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So apart from Piglet John who in real life do you go to for advice on condensation?

(51 Posts)
Indith Sun 05-Jan-14 13:42:17

That's the question really!

Who in real life deals with this, knows their stuff and can help pinpoint the problem without an agenda to sell you something?

I know I'm going to need to buy something/do something/change something but I want to get it right and solve the issue at cause rather than deal with the consequences as it were.

So are there people whose job it is to do that? Any googling just leads me to people selling expensive whole house mechanical extraction and heat exchange units. Which to be fair is probably not that far off the mark with this house!

MaudLebowski Sun 05-Jan-14 21:25:20

Agree with Piglet, the lining board is called Thermaline super, and that would improve the insulation of the walls and ceiling. The moist air will still be looking for somewhere to cause trouble though so watch out for that if you do do it. I'd try keeping the door closed and tape over the bit that might be a leak first. I am lining my loft space at the moment and its costing about £800 to line a fairly big but simple attic.

Indith Sun 05-Jan-14 21:27:14

so does the fact that we just have bare tiles in the eaves area suggest there is no breathable membrane?

I can feel a visit from an insulation person coming on.

Indith Sun 05-Jan-14 21:31:20

No way can we afford to redo the whole thing. add I said we redid the ceiling when we split it, just with more insulation and plasterboard over the top of the old one. But really can't afford to take that all down. If we can sort something with the eaves space and the alcove bit then that would be good.

The roof thing concerns me. I know there is no roofing felt etc. Don't know how that affects things.

Indith Sun 05-Jan-14 21:35:25

We split it less than 2 years ago by the way. Don't remember it being as bed last winter. before that nobody slept up there.

mrdee Sun 05-Jan-14 23:02:56


Dehumidifier would really help if your problem is condensation and not a leak . Although Venus are notorious for leaking next door being uninhabited will not be helping the matter as there will be no heat being put into the wall from that side . You say drying washing inside during winter are you using tumble dryer ? Is it properly vented to outside ?

mrdee Sun 05-Jan-14 23:04:12

Velux notorious for leaking

peggyundercrackers Sun 05-Jan-14 23:51:07

Tiles which are nailed straight onto the sarking boards are fine - our roof has been like that for 150yrs and we don't have any issues with it, in fact I think you will find most houses in Scotland are done like this.

InsertUsernameHere Mon 06-Jan-14 00:01:27

I was just wondering about ventilation in the attic conversion. I know when we had plans for ours which we aren't going ahead with but that's another story in addition to insulation a multitude of slate vents were specified. Hope you get it sorted. I have seen alot on MN about condensation recently and wonder if the current weather is the crucial factor with an increase in leaks and an increase in ambient moisture/humidity levels. Role on the spring.

PigletJohn Mon 06-Jan-14 00:33:19

Scotland has sarking boards, E&W generally not.

PigletJohn Mon 06-Jan-14 00:40:13

bare tiles with no felt or membrane ventilate themselves well. Draughts and dirt get into the loft in profusion.

sarking felt under the tiles was introduced to reduce water and wind getting into the loft through the gaps; breathable membrane is a more modern replacement for felt, it mostly keep out the wet, and allows some airflow which ventilates and reduces risk of condensation in lofts that do not have ceilings.

Sarking with boards rather than felt or membrane is a superior method of roofing especially if you have more severe winds, but heavier and more expensive so not much used by soft shandy-swilling southerners.

PigletJohn Mon 06-Jan-14 00:42:51


please please please don't have anything blown or sprayed onto your tiles or into the gap between plasterboard and tiles.

Indith Mon 06-Jan-14 07:07:44

Ok well that is good, thanks!

mrdee no not in a tumble drier, just on a laundry maid. One load a day.

Right Ho so this week we shall do the door closed thing and stick something on the wall to see where it is coming from and then we'll go from there.

PigletJohn Mon 06-Jan-14 09:52:33

The water off the laundry maid will rise up through the house until it either escapes through an open window, or finds something to condense on. It can pass through plaster ceilings.

Have you got an extractor fan in your bathroom? Turn it on and do your wet draping in there with the door and window shut while you save up for a tumbler.

Indith Mon 06-Jan-14 16:58:06

without wanting to sound negative or dismissive, I know that drying indoors will be adding moisture. I know. However although I do have bathroom extractor not even the hand towel ever dries in there unless directly on the radiator. It is a swamp. washing would not dry. You can see your breath in there most of the time. The laundry maid and airing the room while I dry stuff is the best I can do. nowhere to put a tumble drier.

Indith Mon 06-Jan-14 16:59:30

day 1 of having for shut all day. fecking freezing up there but walls feel dry. humidity reading still at 76% though.

