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Aaaarggh - condensation!!!!

(31 Posts)
Nosleeptillgodknowswhen Mon 05-Nov-12 09:09:33

I hate winter!! Every year our PVC windows suffer from loads of condensation overnight and even worse the top of window alcoves and wall/ceiling edges of rooms get damp and moudly (all our rooms have 2 outside walls). I have put anti damp paint around the edges which has helped but not stopped the mould. I seem to spend half my time going round wiping with bleach.

What am I doing wrong and how can I stop/reduce this? I have wondows open as much as I can bear, but we do also hang washing upstairs on a shielamaid thing which might contribute.

Should i have the house hotter/colder? And is the ceiling mould likely to be from too much insulation around the edges of the roof or not enough?

I need the wisdomm of mumsnet!

sensiblebev Mon 05-Nov-12 09:22:42

I have a very similar problem, I find opening the windows for a little while in the morning helps and making sure the bedroom radiators don't need bleeding. It's a massive headache though, good luck.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Mon 05-Nov-12 09:25:22

New PVC (expensive)

Humidifier (less expensive)

Keeping windows open a little overnight (free) wink

We have the same problem. We need new windows.

Move furniture away from walls too to improve circulation

nipersvest Mon 05-Nov-12 09:25:56

i find leaving a window open a little helps reduce the amount of condensation, i use a window squeegy and a really absorbent cloth on bad days to get rid of the worst.

am about to try a small bowl of uncooked rice left on the windowsil, read somewhere that the rice will absorb excess moisture, don't know if it's just an old wives tale or not but worth a try.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Mon 05-Nov-12 09:26:34

Also a humidifier will help dry clothes quicker.

But ideally stop drying clothes in the house. (I know it's a pain in autumn/winter)

poozlepants Mon 05-Nov-12 09:27:28

Ventilation is the key - open your windows when you can. Leave yourbedroom door open slightly at night. Hanging washing is probably your cause. There was an article in the papers last week about drying laundry indoors causing damp problems.

PolterGoose Mon 05-Nov-12 09:30:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nosleeptillgodknowswhen Mon 05-Nov-12 09:35:43

Thanks all. We do have a tumble drier but I'm too tight environmentally friendly to use it all the time. We do about 7-10 washes a week so I tend to alternate between drier and airer.

Doors are mostly open anyway at night, but now i think about it the worst rooms are those of the younger DCs which are shut.

Might give the rice a try.

Anyone know whether the loft insulation will be affecting the ceiling edge mould?

RightsaidFreud Mon 05-Nov-12 09:37:32

I'm so glad (sorry!) that we're not alone with this problem! Its AWFUL in our place. So much so that last night, a small waterfall from our bedroom window sill woke me up. Luckily i had an old sock to hand to mop! Yes ventilation is the key, but sometimes its not that easy.

We have a tumble dryer, so no wet clothes. We have very old UPVC windows, but theres no way we can afford to change them at the moment. We spent time, effort and money in drilling trickle vents into the windows, but they haven't made much of a difference. We live in a downstairs massionette, so leaving the windows open when we're asleep isn't something we are keen on doing.

It so annoying because it doesn't matter if it clears up one day, because you know when you wake up the next morning, you're back to square one.

We have a dehumidifer that we run everyday, and its bumping our electricity bill up.


RightsaidFreud Mon 05-Nov-12 09:38:26

Sorry, i've just realized i offered no useful advice in that comment. Sorry. Rage took over!

PigletJohn Mon 05-Nov-12 10:24:05

don't waste thousands of pounds on new windows when a tenth of the money would enable you to buy a tumble drier and run it for 10 years. Not draping wet washing around your home will make more difference than anything else. With what you have left over you can buy an effective extractor fan for your bathroom and kitchen.

A bowl of rice, like a windowsill dehumidifier, might absorb a few teaspoonfuls of water. A load of washing will provide several pints.

moogalicious Mon 05-Nov-12 10:28:52

We got an extractor for a kitchen which has stopped the problem at the back of the house. Upstairs and in the front I don't have furniture against the walls where there is condensation, I wipe, I ventilate. We have a trickle vent in one of the rooms which helps a little.

I had a absorbant windowsill thingy with crystals in it but that didn't work. Tumble dryer didn't help either.

Myliferocks Mon 05-Nov-12 10:33:24

We have awful problems with condensation.
We have a tumble dryer that we use but a lot of our clothes are non tumble dryable ( if such a word exists ). These clothes end up on the radiators and we run dehumidifiers non stop.

milkybrew Mon 05-Nov-12 10:44:23

You need a dehumidifier! It will keep the house dry so no more mould with the added bonus of drying your washing. The first winter, after having cavity wall and loft insulation, my house was dripping and mould appeared everywhere. The dehumidifier completely cured it and the house feels warmer too, so we use less heating.

Nosleeptillgodknowswhen Mon 05-Nov-12 11:27:55

milkybrew what type of dehumidifier do you have? And any idea how much it costs to run? Do you have to run it all the time?

right i share your rage!

GooseyLoosey Mon 05-Nov-12 11:30:06

We found a de-humidifier very expensive to run.

