Very bad condensation - ideas?

(22 Posts)
roundabout1 Fri 11-Jan-13 09:55:53

Our house is a 3 story but small old terraced house & we have had minor problems over the years with condensation & damp/ This last year though we have huge amounts of condensation, we have a dehumidifier on the top floor & daily vacuum the condensation off all the windows. But the water seems never ending. In the cold weather you can see moisture on the outside walls. The top floor has old stone window sills, for some reason this winter we are having moisture running down the window sills. We have had a builder look in the loft & apparently there wasn't adequate ventilation so he has cute slits in the plastic in the roof & suggested getting a few vented roof tiles put on in the better weather. Just am perplexed as to why the problem is so much worse now.

josparkle Fri 11-Jan-13 09:58:43

Can't offer any advice but interested to see replies as we also have problems with condensation despite dehumidifier and increased ventilation.

HystericalParoxysm Fri 11-Jan-13 11:29:04

Do you hang wet washing up indoors?

roundabout1 Fri 11-Jan-13 11:35:16

No, we haven't for a few years & open the windows slightly in the bedrooms every day.

MinimalistMommi Fri 11-Jan-13 13:07:56

Maybe the airbricks under floorboards are blocked and need clearing/more airbricks added to improve circulation of air in house?

wonkylegs Fri 11-Jan-13 13:24:46

I would say it's predominantly a lack of ventilation and air flow. It's been a damp year with a lot of moisture in the air & ground so I would expect it to be worse.
Make sure all airbricks are clear, roof vents sound like they are needed and if you don't have window vents, periodic opening up of windows. Check kitchens & bathrooms for any hidden leaks which could be adding to accumulating moisture within the house (behind bathpanels, under floors, under kickboards etc)

roundabout1 Fri 11-Jan-13 14:48:45

One difference this year is that we have had a back boiler & gas fire replaced downstairs with an electric fire. So we now have no draught up the chimney as its been blocked up (but does have an air vent in) & also have lost a ventilation brick at the front of the house as no longer needed it. I was so pleased to get rid of it as was so draughty, think now I would prefer the draught than the endless moisture.

MollyNollyNoo Fri 11-Jan-13 18:22:42

What sort of dehumidifier have you got and how much are you getting out of it? I had damp here and have manged to have a warm and dry house this year, I bought an e-bac, it was expensive but I'm emptying just over 3 liters every 24 hours. According to the instructions it could pull more moisture, which it probably does on days when I hang washing on a dryer over night.

My ebac is in the kitchen, so gets the everyday cooking moisture. We are on 3 floors too and I may need to get one for the attic room. I am a bit careful/paranoid, I air the bedrooms and make sure towels are not left in them to dry and dry my hair downstairs (perhaps a bit odd...but the damp problem in my bedroom has lessened and I can keep and eye on the DC's better).

sedgieloo Fri 11-Jan-13 19:03:01

We have a much more modern house but have battled with damp mould and mildew for six years since moving here. We have finally resolved it. We put vents in all our windows and replaced the extractor fans in our bathrooms. We vented the extraction in the kitchen. Installed vented roof tiles and installed a positive input ventilation unit in the loft space. It has not only meant no more mould and barely any condensation, but we no longer run air purifiers or a dehumidifier. The ambiance in the home feels different. It smells fresh but even feels dryer and more comfortable.

We did all of this ourselves with some help from an electrician and builder friend to keep the cost down. But there are companies who will survey your home, recommend needed extraction and piv unit. We did this but it was too expensive but took the advice and put in place out own fans etc. hope this helps.

roundabout1 Fri 11-Jan-13 19:11:45

molly - we have an ebac one, I'm not sure how much we get out of ours, will have to keep a track of it. We do have another dehumidifier in the outhouse, I will try bringing that one in & having it downstairs & see how much it gets. We have an old mosaic tiled floor in the lounge that is always damp prone, am wondering if because of the wet weather it is throwing much more damp up through the floor.

sedgie - I am so pleased you have finally resolved the problem, off to google positive input ventilation systems. Thank you!

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Fri 11-Jan-13 19:19:16

A water leak?

