If you already own a Hypedome or are considering getting one for your garden, you might be curious about condensation or moisture on your dome walls. Is it normal? Will it damage your dome? And what can you do about it? This article puts all your questions to rest.
What is Condensation, and Why Does it Occur?
First, a quick science lesson about condensation. It’s a natural phenomenon in which water vapour becomes liquid. Condensation happens when the outside air temperature cools to its dew point, or the air becomes so saturated with water vapour that it condenses into liquid.
Condensation is completely normal. It appears most frequently in the morning or in response to high humidity conditions, for example, when the weather is rainy or the air feels moist and ‘sticky’. Your garden igloo can also get humid if several people are gathered inside, breathing in and exhaling the same air. Steaming food and drinks and a wet floor or carpet can also create humid conditions. Obviously, Hypedomes look most beautiful when they are completely clear – so what can be done to reduce or remove condensation?
How to Reduce Condensation Inside Your Hypedome
Depending on your climate, time of the year and current weather, it might not be possible to entirely eliminate condensation at all times from your outdoor dome. However, you can reduce its unsightly effects through proper ventilation, insulation and heating. Let’s break down these options in detail:
- Sun – the easiest way to reduce condensation inside the dome is to expose it to natural sunshine. Consider this when choosing a spot for your Hypedome – which part of your garden gets the most sun in the colder months? When exposed to direct sunlight, any condensation will quickly turn into vapour, making your dome completely clear.
- Ventilation – an important yet simple thing to do is ventilate your garden dome by keeping the door and window panels open when the weather allows that.
Without regular airing, humid air will stay trapped inside your dome, and when the temperature drops, it’ll end up as condensation on your dome walls again. Use our optional tilt Window Panels (two is optimal), as these can be left open when the weather is calm. Remember to always close the door when you leave the dome and also keep the windows closed when it’s getting windy.
- Insulation – one of the most efficient ways of dealing with condensation is to insulate the bottom of your Hypedome and seal it from moisture coming through the ground. We offer ready-made solutions for this purpose with our Soft Floor Membrane or Insulated Modular Base. If using our Soft Floor, ensure there are no gaps when fitting. (Add a Carpet or Coconut Coir Matting for extra cosiness.) Even if you decided to build your dome on an existing hard surface such as a sandstone patio, concrete slab or your own wooden deck, consider getting our Soft Floor Membrane to keep away any moisture that can otherwise get into the dome through tiny gaps between the dome’s perimeter and your hard surface.
- Heating – the fundamental laws of physics tell us that solids, liquids and gases change state when heated or cooled. When warming the Hypedome (which can be done quickly with an electric heater fan), the moving air and increased temperature inside will change the condensation from a liquid back into vapour through evaporation. We often recommend Dyson heater fans as they are very efficient in warming up the dome, offer powerful air circulation, are relatively silent and look very attractive too. Curious about other ways of heating your Hypedome? Read our extensive blog post on warming the dome to learn more.
Tip: Hypedome Window Panels, together with our Soft Floor Membrane or Insulated Modular Base, are the perfect set to help you minimise condensation.
Quick Checklists for Reducing Condensation in the Hypedome
If you want to use your Hypedome and find that it’s steamed up, follow these three steps:
- Use a heater inside your dome until the condensation evaporates and the panels are clear.
- Open the door and window(s) for several minutes to let the humid air out.
- Make sure your floor is completely dry. Again – if you’re getting any rainwater through the gaps between the dome’s perimeter and your hard surface, install our optional Soft Floor Membrane accessory to keep any moisture away from the dome’s interior.
- That’s it! You can use your dome as usual.
To air your outdoor dome after using it, do the following:
- Open the window(s) and door.
- Remove anything from the inside that may increase the humidity level, such as wet or damp soft furnishings or hot food and drinks.
- Wait around 20-30 minutes.
- Close the door (you can leave the windows open if it’s not windy).
Don’t worry, these steps aren’t necessary after each use of the dome. But they’re worth remembering especially if you’ve had several people inside with steaming hot food and drinks or you’ve been exercising in there.
Sometimes you might notice high levels of humidity, such as droplets on the dome’s ceiling. When this happens, wipe all the affected panels with a clean, absorbent cloth and then follow the steps above for heating and airing.
Can Condensation Cause Mould and Mildew in the Hypedome?
Condensation won’t damage your outdoor dome and it won’t cause mould or mildew. Sometimes tree pollens can get trapped between the panels (due to their overlapping construction). It looks like a greenish sediment, but it’s not mould and it isn’t harmful to your dome. You can easily remove it with a power washer.
Easily Manage Condensation in Your Garden Dome
Condensation won’t harm your beautiful Hypedome. There’s no need to move your dome to a new patch or take it down during winter for fear of the panels fogging up – Hypedomes are designed to stay up all year round (even when not in use).
You can easily reduce any condensation by insulating, heating and airing your dome as recommended. Then you’ll be able to enjoy the view from your Hypedome as before, and keep the interior comfortable and cosy no matter the weather. Excess moisture doesn’t need to dampen your mood!