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Old 11 November 2007, 15:33   #1
spectrum48k
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Default cold wall in house - best way to stop condensation?

We have a cottage, so the bedrooms are on the ground floor. The external walls consist of large-ish stone blocks.

We're getting condesation problems in the corners of the 2 bedorooms.

Whats the best way to solve this ? Each room has a radiator which comes on/off in the morning and again in the evening.

Would cavity wall insulation help the problem at all ? I'm wondering with it being an old cottage, which was renovated in the 90's whether the builders will have actually put a cavity in there?

Also, can you recommend any good products to insulate the garage door ? The garage shares a wall with one of the bedrooms and uses the same stonework as the outside walls.
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Old 12 November 2007, 01:09   #2
fast bloke
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I wouldn't think that they could put a cavity in a stone wall without building an extra wall inside. If this is the case all you can do is make sure there is nothing near the wall and get as much ventilation as you can
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Old 12 November 2007, 08:54   #3
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With regard to insulating your garage door (depending on type) , you can use polystyrene from place like B&Q, as it is available at around 10mm thick.

The reason I said dependant on type above, if you add too much extra weight to the door, it will not function properly, and even adding extra tension to the spring sometimes doesn't resolve the problem, hence I have suggested the lightest possible way to insulate your door. what happens when the manufacturers design the door, is they match the spring (to as near as) the lifting force required to lift the door, this sometimes results in a spring that has plenty of tension adjustment, to sometimes having very little.

The only way of finding out though, is to try.

Another thing available at B&Q , is a full width (for a single garage door) brush strip for the bottom of the door, makes a hell of a lot of difference.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12 November 2007, 11:27   #4
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If the room is big enough, you could have the walls in question dry-lined, with insulation behind.

You could also invest in a decent de-humidifier, although they are a little noisy for use in a bedroom.

Is there heating in the room? Where? Could a radiator be sited on that wall?

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Old 12 November 2007, 12:03   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcazar View Post
If the room is big enough, you could have the walls in question dry-lined, with insulation behind.

You could also invest in a decent de-humidifier, although they are a little noisy for use in a bedroom.

Is there heating in the room? Where? Could a radiator be sited on that wall?

Alcazar
Hi, thanks for the reply.

We already have a radiator in that room, unfortunately on the opposite wall. Hence, I'm looking for all possible methods to warm the room a bit more. I don't want to add more rads, just make it naturally a bit warmer. I think I may look at an internal cavity wall, like you say "dry lined"
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Old 12 November 2007, 13:28   #6
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if you do dry line the wall internally, make sure you use a vapour barrier as well. you don't want your new plasterboard soaking up loads of condensation and going mouldy!!

do you have a trv on the rad? i was sceptical when i first heard this, but you will generally use less energy and therefore have lower bills if you are only ever topping up the heat in your home, rather than full hammer and tongs twice a day. ie, i leave my heating on all the time, but with the thermostatic rad valves set at acceptable levels. whenever more heat is required, we are "topping up" rather than starting from scratch. you may find that this is the approach you need to take - although i'm asuming your stone walls are solid stone, so you have relatively little insulation to keep all that heat in
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Old 12 November 2007, 13:42   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardg View Post
if you do dry line the wall internally, make sure you use a vapour barrier as well. you don't want your new plasterboard soaking up loads of condensation and going mouldy!!

do you have a trv on the rad? i was sceptical when i first heard this, but you will generally use less energy and therefore have lower bills if you are only ever topping up the heat in your home, rather than full hammer and tongs twice a day. ie, i leave my heating on all the time, but with the thermostatic rad valves set at acceptable levels. whenever more heat is required, we are "topping up" rather than starting from scratch. you may find that this is the approach you need to take - although i'm asuming your stone walls are solid stone, so you have relatively little insulation to keep all that heat in
that's interesting - I'll look into that

But yes as you say, because the cottage walls are large stone blocks, the insulation isn't great. I need something I can add to the walls, internally or externallly that will assist.
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Old 12 November 2007, 17:53   #8
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I'd strongly agree with richardg here. My dad was deputy head of a large-ish comprehensive school, and they used to turn off the heat every friday night and back on again early monday morning. Result: the school was cold until monday afternoon or tuesday morning.

He eventually proved to the head and governors that leaving the heating on in the closed building all weekend was a better bet. They saved money too.

Something else that occurred to me is the size of the rad in the room that's affected.

If you measure the room, check details like window size, double or single glazing, what's the floor made of, insulation in the celing, ceiling height etc, there's an online calculator which will work out how many BTU's the room needs to stay comfortable.

