Mould behind bed in bedroom...

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Well, I am having some damp / mould problems since buying this modern house! Wish I'd not moved out of my 1820's built one!
Anyway, It's a 1970's build which is all double-glazed. On 3 floors. The bedroom wll I am concerned about is an outside-facing, solid concrete-block wall and is cold to the touch. We have our bed against it. I can't put the bed anywhere else.
In only 6 weeks since we moved in, we have today discovered black mould spots on the pillows, sheet and wall behind the bed.
There is oil-fired CH in the house, - but we don't like heat in the bedroom really. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions about stopping this problem without freezing ourselves every day by pulling out the bed and opening all the windows ! ?
TIA (I hope)
Howard.
--
Howard Coakley
e-mail... howard<dot}coakleyatcoakley<dot].codotuk
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If you are willing to do a bit of work, I'd suggest sheets of celotex (50mm good, but 25mm will do at a pinch) covered in foil backed plasterboard on the outside wall. You may also need to add some trickle ventilation, particularly if it is older double glazing with no integral trickle vents.
The insulation will substantially raise the temperature of the wall surface, preventing condensation. The ventilation will ensure that any moisture laden air is expelled.
Christian.
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On Tue, 2 Dec 2003 11:13:21 -0000, "Christian McArdle"
|> mould spots on the pillows, sheet and wall behind the bed. | |If you are willing to do a bit of work, I'd suggest sheets of celotex (50mm |good, but 25mm will do at a pinch) covered in foil backed plasterboard on |the outside wall. You may also need to add some trickle ventilation, |particularly if it is older double glazing with no integral trickle vents. | |The insulation will substantially raise the temperature of the wall surface, |preventing condensation. The ventilation will ensure that any moisture laden |air is expelled. | |Christian. | Well, I appreciate your suggestion, and - I don't mind doing a bit of work. But this outside wall is rather a large surface area. The house is build on a granite hillside and the wall is the side wall which is 3 stories at the front and 1 story at the back (full depth of the house). Under those circumstances, I would rather not do anything to the outside wall if possible.
H.
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wrote:

(50mm
vents.
surface,
laden
I think he meant to put the celotex on the inside of the outside wall, not on the outside of the outside wall. ;)
D
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Although fitted on the outside wall, you attach the celotex to the inside of it, in the rooms that have problems. It also means you can do one room at a time. No need to do it all in one hit. I'd suggest doing the master bedroom first and seeing what a difference it makes first. It will be substantial, both in comfort and condensation. Much of a human's perception of warmth comes from radiation, not air temperature. Having warm walls helps enormously with this. It is also why an open fire in a cold room can be more comfortable than a warm room with cold walls.
It will also have the side effect of saving you a FORTUNE in heating bills. By insulating your roof and all your walls properly, you could reduce your heating bills to third or a half of their present value. (Even more in some cases).
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote:

Today I am utterly in agreement with you. Must be the moon. :-)

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Howie wrote:

If it is indeed a solid concrete wall without a cavity you will continue to get problems unless you have considerable quantities of dry heat and ventilation. Solid concrete walls are ok for carparks but not for homes. I had such a property many years ago, even when it was new the problems occurred. The developer even stripped off all the plaster in the affected wall and replaced it with a layer of polystyrene based insulation underneath, which did not cure the problem.
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My wife used to have this problem when she was in her flat - similar construction from the sounds of it.
A small bog standard argos dehumidifier sorted everything out.
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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On Tue, 02 Dec 2003 10:56:46 +0000, Howie

