Under certain conditions, all awnings will suffer from internal condensation.
Condensation is created by moist warm air coming into contact with a cool surface. This moisture condenses creating water. Depending upon the conditions, condensation could be quite severe and is commonly mistaken for leaking, especially as it can run down the inside of the roof and drip off ties, tapes and other internal fittings.
A suspected leak will almost certainly turn out to be condensation.
The primary causes of condensation are:
- Moisture in the ground.
- Moisture in the air.
- The weather.
Condensation can also be created from:
- People sleeping in the awning.
- An adult can easily produce 1L of water over 12 hours through breathing.
- Heaters being used in the awning.
- Cooking in the awning.
- Exhaust vents from the vehicle into the awning.
- Wet items - coats, jackets, towels or even wet dogs.
- Rainfall - it is not uncommon for condensation to occur from rainfall.
- Cold rain can rapidly lower the materials temperature whilst the temperature remains warm inside the awning.
- The warm air comes into contact with the cold material condensing and creating condensation.
Condensation can be reduced by:
- Avoiding pitches on wet ground.
- Good ventilation.
- Airflow will reduce humidity inside the awning.
- Turning off heaters used in the awning.
- Not storing wet items inside the awning.
- Using a non-breathable waterproof groundsheet.
- This stops the moisture coming from the ground condensing within the awning and is the most effective way to negate condensation.
- In some European countries we do not receive reports of condensation as they use non-breathable waterproof groundsheet underneath their awning carpet.
Roof linings are also available for many awnings which help reduce condensation by regulating the temperature inside the awning and catches any drips that fall from the roof and allowing the water to dissipate when conditions improve.
"I didn't experience condensation with my last awning"
It is not uncommon for customers to report that they did not experience condensation with their last awning. There are several reasons for this.
- The awning material used on most awnings has a waterproof PU coating over its entire surface and the seams of the awning have been factory taped making the unit fully waterproof. This stops water coming in, however it also stops moisture getting out.
Most condensation occurs in the off-season - early Spring, Autumn, Winter. Due to ease of use, more customers are pitching their lightweight awning in the off-season where, previously, a traditional awning would have been considered too much hassle to set-up.