‘A lesson in Humidity…’

The concept of ‘Condensation’ is a perfect example of humidity. The temperature at which this occurs depends on the level of moisture in the air. Inside this can be seen on window panes as the temperature of the glass falls, and outside, when the temperature drops, condensation can form on blades of grass, and given rise to the term ‘dew point’. Localised RH fluctuations can also affect objects and these can be simple things like sunlight or a radiator. Ever been in a stuffy attic in the summer? That’ll be the low RH then… Dramatic fluctuations can have dramatic results and cause canvas and wood to expand and contract at different rates to the paint layer, so cracks will appear and in worse cases flake and fall off. Among the many gadgets that are available to the humble conservator are those produced by the good people of Hanwell. A system of wireless units placed throughout the house sends info to our main computer to be displayed in a graph format. This is, once decoded; a quick reference for maintaining a happy house as you can monitor the temperature and RH from the comfort of an office chair before any decision about adjustments needs to be made. It did take a little while for my tiny brain to re-organise what I was looking at, hoping I didn’t try Katy’s ‘saint-like’ patience with me in the process! It’s a great tool to use, to gage results from days to weeks to months and even look at results from one year to the next. A handy warning light on the system tells you instantly when areas are in the danger zone and a relentless ‘bleep’ doesn’t let you forget!

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About arlingtoncourtblog

Welcome to my blog! I've been keeping it to document my training as a Conservation Assistant for the National Trust at Dyrham Park. View all posts by arlingtoncourtblog

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