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Condensation within the structural elements is called interstitial condensation. It has less immediate impact on the occupants than surface condensation and resultant mould growth but in the longer term can cause much more serious problems, possibly affecting the structural integrity of the building. Most constructions are permeable and some of the water vapour produced within the building by the normal activities of the occupants will diffuse into the external envelope. Condensation may then occur within the structure, causing decay in vulnerable materials or degrading thermal performance. Even in the absence of condensation, high humidities will raise the moisture content of timber and other hygroscopic materials and so increase the risk of decay.
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