We had a leak that was only detected when the laminate floor started to lift. Once the leak was sorted the black mold and condensation stopped.

missalien Fri 11-Jan-13 19:33:55

I keep my heated airer on a lot and that's helped the wall of water down my patio doors . Lakeland , toasty warm to come down in the morning to

PigletJohn Fri 11-Jan-13 20:44:19

it is has suddely got worse, it might well be a plumbing leak, as ILike says. Keep the bathroom and kitchen doors closed for a few days and see if the rest of the house improves.

This year has been exceptionally wet so it might be a leaking roof, gutter or downpipe making a wall wet. Or it might be a cracked or broken gulley, especially if made of salt-glazed eathenware, and especially if any bombs fell nearby in the 1939/45 unpleaseantness.

Sniff under the floor. The water main may have rusted into a pinhole. It will be easier to detect if you have a water meter. It could also be a leaking radiator or underfloor pipe.

roundabout1 Sun 13-Jan-13 11:06:56

Thanks everyone for your ideas. Well spent a very exciting day yesterday investigating every nook & cranny for mould,moisture etc. We tried a dehumidifier downstairs & hardly any water came out, even with cooking so it seems it is more of an upstairs problem. There is no damp in the bathroom it is mainly on the top floor. One problem we do have is that we have piles of stuff waiting to be sorted out so that would make the lack of ventilation worse. For the past two nights we have had all the wondows opened a crack. I normally have the one my side open but dh moans about the cold so never has his side open! Anyway much less condensation with them open even though it was just a fraction, so dh is going to fit some vents on the windows and get some vented roof tiles fitted & go from there.

PigletJohn Sun 13-Jan-13 12:28:29

water vapour is lighter than air so it will rise through the house until something stops it.

NeverBeenToMe Sun 13-Jan-13 15:01:10

I've just bought a Karcher wv50 window vac to deal with the condensation in my house - bloody fantastic.

roundabout1 Sun 13-Jan-13 16:22:35

We have the Karcher window vacuum & its amazing how much it sucks from the windows every morning. Doesn't seem to be making a difference to the general dampness though strangely enough.

fussychica Sun 13-Jan-13 17:01:16

Oooh I want one of those - just read the reviews on Amazon - sounds great.

roundabout1 Mon 14-Jan-13 22:01:40

fussy - they are great, really quick to use. I haven't actually used ours for cleaning the windows yet though blush

Well I have continued the mould search today on the top floor where most of the problem is. We have one of those wooden frame wardrobes that have a canvas cover on. It no longer has the cover as it went mouldy so in theory should have air circulating round it. We keep getting a circle of mould in the same place at the side of the wardrobe. There is about 12 inches between the wall & the wardrobe & the mould is half way up the wall. It doesn;t make sense to me where it appears. Dh has been up a ladder & looked outside & can't see anything wrong outside. Any ideas?

PigletJohn Mon 14-Jan-13 23:03:13

the gutter isn't overflowering in heavy rain then?

there isn't cracked render, pointing, or brickwork?

there isn't a downpipe nailed to the wall?

or a satellite dish?

A wet circle usually means water is getting in at the middle of the circle.

Is there a pipe in the wall?

roundabout1 Tue 15-Jan-13 11:18:20

piglet - dh looked outside & couldn't see any cracked bricks or anything but to be honest think it was a man look so when the ice has gone will get him to have a more thorough look. Not aware of the gutter overflowing but will check next time its raining & will get dh to look in the guttering too. There is a downspout but its about a foot further over then where the mouldy patch is. No satellite dish at the front of the house & no pipes in the wall.

Thank you for your ideas, dh thinks it is all from lack of air circulating but I dont think it is

roundabout1 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:15:12

Update on the condensation - dh looked in the loft & noticed that when the roof had been done, insulation had been packed down right in the corners where it should be left free for ventilation. Removed 8 bin bags of soggy insulation & since then we no longer have as much condensation. We leave windows open a tiny minute crack just to allow ventilation & now we hardly have any condensation, haven't even used the window vac as not necessary, just a wipe with a bit of tissue cleared it. Yay!

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