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Damp and condensation solutions

(13 Posts)
CrowOnTheBroom Fri 27-Oct-17 20:23:42

We have an 80s build house with not much attic space (barely enough room to stand up in). All the houses on the street have problems with damp and condensation.
Has anyone been in a similar situation and solved the problem? Do those attic ventilation systems actually work? It's doing my head in and winter hasn't even started yet thlangry

PigletJohn Fri 27-Oct-17 22:54:45

you haven't really given us any clues of the cause.

Condensation is water.

Some common causes are:
Steamy showers
Wet washing draped inside the house
Occupants breathing
Leaks in plumbing and roof

Some common solutions are:
extractor fan
outdoor washing line
breathe less
repair leaks

I don't know which of these causes apply in your case, and therefore what solutions to suggest.

The quickest and easiest way to remove water vapour from your home is to open the windows.

It has to be removed faster than it is generated.

CrowOnTheBroom Sat 28-Oct-17 19:45:51

Thanks PigletJohn, we have extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom, no known leaks and yes, I am guilty of drying clothes inside when it's winter or the weather is bad. I do try to avoid it though.
I mentioned the fact that neighbours have similar issues as I thought maybe it was a common feature of that type of house rather than caused by a leak.
We will try to breathe less in future, advice duly noted thlwink

PhatSlag Sat 28-Oct-17 19:49:10

A dehumidifier would greatly help with drying your washing and removing moisture from the air generally.
I have an eBac, it’s fantastic.

PigletJohn Sat 28-Oct-17 20:45:16

if you must hang washing indoors, put a line over the bath, turn on the extractor, and shut the bathroom door and window. This will suck the water vapour outside the house and prevent it drifting around. It will draw in sufficient air through the gap under the door.

Use your extractors when cooking or showering, and continue for half an hour or so afterwards while the room dries out.

A typical extractor runs for about 60 hours on 14p worth of electricity. More modern ones, for about 200 hours.

Some extractors, especially the cheap ones fitted by builders, are rather weak, and get noisy when they wear out. Better ones have ball-bearing motors.

vj32 Sat 28-Oct-17 21:28:02

Buy a good dehumidifier and don't dry clothes inside. We bought a house with no ventilation in the roof at all and ended up with rain inside the loft as it was so bad! We have installed roof installation, installed an extractor in the bathroom and I tumble dry everything in winter apart from a very few items. For damp - move furniture a little way away from walls to allow air movement. We also used to get a biota damp on exterior walls. Ours is a 1980s house too and it had been very well insulated by the previous owner, ours is bad on one side of the house as its North/South facing.

gingerbreadmam Sat 28-Oct-17 21:33:32

Get a lot of damp here too mostly from condensation. Things we do to help:

Windows on latch every day for a good amount of time
Dry clothes in a condenser drier
Lids in pans when cooking and extractor hood on
Doors close to kitchen / bathroom when cooking / showering
Furniture all a couple of inches from the walls.

We are awaiting a dehumidifier from our landlord which should help even more.

Sadly I doubt we will ever fully cure it. Can't stand the smell!

Pigletjohn is always very knowledgeable on this kind of stuff and has helped me out in the past. Thanks!

GladysKnight Sat 28-Oct-17 21:43:32

Interesting that all the houses have the same problem. Is the condensation throughout the house? Same place in all the houses? Or did you mean actually in the attic?

Also, do you have trickle vents (little slots) in the window frames? These are meant to be left open all the time if possible, as they are the only place for fresh air to come in/damp air to exit when the fans aren't running (unless you have really draughty doors and windows) and tbh 1980s extractor fans aren't likely to be moving much moist air (actually 2017 ones don't do a lot either, especially the sort that just come on for 15 mins).

YY to all the advice above about airing out the house regularly, and avoiding drying laundry indoors. A vented dryer is probably best - if you have a condensing one make sure it's working properly, as they can be prone to not working properly or leaking, which puts you back to square one.

GladysKnight Sat 28-Oct-17 21:47:54

Not sure what sort of attic ventilation system you had in mind, but perhaps one of the fans that blows air from the attic into the house? I have heard they can cause a cold draught, and also heard concerns that they are forcing damp air into the structure of you house (which is quite possibly timber framed?) and just moving, rather than solving, the damp problem.

You can also get an attic extract system - this would need an exhaust vent and a couple of exhaust ducts - from bathroom(s) and kitchen. Quite a bit pricier but from what I've heard they are very good.

johnd2 Sat 28-Oct-17 23:42:55

If the condensation is in the loft, go round checking the upstairs ceiling for small gaps especially in the bathroom. They could be around pipes or just cracks at the edge.
If you find them block them up with sealant as it's basically a shortcut for warm damp air to go to the really cold space and then condense.
Agreed with all piglet John comments about reducing humidity but maybe don't take the breathe less too seriously!

johnd2 Sat 28-Oct-17 23:44:23

Also if it's an 80s house the felt isn't breathable, make sure there's ventilation up there to outside and not blocked by insulation. You can wedge triangles of cardboard in the laps of the felt up the roof as a last resort.

PickAChew Sat 28-Oct-17 23:48:15

IIRC, 1980s houses were notoriously built with lack of ventilation.

So I would build in natural ventilation - air bricks, etc, add extraction fans to bathrooms needing them and use a dehumidifier if it wasn't possible to tumble dry or hang out laundry or after cooking.

PickAChew Sat 28-Oct-17 23:52:47

We have the same problems with 1930s house, btw. Mostly emerged after getting rid of the dinosaur back boiler in the chimney breast. Would have been better off if we could get a modern day version of it!

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