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Help me out - condensation

(34 Posts)
anolderandwiserkitten Sat 31-Oct-15 16:41:58

In my kitchen. I have tried everything. 1950's detached bungalow, SW England.

I have condensation on the back wall. It used to be a pantry but we took it out and hoped it would dry up. Last summer I cleaned with mold killer and re painted the whole lot. I do not know what is causing this. I just know that mornings and when I cook the back wall (north end of kitchen with door in it) gets damp and then starts to stream with water. I keep cleaning the mold off but its a never ending task. The mold then spreads round the other walls.

I have established it is condensation. I have a dehumidifier running and it takes out 2 litres a day but still its damp..... and the mold grows. I am fighting a losing battle.

How can I cure it (short of not using the kitchen at all ....and even then it still gets condensation).

OliviaBenson Sat 31-Oct-15 17:00:53

You need to find the cause of the problem. So where could all the excess moisture be coming from? If it's an outer wall is there earth piled up along it? What is the guttering like? Do you have any pipe work running along or in the wall? Is it leaking? Do you have good extractors in the kitchen? Do you drape wet washing around the house?

It won't get better until you find out where the moisture is coming from.

anolderandwiserkitten Sat 31-Oct-15 18:25:38

Hi Olivia,

The outside is clear. There is a path all round the house. As far as I know ( DH went up in the summer) the gutters are OK.No pipework to leak. I dont drape washing at all.

This is why I cannot work out how to fix the condensation. It does dry up on dry days or warmer days ( like the summer). Its worse when raining and cold and the windows stream too. I use a Karcher to suck up the excess each day.

anolderandwiserkitten Sat 31-Oct-15 18:26:17

We had new windows fitted and insulation put in and I hoped that might work but it has not.

ChopOrNot Sat 31-Oct-15 21:11:38

I will bump this for you - you need PigletJohn.

PolterGoose Sat 31-Oct-15 21:11:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anothernumberone Sat 31-Oct-15 21:13:22

Is there a chimney on the wall or a possibility of rising damp.

nancy75 Sat 31-Oct-15 22:56:48

the new windows and the insulation are part of the problem - do the windows have trickle vents - you need to keep them open.
When you are cooking put lids on saucepans, don't dry washing on the radiators or anywhere near this room

MrsLeighHalfpenny Sat 31-Oct-15 23:00:19

I'd also try keeping a window open, particularly when you're cooking with water.

RandomMess Sat 31-Oct-15 23:03:52

It's probably only single brick so is the coolest wall inside the house and therefore attract all the condensation in the house.

I would be tempted to turn it back into a proper pantry with a door or create a 2nd brick wall on the inside with cavity space.

dodobookends Sat 31-Oct-15 23:05:48

Have you checked that the damp course is ok and above ground level (or that you actually have a damp course), and are there any airbricks that could be blocked up?

This much water has to be coming from somewhere, and at 2 litres a day, it sounds rather a lot to be just internal condensation from cooking/clothes-drying.

PigletJohn Sun 01-Nov-15 01:47:26

2 litres a day and no wet washing?

Water leak.

Have you got a water meter?

steppemum Sun 01-Nov-15 01:59:17

The condensation will appear in the house on the coldest spot. Your kitchen wall is the coldest spot.

The new windows are making the house more sealed and warmer, so all the water from breathing, showering, cooking and drying washing can no longer get out, so it condenses on this wall.

You need:
extractor fan in bathrooms and kitchen - and use them and close the doors.
trickle vents on all windows (you can buy them for £2 each on-line and install them yourself if you have a drill) Leave them open
no wet washing drying
regularly air the house - throw the windows open for 10 minutes in the morning, even in winter.

You could also insulate that wall. But if you don't do the other things, the condensation will reappear in the place which is now the coldest.

anolderandwiserkitten Sun 01-Nov-15 10:27:45

It's probably only single brick so is the coolest wall inside the house and therefore attract all the condensation in the house.

Its actually cavitywall brick external and breeze block ( concrete block) internal,

However, it is a cold room. There is no radiator / heater in this room. I have tried opening the windows - just makes it colder and still damp.