ARealPickle Mon 06-Jan-14 17:10:56

We used to hang a load of washing a day in our house and used to get black mould patches. After reading piglet John we got a condenser dryer and you can see the amount of water one load produces. It's astronomic. Just like painting all the walls with water.

I'd be seriously tempted to use a laundrette for a few weeks and see if it helps.

My daughters excema clearered up too.

PigletJohn Mon 06-Jan-14 17:39:51

sorry to hear about the bathroom. Possibly another candidate for lining the walls one day, especially if it is a "back addition" with several outside walls and a pent roof. I had hoped you could put the washing in there with the fan running; at least the water vapour would be sucked out of the house.

Is the kitchen any better, with the fan running?

InsertUsernameHere Mon 06-Jan-14 17:51:05

Sounds like you are doing the right thing by changing one thing at a time, and then giving it a chance to work. It might be a bit tedious but hopefully will save you doing anything unnecessarily expensive. (I second what pickle says - it is staggering what comes out of a condensing tumble dryer - ours is stacked on top of our washing machine)

thelittlemothersucker Mon 06-Jan-14 17:57:01

Piglet John only 'sells' common sense, in my experience.

Indith Mon 06-Jan-14 17:57:12

ha, kitchen is the same extension. plus to narrow. You wouldn't be able to get in it with washing in it. Not get to the door.

The fact that it is dry today though is hopeful. If it is just humidity from the house in general then I can hopefully counter that with dehumidifier when we hang washing and perhaps Hey a decent insulation person in to look at how we can improve alcove and eaves.

Indith Mon 06-Jan-14 18:16:38

Only option would be too replace with a washer dryer. Def a consideration.

PigletJohn Mon 06-Jan-14 18:21:04

at a pinch.

you couldn't stack a drier on top of the washer? A drier does not have to be in or near the kitchen, it can also be near the airing cupboard or bedrooms where you put stuff away.

Indith Mon 06-Jan-14 18:27:54

Nope. washer is under worktop. Small kitchen, as in opening door to kitchen, getting stuff from fridge and opening oven door involves a merry well coordinated dance. If stack dryer on we lose the worktop.

Other rooms. Erm. dining room? living room? We have no landing, literally turn right straight into one bedroom and loft stairs, turn left into other bedroom. a dryer would take over the entire space and probably fall down the stairs die to being bigger than the space available. airing cupboard is in boys room and full of hot water tank.

Would have to be a washer dryer combo.

MoreSnowPlease Mon 06-Jan-14 19:48:37

We have a big problem with condensation in our ground floor flat, so much so that I spend all day bleaching the walls every month. Here are a few things that have helped us, hopefully something can help you.

Shutting the doors when cooking. ..we have a fan in the kitchen and open the window when cooking but the steam produced all travels and sita on the windows and walls. Closing the doors helped this

Dehumidifier in bathroom, not an ideal solution but the extractor fan and window both don't work in there.

Where it was collecting on particular walls we looked outside at the walls, even though condensation is an indoor issue cold walls make it harder to cure. With two of our walls we found that the floor level outside (mud) was higher than the damp proof course and so the wwalls were staying wet and cold permanently out there. I know yours is an attic problem but there could be a broken gutter or something keeping the walls wet outside?

Good luck

Indith Sun 19-Jan-14 10:04:27


So after several days of keeping the door shut to the loft in the daytime the walls were dry in there. So we knew it was def all coming from the rest of the house. However it was also fecking freezing! Clearly the loft needs the air circulation from the rest of the house to remain warm.

So we now have a dehumidifier which seems fine running downstairs for a little bit morning and evening just catching the moisture form the kitchen and bathroom etc before it heads upstairs. Walls are staying dry apart from a couple of occasions when we had guests also in the loft (so I'm guessing that was the extra breathing!) and when particularly cold.

Dd is now just sleeping with her duvet. She hasn't complained of cold and asked for extra blankets at all. She had been sleeping with a 15 tog duvet, and extra 4.5 tog one AND a heavy wool blanket.

Thankfully our electricity monitor broke a while ago so I have no idea how much it is costing us in electric! I know the usual patter with dehumidifiers is that you save the cost of running it on your heating bills but we are solid fuel so you can't just turn the heating down a notch. Ah well. Dd's room is warmer and not full of horrible damp.

Next step is I will get an insulation person in to look at the alcove and the eaves storage and see if we can improve the insulation up there (without of course reducing the ventilation and going back to square 1).

Replacing the washing machine with a washer/drier will remain a consideration. We'll see. Current washing machine is only about 4 years old and was A+ rated. Might see this summer if we get issues when drying washing indoors on wet days when there is no heating on. Of course we'll have the laundry setting on the dehumidifier. Can't deny the thought of a drier is tempting when I end up with washing loads backed up because I can't get it all on the laundry maid!

Thanks for the help. I feel so much better about it now.

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