If you don't like heat in the bedroom, you must ventilate it, and keep the door closed during the day. Else moisture will move from the rest of the house to that wall: warm air will go in, cool against the wall, the moisture will condense, and the cooled air will circulate, out again. A wall damp for part of the day (somewhere it says 3 hours of damp a day are enough) will grow things...
Perhaps heating the bedroom during the day?
Thomas Prufer
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On Tue, 02 Dec 2003 15:59:34 +0100, Thomas Prufer
|On Tue, 02 Dec 2003 10:56:46 +0000, Howie
| |>There is oil-fired CH in the house, - but we don't like heat in |>the bedroom really. | |If you don't like heat in the bedroom, you must ventilate it, and keep |the door closed during the day. Else moisture will move from the rest |of the house to that wall: warm air will go in, cool against the wall, |the moisture will condense, and the cooled air will circulate, out |again. A wall damp for part of the day (somewhere it says 3 hours of |damp a day are enough) will grow things... | |Perhaps heating the bedroom during the day? | |Thomas Prufer
This all sounds quite common-sense. Thanks for the reality check! I suppose I feel quite strange adding ventilation to a house which is effectively draughtproof. But I can certainly see that this is likely to be the main part of the problem. As a related issue, at this time of year where the air (especially on the s.devon coast), is damp during day and night, is ventilation as effective?
H.
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Provided the outside temperature is lower than the inside, outside air will always have some spare humidity capacity that could be used. However, if the outside air is 100% saturated AND close to the inside air temperature, that spare capacity might not be very much.
Remember that hot air can absorb much more water than warm air. This is the main reason why heating reduces condensation. Even fully saturated damp cold outside air doesn't have much water in it relatively speaking when heated to inside air temperatures. However, you DO have to heat it a little for this effect to happen.
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote:

The classic case of that, was in my kitchen two summers ago, when even with an aga running, and inside temps in the 35 region, the incoming cold water pipe was dripping from condensation...

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Howie wrote:

Yes. Your room is warmer than outside so the condensation implies the internal air is carrying more water than the external. The trick is to bring in sopoping wet, but cold, outside air, warm it so it can absorb more moisture, and then get it out again where it can form fog etc :-)
To this end, trickle vents on opposite sides of the room to take advantage of wind etc, plus a little bit of heating - may be no more than seeps through the walls floors and ceilings etc - will do teh trick.
Then by raising teh wall temp - insulation - plus a vapour barrrier to make sure o wet air gets to teh cold bits - will stop the localised dampness.
It sounds a nice house - granite, slope, devon? Exmoor? Dartmoor? Lovely. Well worth going the whole hog and dry lining with celotex and plasterboard IMHO. It will make a HUGE difference to how cosy it feels. # I had an old fen cottage I rented on teh cambridge fens,single brick, got double galzed, same probs especially in teh kitchem I used cork tiles and it transformed it - just 1/" of cork made a tremendous difference. That's how cold it was! if you can put on 2" of celotex, you will not believe it afterwards. But you MUST add some vents.
It is crazy, but modern regs require you to build an airproof and heatproof box, and then punch specific holes in it so you don't suffocate :-)

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wrote:

One quick fix for now: move the bed away from the wall, six inches, less will do if more isn't possible. This will allow more air behind the bed, and the wall will be a bit warmer. Otherwise, it's a cold pocket... Also check behind any other furniture, pictures, curtains against that wall.
Then, add some local heating: say a 60 watt lightbulb on during the day, between the bed and wall. I'd want to dry that spot aggressively, and kill the mold before it spreads deeper: first, fight the damp, second, kill-with-chemicals -- alcohol, white vinegar, or bleach will all do.
Thomas Prufer
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This is an interesting observation. I've noticed that many modern houses make it difficult to place furniture because so often there's at least one 'feature' (window, door, fireplace ) on each wall in a room. Sometimes the door/s is/are halfway along the wall. Since the rooms are quite small to start with the arrangement of furniture is very limited.
Why do architects do it? Do they live in houses like that? I think not.
Mary
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Mary Fisher wrote:

Got a whole house like that. The lounge has a staircase as one wall; the hall door, window and radiator as another. There's a fireplace on the long wall opposite the stairs and the kitchen door in the remaining wall. The two chairs of the three piece suite look as if they're waiting for someone to collect them...
Then we have the kitchen where they only allow you two standard sized appliances, ie a fridge & a washing machine. There's no allowance for a fridge-freezer unless you cut out the worktop over the fridge, so you end up putting the FF in the dining room end of the room (yay) unless you want to have a separate freezer in the garage. But you wouldn't be able to get at it as the ba****s from Ba****s couldn't be bothered to put a backdoor into the garage so it's a 50 yard dash out the front door if you do.
And don't get me started on the main bedroom - there's pretty well only one way round the furniture'll go! Or the 3rd so-called bedroom where I can reach both walls at the same time...
Moving soon.
--
Scott

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one
the
LOL!
Sorry - shouldn't laugh - it's your eloquent turn of phrase ...