Should I heat it instead then? I have a dehumidifier going all day and night right now.

anolderandwiserkitten Sun 01-Nov-15 10:29:23

2 litres a day and no wet washing?

Water leak

Have you got a water meter?

We have a water meter and no leaks.

anolderandwiserkitten Sun 01-Nov-15 10:36:29

Have trickle vents. I open the wondows - even though it makes the room unihabitable.

Right now ( warm and dryish day) the room is dry. No wall problem.

I did have condensation on the windows this morning. I vac'd it off.

Two things:
a) there are trees overhanging the side of the roof and gutter ( but the gutter is clear - could this be a problem?

b) This room has no heat source. Instead of a dehumidifyer , should I put a heater in?

Alternatively, would putting a utility/car port/ porch on the outside help? I ask because a neighbour had a dripping wall and she put a conservatory on her house. I dont have room for that . I would have to put a small utility room long porch there.

The ajoining room across that wall is a study. That doesnt get damp but I have a heater on in it.

RandomMess Sun 01-Nov-15 10:36:44

So you've checked that the meter isn't moving when not running water - over a few hours?

Any chance your house is over an underground water course (tiny stream or something)?

It does seems crazy that there is so much!! No slightly displaced tiles that could be letting rain in?

cozietoesie Sun 01-Nov-15 10:53:16

anolder

It's possible that you might have a steam source hitting a preternaturally cold place and get some immediate condensation (I could wax about cooking vegetables on my gas hob which is directly under an old stone chimney breast sad) but generally speaking, the air in your house can only hold so much water so excess water drops out onto the coldest surface.

You have too much water in your house air - cooking and using the room is tipping the air over the edge so that moisture is dropping out - but what's concerning me is where it's coming from. If you're taking out a couple of litres a day by humidifier and also vaccing the windows (and not drying clothes) then it's coming from somewhere.

You said that you've had the gutters checked - but when did you last actually get a roofer in to have the roof checked? And have you gone over the rest of the house just in case?

anothernumberone Sun 01-Nov-15 10:53:27

That is a lot of water.

Is there any rivers or steams local to the house at about the same level as your garden? That will indicate a high water table and a possibility of rising damp if damp proofing is defective.

You could look at getting the cavity filled with pumped insulation.

Have you checked your water meter before and after a trip away to check definitely no leaks. And chimneys are notorious for filling with water sorry did you say no chimney? The downpipe could be blocked even if the gutter is clear. The trees are likely to pull water away I have not come across a situation where they put water into a building although removal of ivy from a wall can have that effect but you have not said anything about ivy.

anothernumberone Sun 01-Nov-15 10:55:07

I agree that 2 litres of water in a single room sounds very high.

PigletJohn Sun 01-Nov-15 11:55:09

"We have a water meter and no leaks."

you will not see a leak if it is under the floor, or if it is a waste pipe behind the sink unit or under the washing machine.

Observe the water meter. There is an air bubble in the window which spins when water is passing through. Does this bubble stop moving when you turn off all the taps?

RandomMess Sun 01-Nov-15 12:04:29

Took my friend about 7 years to discover about the water leak under her kitchen floor. It had obviously been there since she bought the property and then one day it burst through the tiled floor!

Her water bill went down by about 40% after that.

cozietoesie Sun 01-Nov-15 15:24:20

Out of interest, anolder, was the pantry which you took out original to the house? And was the house built singly by a local builder? (You may not know the answer to those points given its age.)

anolderandwiserkitten Sun 01-Nov-15 15:58:12

Observe the water meter. There is an air bubble in the window which spins when water is passing through. Does this bubble stop moving when you turn off all the taps?

We have checked the water meter in this way extensively.

RandomMess Sun 01-Nov-15 16:02:23

I would investigate the roof in detail and to see if there is ground/underground water source such as an old stream nearby that could be diverted etc.

OMG just thought - any chance of a carbon monoxide leak - gas boiler situated anywhere near the kitchen/downstairs?

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