What is Thermal Bridging and Condensation?

We continue our exploration of what causes heat loss from buildings (for part one see here). Today. we explore thermal bridging and condensation in more detail.

Thermal bridging
Thermal bridging arises in building envelopes when heat loss pathways are created in the insulation envelope. This occurs due the fact that heat always travels through the path of least resistance in a building. Thus, using building materials with higher thermal conductivity value such as steel and concrete aids this process. Thermal bridging is prone to areas such as;
•    Areas of building with gaps and poorly installed insulation
•    The junctions between external wall and floor of a building.
•    Door to wall junctions
•    Roof/Ceiling-to-wall junctions
•    Window to wall junctions
•    Components such as window frames and doors
•    Masonry cavity walls with metal ties

Warm air holds more water vapour than cold air. If the normal room temperature of a room is reduced the level of humidity increases. If the room temperature keeps falling the humidity level will keep rising till it reaches 100% humidity. Water will condense on a surface when air is cooled to its dew point by coming in contact with a colder surface. This usually occurs around external windows and doors. Adequate ventilation and weather stripping around windows and doors will reduce the occurrence of condensation in a building.

Condensation on window and frame resulting from thermal bridging

Condensation on window and frame resulting from thermal bridging

Next week in part 3, we will focus on the two methods of how heat loss occurs.

To learn more about how you can reduce your buildings heat loss please contact GES Energy today on www.gesenergy.ie