I can't read easily for the tears of laughter ... and I KNOW I shouldn't ...

Oh stoppit! My drawers'll never dry!!!
And it's not because they're too close to the wall :-)

That's cruel. what have the buyers done to deserve that?
Mary

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Mary Fisher wrote:

:-) Thankyou for all the comments! I'm glad my rabid foaming amuses - if I didn't laugh, etc, etc!!

semi for 6 years you become an absolute expert when looking to buy as, structural issues aside, you're well aware of every possible shortcoming a house can have!
Anyway, must be careful what I say - it's taken 10 months to sell (the housing market is dead, long live the housing market), so I've got to say nothing but positive things ;-)
--
Scott

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So why did you buy this place originally?
Pray tell so that we may learn.
I'm not taking the piss, only trying to understand what goes through our collective minds when we make such decisions so I can make a "good" decision for me when my time comes to move
Clive
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Clive Long News wrote:


It was a bit of an impulse purchase one Sunday afternoon when, six years ago, curiosity and our weekly walk took us through the new B*****t's development and we ended up coming away with a house...
I may embroider a bit but that's more or less accurate, insofar as they were wanting to sell the last few so they could ship out and we were first time buyers (at the tender age of 23.) Since first time buyers are a lucrative commodity they offered us the 5% deposit[1], the stamp duty, 500 towards the legal fees and threw in carpets. The first two, especially, were worth a bit (it was 83k) to us so it was a very cheap way of moving from renting to owning.
Perhaps we walked into it a bit as I don't recall looking to see what older properties were going for at the time and I now understand that new houses command a premium over '2nd hand', but it would have been a while before we'd accumulated enough for a deposit etc and it was at a time when house prices were taking off - we bought Dec 1997 - so it allowed us to leap into the house market at a good time. Also, we stretched a bit for the mortgage to get a 3 bed semi with a garage rather than a 2 bed place that would have been, inconceivably, smaller again so we could have been worse off. As to the shortcomings of the place, well, we really didn't know any better I suppose. Okay, so it's a bit pokey, but there's been no big problems and with a heating bill of 50 for the winter quarter (CH on 6am-9pm at 20C every day) it's been cheap to run.
As a guide to anyone foolish enough to buy a new house, here's my pains & problems list:
Everything is too close together and I feel overlooked from all angles when outside. Parking is limited. We're lucky to have a driveway for 1.5 cars and being a dead-end we own the bit of private tarmac right outside which we own which is okay, but round us there are drives that are the length of a supermini and garages that are in the wrong place resulting in a general feeling of being in a car park.
Paint: Whatever paint they used was pants. Every bit of outside white gloss seemed to start peeling after about a year. Someone in the street had them back several times but it never stayed up for long. A friend down the way found that they'd forgotten to paint one of their lounge walls - although I expect the poor painters suffered from magnolia blindness after a bit.
Rot: The same friends have just had their windows replaced as they were starting to rot. Part of this seems to be due to coats of paint never being applied in the first place, particularly outside under the ledge.
Gardens: Poor turf in the front and about 30 tonnes of builders waste in the back. Arrrggghhh!
Plasterboard walls: I have this theory that those people who go mad in a shopping center with a machine gun or machete have probably just spent the morning in Homebase going cross-eyed looking at spring toggles and the rest trying to work if they're 'what you want' for fixing A to B.
Access: As mentioned before, no door in the garage. Since the garage is sandwiched between us and the pair of semis next door, getting from front to back is a 300yard dash round next door to the back gate. Yes, we could have put a door in, but I just couldn't face the bother knowing that we'd eventually move.
--
Scott

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