Hi there all
We have just had a long weekend of cleaning out all our wardrobes and cupboards after finding mould over our clothes.
I assume this has happened due to a mixture of condensation and low ventilation in our place.
I am currently looking into solutions to try and stop this from happening again so went out and bought a dehumidifier to start with. This has done a great job of leaving the rooms condensation free but I need a longer term solution that maybe won't cost as much as we have it running almost all day. I invested in some hydrometers and the humidity now sits around 60% - 70% through the day with a temp of around 20°C - 23°C.
I have come across these positive input ventilation systems, and as we are on the ground floor it looks like this might be the only solution.
I have found a couple that look interesting:
Has anyone had one of these done? If so, what are your views on them and which system did you get installed, and how much did it cost?
I'll be watching this with interest as we have the same problem. I try to ventilate the ground floor flat we live in by opening the windows but we still get mould on our clothes and shoes! It is so SO frustrating. We also have a dehumidifier running throughout the day.
I have wondered whether it it due to us not having enough ventilation below our floor.
Do keep us updated with how you get on!
Thanks Jayden for sharing.
Jerry, we had a damp survey done on our property and it flagged up that we needed more ventilation in our bathroom and kitchen / lounge. We have settled (but yet to install) on a high powered extraction fan with timer for the bathroom and a high powered extraction fan with humidity sensor in our kitchen as our kitchen currently has no ventilation.
For our bedrooms, I resealed the concrete window sills (outside the room) and re-sealed the wooden window sills so that we had no water leaking into our room. This was the primary cause of why we got mould on our clothes in our room.
I would suggest you invest in some temp / humidity sensors (you can get them for £3 on Ebay) and measure the humidity in all the rooms that are affected. I have a sensor in our rooms and the kitchen now. I also invested in an Laser Temperature Gun which I use to measure the temp of the walls in our room. This was to check the dew point temperature at which condensation begins to form. Have a read of this: http://www.heritage-house.org/about-condensation.html. Here is a good dew point calculator: http://www.dpcalc.org/
We have removed a-lot of clothes from our cupboards / wardrobes and ensured that they have sufficient space for air to flow through. We also now keep our wardrobe doors open during the night and day.
We have a dehumidifier running all day, at night its just outside our room and during the day we have it running when we are drying clothes indoors. Be mindful that drying clothes indoor is really bad as the wet clothes release moisture into the air which in turn causes high humidity. I also have a Nest heat thermostat which keeps our place at around 20° - 22°.
Basically, you need to find out where the condensation is forming, if you can stop that and you can keep the humidity below 60% you will find that the mould will stop appearing. Hopefully that helps.
This is such good information! Thank you so much!
I have noticed very small cracks in the plaster around the windows and wondered if there is something leaking. Also we get mould on the walls around the windows so I have thought there is something leaking there. How do I see if the sills need resealing? Where abouts would need re-sealing on a concrete window sill usually?
one of the things I find with the older style of property is that everyone is busy double glazing and insulating with kingspan and other closed pore type insulations, this creates a plastic bag effect I personally would recommend against.
I recommend a more sympathetic to the fabric of the building approach and try to maintain where possible the open pore nature of the structure with more breathable type insulations and plasters as this helps disperse humidity through the fabric of the building.
Now obviously the side effect of getting rid of all the leaky ventilation is much more stale humid air and therefore mechanical ventilation becomes much more important , however not much point in simply pumping out all the heat you have spent so much money producing and trying to harness, so really you should look at including a heat recovery system to the ventilation system.... all starts costing a fair bit... Last 4 bed 3 storey victorian terraced house I finished spent £500 on heating last winter!!! And this was with only 35mm of breathable cork and lime insulating render to inside of external walls.
Thanks for this. Unfortunately I can't get my head around these things ie what I would need to buy, which one to choose, what extra equipment is needed, how to get it installed. Are there professionals who install them in small two bed flats? It seems that they might be more usually installed in commercial premises.
Plenty of them around. As suggested by Nanz, get somebody like 'envirovent' round. Just be sure to confirm how you want any ducting etc dealing with as you may not want this just slapped on surface mounted.
Be a little careful with companies like 'advance services' as I would warn against believing too much about rising damp... there are generally other issues going on that may manifest as something like rising damp, however in reality this is a lot less common than damp proofing companies would like you to believe.... More important is sorting out your cross ventilation underneath your floor, internally in the living space and checking all your pointing, downpipes etc. Also lose any concrete/paving that abuts right up to your walls(french drain easiest solution)
Thanks for this. We definitely have some concrete that sits too high up our external wall. Who would I get to install a french drain for me? Or is it easy enough to take the concrete out oneself (if so how?!) and put a drain down covered with gravel and directed into an existing drain?
We had Advanced Services around and they didn't try and sell us a product that we didn't need. By the time they came to survey our property I already had a number of companies come through and with all the investigation I did they basically suggested the same as the others. More ventilation by way of airbricks and passive ventilation systems.