Another tip is not to close curtains at night - it cuts down on condensation.

milkybrew Mon 05-Nov-12 11:43:14

It's the delonghi dem10 nosleep. Unsure about running costs I'm afraid, but can't be massive as in the 4 years we had it our electric account direct debit hasn't been increased, in fact twice we've been refunded. I now only use the tumble drier about once a week, for towels and bedding too so save there. Initially you run it non stop to clear humidity, then you set the dial to level that suits you and it cuts in and out-like central heating does with a thermostat. To be honest, we are a house of asthmatics, so regardless of cost, it's important we don't get mould growing everywhere! HTH

Luiza01 Mon 05-Nov-12 14:01:49

We've had some major condensation problems over the past few years. Our house has two bedrooms with two external walls, and we used to get lots of condensation on windows/frames/walls there especially overnight. Eventually we had lots of black mould and even wall paint peeling off.

What actually happens is that moist air (from breathing, cooking, washing, drying) travels throughout the house to the coldest place, this usually being windows and bedrooms with external walls. Double glazed windows and ceiling insulation only make things worse unfortunately.

Apparently there are a couple of issues that cause this excessive condensation:
- lack of effective ventilation - we had no kitchen and bathroom fans at all. So every single time somebody took a shower, for example, all the humidity ended up on the bedroom windows and external walls. Then we would dry our clothes overnight (on radiators and airers) and eventually wake up in the morning with windows covered in condensation, and also ugly brown mould around windows.
- too much humidity produced - unfortunately in winter you should not dry your clothes at home unless you have very good ventilation. Apparently for every 5kg of washing 3.5 litres of water evaporates, so all this moisture has to go somewhere (your bedroom walls and windows again).

Last winter we called a company in Reading who apparently specialise in bathroom condensation issues, and bought one of these bathroom fans. Not cheap (around £250?), but it has a humidity controller built in, so it only comes on when there is moisture in the air - so when you take a shower it comes on almost instantly and then runs for another 10 minutes or so. By the time it stops there is no condensation on the bathroom window, and there is no mould in the bathroom (finally!). We keep our clothes airer in the bathroom overnight. So now much less condensation in our bedrooms - still get some on the windows in the morning, but no black mould so far.

So to get rid of all this remaining condensation we've just ordered a condenser clothes drier (£200) - unlike a vented dryer where you need an external vent, condenser dryer collects all the moisture into a removable bottle. So no more clothes airers - a single drying cycle should cost around 20p. Hopefully this should get rid of all the condensation at our place.

Next step is kitchen ventilation: £££ shock

iMe Mon 05-Nov-12 14:04:43

Another condensation sufferer here. Installed trickle vents which haven't really helped. Use the crystal things in wardrobe, but they fill too quickly. Stopped drying washing in hse except in utility room where we run dehumidifier. Also use tumble drier and open windows every morning for a couple of hrs and STIILL hav the problem. So we are looking at installing a roof vent which circulates air. Will update bathroom extractor fans also. New houses should already have roof vent. Really hoping this does the trick for us. Can link to it later if you like, can't now as I'm on phone.

izzywizzyisbizzy Mon 05-Nov-12 14:12:25

Having a huge problem in conservatory with this and mould - have started leaving doors open but not resolving issue.

Could it be caused by dog sleeping in it

ParsingFancy Mon 05-Nov-12 14:18:09

Another thread on the subject here.

Includes suggestions like opening lots of windows for short period, to create brief through-draught to change the air without cooling the walls (which hold the heat if you have solid walls).

Nosleeptillgodknowswhen Mon 05-Nov-12 14:20:20

We've already had roof vents installed - the loft used to be dripping with water - and an extracter in the shower room. Tumble drer is inn the garage and vents outside. But we don't have a door on the kitchen so i bet that adds extra steam in the air too (even with the extractor on).

Guess it will be the towel for mopping and bleach in hand for a while longer!

steppemum Mon 05-Nov-12 14:24:45

we had really bad condensation when we moved in, and mould everywhere. Money is tight so dh did the following himself
1. installed extractor fans in both bathrooms and kitchen. bathroom ones on timer with long aftertime (min 15 minutes). One of the bathroom ones is humidity activated too. (but only comes on if you bath/shower)
2. installed trickle vents in all our double glazed windows (why these are not installed as standard I will never know)

now trickle vents are always open, and fans always on when shower/bath/cooking

we have utility room, I dry all washing in there on a rack (we have tumble dryer, but I won't do any clothes as it shrinks clothes and I hate that), so only use it for sheets and towels) dh is thinkin gof putting an extractor in there so we can shut door on the washing (but space is a bit small)

I spray cleaned with the dettol anti-mould spray which was brilliant (took several coats in some places) it really stopped it growing back in most places

Now we have very little mould, and much much less damp. there is still condensation on windows if it has been a cold night/we have lots of washing. Dh goes round with a squidgey wiper and cloth and soaks it all up. We still have 2 trouble spots, and I think the humidity is still a bit high in the house, but much improved

steppemum Mon 05-Nov-12 14:29:31

one common mistake (not of course ever done by mumsnetters grin ) is to open the windows when it is a damp day outside. Unless the humidity outside is less than inside, then you don't want to open the windows. Also opening bathroom window while the extractor fan is on. If you think you need to open a window, open one in the room next door, close the bathroom door and leave fan on (unless dorr is sealed tight, then that won't work)

MrsHoarder Mon 05-Nov-12 14:53:51

Do you open windows to channel air? So before you leave the house in the morning try to get all the air out by opening all the upstairs windows (and doors) the the downstairs ones so all the warm air rises up the stairs and out of the house. This is more effective than just letting a room be cold for hours on end.

I'm also too tight green to run the drier all the time. Its dry today so the washing is outside. When I bring it in (in the next hour) there will be far less water in it even if it needs to dry for longer. When its on airers inside I open the windows at both ends of the kitchen so the wet air keeps flowing out of the house.

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