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Last edited 03 Feb 2022
Water vapour in the built environment
Boiling liquid water can produce water vapour by a process of evaporation, while ice can produce water vapour via sublimation. The use of water vapour in the form of steam has been a fundamental part of energy production since the Industrial Revolution.
Air will generally include moisture in the form of water vapour. Absolute humidity is the mass of water vapour in a volume of air divided by the mass of dry air. When air cools, it is less able to 'hold' moisture, that is, the saturation water vapour density falls, and so the relative humidity rises. When the relative humidity reaches 100%, the air will be saturated. This is described as the dew point. If the air continues to cool, moisture will begin to condense.
Moisture in buildings can be reduced by removing or reducing the source of water (such as washing processes, leaking pipes, rising damp and so on) or by drainage, ventilation, increasing temperatures or dehumidification.
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