels.


Keywords: loft space condensation; loft insulation; loft ventilation

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