Friday February 10, 2023
What is condensation and how does it occur?
Condensation is when water collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air is in contact with it. This often happens when the surface is colder than the dew point. The dew point changes according to the level of humidity in the air. Dew is simply condensed water in the atmosphere. Air temperatures can reach or fall below the dew point naturally, as they often do at night.
As marquees are not buildings with insulation or double glazing then unfortunately they won’t be fully protected from falling outside air temperatures overnight. Once warm or humid air on the inside of the tent comes into contact with the roof tarpaulin the air will condense into water. As marquees and tents are outdoors during the day, evening and night, they will of course experience all different kinds of weather. The formation of condensation is a completely normal and natural occurrence and unfortunately can’t be stopped. Therefore if your marquee has drips from the poles or moisture collects inside the tarp, this does not mean that your tent is leaking.
Main causes of condensation in marquees and tents
– Air temperature
If there is a large difference in the temperature inside the tent to the outside, this can lead to condensation. This can often occur when you have had a heater inside your marquee during the day, then the temperature drops below freezing overnight. We recommend you air your marquee regularly to help this.
– Air humidity
The most common source of humidity for many customers will be the guests inside their marquee. Perspiration and breathing from your guests will contribute to the build-up of damp inside. The damp air will then turn into condensation when the temperature outside is colder. Airing your marquee either side of the event can help reduce this.
– Ground conditions
When the patio or grass underneath the marquee is damp, this will contribute to the condensation on the marquee walls. Equipment such as flooring and carpet within your marquee can help combat this.
– Air flow
It is important that air can move freely and constantly around the tent to help reduce the moisture within the marquee. The longer moisture is allowed to settle on surfaces the more likely it will drop below dew point and create condensation. To reduce this make sure you leave the entrance open or remove side wall panels for a while whenever possible.
How can you prevent condensation from forming inside the tent?
- Be aware of main sources of damp, such as, moisture on the ground, guests within your marquee, wet items inside the marquee, heaters and cooking inside the marquee will all contribute to condensation. We advise you to air the tent regularly and properly either side of these occurring.
- React to the climate; try to air your marquee at the correct times of the day when there is a warm spell. When it cools down in the evenings, this is the best time to allow fresh air to enter your marquee again. During the summer, evening air generally contains less moisture, which will help to avoid the formation of water vapour.
- Keep tension in the roof of the marquee. The more securely the tarpaulin is attached to the frame, the easier it is for air to circulate along the surface of the tarpaulin.
- Maintain a good airflow. If you are using the marquee or tent for storage or a large event, make sure there is room for air to circulate freely around the entire tent. Store things away from the edges of the tent and use pallets so there is enough airflow at ground level.
For emergencies you may choose to use a dehumidifier for drying the tent. The tent is not air tight, so using a dehumidifier is not a long-term option unfortunately. However, it can help to reduce the moisture within the tent and get mould under control.
In summary, it’s useful to remember that the smaller the temperature difference between the interior of your tent and the outside temperature, the less condensation will occur. It is important that you treat the problem quickly and dry the canopy to prevent the formation of mould.
We hope you found this article helpful and if you need further assistance regarding condensation or anything else call us: 01234233234. Follow all of our latest news by signing up to the UK Tents newsletter: