Info first! -------------
We live in a 3-bedroomed semi detached circa 900 Victorian house. It has brick walls, DOES have a cavity but too small to insulate so our rooms are often chilly in the morning in winter without heating etc (eg 15/16deg)...Rooms (inc kitchen and bedrooms) are generally large 6 x 7 mtrs and 3m hig ceilings.
House has concrete floors downstairs and fully UPVC double glazed, has recently has new loft insulation has GCH (approx 12 rads) and is generally good state of repair. Next door (attached) however has been empty for some time and thus is not heated (this may be relevant!)
Every winter or on colder periods I experience condesation in the form of:
1) Water dripping down windows in main bedroom and often downstairs rooms in the morning (which all clear mid day) 2) Damp feeling (and often slight mould growth in exposed corners) in back bedroom (this room unused but see below) 3) We have a hygrometer that reads generally around 60-70% normally in most rooms, but often over 80% in the back bedroom at times - its never below 60% anywhere in the house 4) Slight mould growth in the bathroom (directly above the shower) 5) Dampness INISDE the cupboards of the front bedroom (these are directly built onto the outside wall of the front bedroom). We had the same in the back bedroom, but have removed the cupboards here... 6) Condensation in the back downstairs toilet (but only on the tile floor) 7) We have solid wooden 'firedoor' type doors which always start to 'stick' (due to high moisture?) but then shrink back later in the year!
I have read LOTS of posts regarding similar problems from many others, and here are my conclusions to the causes and possible solutions....I might be WAY off line and missing something obivous here, but here goes
1) We DONT have any extractor fan in the bathroom (which is situated between the main and back bedrooms) 2) We DONT have any extractor fan in the kitchen, where we do the cooking, etc 3) Wife tends to dry washing near the radiator (front bedroom near window!) rather than put in tumble dryer (which IS vented outside!) 4) UPVC windows DONT have trickle vents and are NOT left in the vent positon (security) and not in the front bedroom for noise reasons 5) The front bedroom cupboards are lined with about 2mm of polystyrene (but this doesnt seem to prevent condensation forming on top of it occasionally)
So, from all of the reading I have done here...this is my plan (in order!)
1) Install decent extractor fan (with timer shutoff, connected to lights) - in the KITCHEN and BATHROOM - Can anyone recommend a decent one? Is it worth paying the extra for a humidistat model?
2) Line the cupboards in the front bedroom with 25mm polystyrene, put carpet on the bottom (just floorboards at the moment) - hopefully this will stop coldness coming in from the wall on which cupboard is built on - as the back of the cupboard is just the wall/polystyrene - Ill probably 'no more nails' the 25mm polystyrene sheets on top of the 2mm (its not near any electrics)
3) The back bedroom seems to have slight mould/most damp in the extreme corners (bottom) where the corners are external walls when the outside temp is cold - as this wall is exposed (and has the window). I am also seeing small damp patches in the bottom corners of the wall inside of the window? - I plan to accompany the exisitng GCH rad with a smaller elelctric fire which I will place near one of the problem corners, facing the other...so hopefully the additional heat from here will help warm the cold air from the outside walls/window
Oddly this back bedroom all year round has a slight 'wet plaster' type smell, but has NO signs of dampness anywhere at the moment. It was replastered (and a new UPVC window) last year..so we thought it was still drying! Roof has been checked, and there are no problems with guttering...maybe its just as its next to the bathroom and never used - and the install of extractor in bathroom/extra heat in winter will help
We have a 6ft by 9ft 'box' room (has no window and no heating in it) - which is currently just used for junk/storage - we dont have condensation problems in here!. Would I bet better off hanging 'wet washing' in here along with a demudifier (and close the door!) - Some items cant be tumble dried, so is this better than 'drip drying' on a radiator?
Hopefully Ill see a difference with the extractor fans in the kitchen/ bathroom and if I insulate the cupboards better, possibly the bedroom temprature will stay higher in the winter to prevent condensation.
I also plan to leave the heating on ALL OF THE TIME in winter and set the room stat to 17-19 (any guide on whats best?) so the house never gets below this (as often we wake and the rooms are 14-16)...we have a fairly new condensing boiler so hopefully wont cost too much!
Some people have commented on installing noiseless extractor fans in the bedrooms also (that run all day) - Ive never heard of these, and hopefully wont come to that, but if anyone can recommend anything else (especailly if youve had any of my experiences) - I would be very grateful
Also, dry lining walls has been another recommendation to keep the heat in...but unless we are decorating rooms from scratch, I dont think this is an option at the moment either.
Thanks - J