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Confused about condensation - ventilation v drafts

(16 Posts)
SilkStalkings Wed 07-Jan-15 09:24:46

We have a problem with condensation in our 1901 house due to radiators on internal (and party!) walls. We have double glazing with trickle vents - when not vented the windows are soaking, when vented the coldest walls of the room is even colder, causing condensation in the high corners.
Planning to put a ceiling fan light in one room to circulate the hot air better in winter but not poss in the others.
We laid laminate in all the rooms before we realised what a problem the radiators were so not keen to move them any time soon.
Any suggestions? Which is the lesser of two evils?
TIA

OliviaBenson Wed 07-Jan-15 09:32:16

I'm not sure why you think radiators are causing condensation? Water vapour causes condensation- you need to tackle this. Do you dry washing indoors? Do you have extractor fans in kitchen and bathroom?

You could try a dehumidifier. Get into the habit of opening windows in the mornings as well. A ceiling fan light won't make any difference to condensation I'm afraid.

Bunbaker Wed 07-Jan-15 09:36:47

Are you drying washing indoors?

When I empty the tank from my tumble dryer I get several pints of water from just one load of washing. If you are drying washing without opening windows you are bound to get condensation.

SilkStalkings Wed 07-Jan-15 11:06:09

It's upstairs that's the problem and not the rads themselves but their placement. Because they are on the opposite wall to the coldest ones (window/external) those walls are very cold indeed and water vapour cools on them. I just can't work out whether to favour ventilation to let the vapour out but is chilly or whether to keep the heat in and the cold walls as warm as possible.
Not sure about dehumidifiers. Do you need one in each bedroom? House is long and thin so landing not wide enough to put one there.

Cornonthecob Wed 07-Jan-15 12:04:23

Hello! I have a similar problem, room has no heating walls stone cold and next to a shower room so heat from that causing condensation in the winter!
I was suggested a Flatmaster about £500 fitted I was about to start a thread asking if anyone has this and if it works!

Chapsview Wed 07-Jan-15 12:14:15

A 1901 house was designed to "breath" and to have hot spots of comfort around fires.

Your double glazing is holding moisture in - even with the vents - and you laminate probably has a membrane beneath it which again is stopping the house breathing.

Your best bet is extractor fans, venting tumble dryers outside, opening the windows and wearing a jumper.

Sorry but unless you put sufficient heating in to keep you warm whilst still letting the house "breath" you will never fully solve the problem. De-hums may end up drying too much and causing other problems.

bilbodog Wed 07-Jan-15 12:20:45

agreeing with Chapsview above - does the house have any modern rendering on it because this could also stop the walls from breathing?

Chapsview Wed 07-Jan-15 12:25:24

Good point bilbodog - of course somebody may have fallen for the "cavity wall" sales pitch in the past and hence blocked up all the air flow completely.
Sorry to add more doom and gloom.

OliviaBenson Wed 07-Jan-15 12:31:37

You could have radiators on the walls with the windows, but you'd still get condensation- it wouldn't address the issue. You need to reduce the water vapour in your house and also let it breathe. One dehumidifier upstairs should help. Are your chimneys block up or open?

PausingFlatly Wed 07-Jan-15 12:35:03

Dehumidifiers don't have to dry things out "too much" - you can use them appropriately.

I have one and move it around, but would prefer two so they don't get disturbed too much.

But even without moving it around, you'll get an improvement using one dehumidifier. Remember to close windows and leave internal doors open.

PigletJohn Wed 07-Jan-15 12:45:08

you did not answer if you drape wet washing around.

Water vapour is lighter than air so it naturally rises through the house until it either escapes, or finds something cold to condense on.

Plastered brick walls are not totally impervious, but they do not provide ventilation.

SilkStalkings Wed 07-Jan-15 14:09:11

I do drape washing in the kitchen/diner but that doesn't have any condensation damp issues.
Chimneys upstairs are blocked, empty fireplace in lounge - would a little electric heater in the fireplace make any difference to warming up the chimney breast wall on both levels do you think?

PigletJohn Wed 07-Jan-15 15:21:04

Where does the water go to, that comes off your draped washing?

shabbycaddy Wed 07-Jan-15 16:53:51

Agree with previous posters, you need to vent aswell as heat more in that age of property, lack of cavity walls means the external walls will be very cold and moisture will condensate on the walls. The joys of older properties what you gain in features and space you loose in running costs

greeneggsandsocks Wed 07-Jan-15 16:58:28

We live in an old Victorian type house with cold walls etc, condensation used to collect in the coldest parts of the house. I bought a decent dehumidifier that does the whole house, it also has a setting 'thing' so it knows when the house is dry enough and so turns off and sits on idle.

I dry washing on radiators occasionally and have a clothes horse up in one of the rooms constantly with no problems at all.

OliviaBenson Wed 07-Jan-15 20:31:57

An electric heater is unlikely to help warm a chimney upstairs. You should get the blocked chimneys vented to aid ventilation, help prevent damp. Stop drying washing indoors- as PigletJohn has said, water vapour rises.

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