Category Archives: damp house

Condensation on your windows

At this time of year do you suffer from condensation on your windows in bedrooms?

We have noticed it in a lot of homes even with newly installed double glazing and this shows a potentially large problem or two.

Take for instance the windows. If they are double glazed there is no way that they should have condensation on the inside pane of glass. If they are affected by condensation it is probably because the gap between the glass is not sealed and filled with inert gas like Argon it is just filled with normal air (not even dried filtered air) and this is very common in Portugal.

For independent information, we recommend you take a look at.

A double glazing window comprises two panes of glass, separated by a spacer bar and seals to create a hermetically-sealed environment. The cavity width between the two panes, air or another gas filling used and the type of spacer bar, are all key factors in the unit’s final energy, solar and acoustic insulation properties. Which dictate condensation or not!

The cavity is filled under vacuum conditions with either dehydrated air or an inert gas to improve insulation and prevent condensation within the unit. Depending on the gas filling used and the type of window, the cavity width for a double glazing window is generally between 4 to 20 mm.

Condensation on your windows, castelo construction, portugal builder,builder in Portugal
Condensation on your windows

The recommended cavity width for Low E energy saving double glazing window when filled with dehydrated air is 16mm – and 14mm when the cavity is filled with argon gas.

Less heat transmission with double glazing window and a warmer home

The physical properties of the dehydrated air used in the cavity means that it transmits (ie loss) less heat by convection or conduction than normal air. This is because the molecules of dehydrated air are relatively immobile, and therefore have a ‘lower thermal conductivity’. The same physical properties of dehydrated air also give it lower acoustic conductivity, for improved sound insulation.

If normal atmospheric air is used the performance of the panel’s is further reduced.

Double glazing window energy efficiency can be further increased by substituting dehydrated air with an inert gas, such as argon, xenon or krypton within the unit. Argon, which has 34% lower thermal conductivity than air, is the most commonly used. Although argon-filled units cost around 5% more than air-filled units, they can improve a double glazing window’s U-value or energy rating by over 30%. Argon fillings should last the lifetime of a double glazing window and over a period of 25 years should not lose more than 5%.

Which begs the question – Why do the local window suppliers do it. Use air I mean it can only be because they make more profit.

If you are buying windows in Portugal ask the supplier to give you a written assurance that an inert gas has been used to fill the glazing panels.

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Bought an old house or apartment in Lisbon

If you have bought an old house or apartment in Lisbon are you sure that you did enough detective work before you purchased an old house or apartment in Lisbon.

 We are seeing more and more inquiries from people who have put an offer in for or have already bought an old house or apartment in Lisbon and are looking for advice and reassurance that the property they have bought is not a disastrous money pit.

We know the problems and pitfalls which come as part of the package when you buy an old house or apartment in Lisbon so it’s often surprising to see just how late in the purchase process people leave it.


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Bought an old house or apartment in Lisbon to refurb

Take for instance a typical old house in Lisbon it will be from around 1900 built of stone and timber with a clay tiled roof – What can go wrong it has been here for generations!

These houses are remarkably stable especially when you consider the lack of real foundations.

Over the years and through the many mild earth tremors they kind of slump a little into the adjoining ground and just stay up.

There are 3 main problems to be found in these houses and it is the same in every case.

1, Fragile, sun dried roof tiles.

These tiles break over time and allow water to enter the house walls and roof space causing rot on the timbers. Here a typical clients contact – “We have just purchased an house from 1930 in ******Lisboa, and are planning a renovation of it during the summer. It has some moisture problems, like marks on a few walls (allegedly from a leak from the roof a few years back), and some minor black spots in the ceiling in some rooms. Would appreciate a survey”

2, Extensive woodworm and wet rot in timbers.

As the tiles break over time and allow water to enter the house walls and roof space it cases dry and wet rot on the timbers. The water quickly penetrates structural timbers effected by wood worm with the result that the roof sags and can often collapse into the house or push out and break the external walls. Both of which are dangerous and very expensive to repair.

3, Even the best homes of this period suffer from damp in the lower walls.

Basements are often uninhabitable and at the very least on the ground floor there will be large patches of loose plaster, flaking paint and rotten floors.

These 3 things have to be sorted out before you start to remodel or decorate the property.

Castelo Construction can help you understand the potential problems and costs before you buy. Our independent reports can enable you to negotiate hard on the price of the property that you want to buy. Our estimates enable you to know exactly where you stand financially and what exactly needs doing to get the property back into good condition before you start to remodel or decorate.

Saving you thousands and cutting the time involved in getting your new home into a habitable condition.

Contact Castelo Construction by email here and be sure of what you are buying

 00351 927168247