Then look at the size of the rad. Measure it, see if it's single/double, with/without fins, and go online again to see roughly how many BTU's it'll be giving out. if it's too small, all other solutions are not much use

We have a 300 year old property in France with stone walls with rubble infill. We do get some damp, but no condensation. the property takes about two days to get aired and warmed through each time we arrive in cold weather, after that it retains heat better than one made of brick

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Old 12 November 2007, 20:29   #9
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thanks - good comments
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Old 13 November 2007, 09:24   #10
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i doubt you'll want to put anything on the outside of the walls, so battens and relining internally is probably your best bet from an aesthetic point of view. is your property listed? if it's grade I you won't be able to do this without seeking the relevant listed building consent - not sure if that applies to grade II* or not, but don't think it applies to grade II.

prevention of condensation is all about acheiving the correct balance between airflow and heat. if you seal up all vents etc, the problem is likely to get worse, so just bear that in mind. adding more heat (although a good starting point) is not always the answer
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Old 13 November 2007, 09:26   #11
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just a thought - you've only mentioned this problem in one room. how does the affected room differ from the other rooms (which presumably don't suffer from the same symptoms).
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Old 13 November 2007, 12:03   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardg View Post
just a thought - you've only mentioned this problem in one room. how does the affected room differ from the other rooms (which presumably don't suffer from the same symptoms).
good point - imagine the front 2 bedrooms of the house use external walls that go back to 1890. All the rest of the house was added on in the early 90's.

We don't have any bother with the new part of the house, just old part - the front two bedrooms, probably because of the large stone blocks making up the external walls (no cavity walls)

As to whether its listed or not, is there an online facility I can use to check this ?

In an effort to improve air circulation, I've opened the trickle vents in the bay window, in each bedroom.

It doesn't help both bedrooms have on-suite bathrooms with no windows in them (no natural ventilation). I have 2no. extractors in each bathroom, but I still get mould accumulating on parts of the ceiling. I can't help but think some of the moisture (hot showers, etc) is escaping into the bedrooms when someone accidentally leaves the bathroom door open.
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Old 13 November 2007, 13:43   #13
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your local authority website or the "national monuments register" will have details of any listing, although i would have thought you would have been made aware of this at the time of purchase. having said that, it doesn't sound likely that you are living in a Grade I Listed house as it was extended.

can you fit roof windows over the en-suites? ...or vents in lower section of en-suite doors, in order to allow the extract vents to draw air from the bedrooms when they're running?
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Old 13 November 2007, 14:12   #14
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The bathrooms are mainly your problem simply heating the house won't help if the humidity is too high as it will simply condense wherever possible. To me you need better ventilation in the bathrooms which will help to stop the mould etc on the ceilings.
If you want to insulate the wall in question then you can just use insulated plasterboard and dot and dab it (a form of adhesive) to the wall. On the basis that the damp isn't coming from the wall you should be ok without a separate damp proof membrane.
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Old 13 November 2007, 14:18   #15
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thanks lads - great info

I'll definitely think of adding a vent in both en-suites. One has an external wall (ideal) the other shares a wall with the garage.

I don't want to put a vent in the en-suite door - I'm too afraid steam will escape through it into the bedroom.

Thanks again.
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Old 13 November 2007, 14:59   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrum48k View Post
I'll definitely think of adding a vent in both en-suites. One has an external wall (ideal) the other shares a wall with the garage.
if the whole building is ground floor only, then why not stick a window in the en-suite with the external wall and a roof light in the en-suite next to the garage. should be problem solved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrum48k View Post
I don't want to put a vent in the en-suite door - I'm too afraid steam will escape through it into the bedroom.
it won't if the humid air is being drawn out of the bathroom by the extract fans. air from the bedroom will replace air from the bathroom

you may also find that you don't need to dry line the bedroom walls once you deal with the issue of extracting humid air from the en-suites
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Old 20 January 2008, 00:31   #17
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I bought an additive to put in my paint and make it thermal, sounds crazy but it worked
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Old 20 January 2008, 22:30   #18
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somtimes it's the simplest solutions that are most effective, so well done for not over looking what may have been seemingly obvious!
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Old 22 January 2008, 22:30   #19
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look at nuaireforhomes.com or something like that. I work in windows and they normally get the blame for condensation but are never at fault - was called to one today.
It does seem condensation seems to find the coldest room in the house. This site is a new doobery fitted in the loft to remove moisture / condensation from your house. I think new houses possibly might need one to be fitted.
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Old 22 January 2008, 22:30
 
 
 
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