Air brick problem


Postby altafica » Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:39 am

When the kitchen was fitted in my house, a brick built larder was knocked out, all was plastered, and units were fitted.
Since the cold weather has come, I have noticed the room is chilly, and we had bitter winds the other day, and I could feel a breeze cutting through the room.
In the original larder there was a air brick, well a vent about 9x9ins, that has not been sealed behind one of the units, and the cold air is coming from top and bottom on the unit.
How is the best way to stop this. On the outside is a gride effect brick in the wall. What is the best way to seal this up.
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Postby bricktech » Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:37 pm

[quote="altafica"]When the kitchen was fitted in my house, a brick built larder was knocked out, all was plastered, and units were fitted.
Since the cold weather has come, I have noticed the room is chilly, and we had bitter winds the other day, and I could feel a breeze cutting through the room.
In the original larder there was a air brick, well a vent about 9x9ins, that has not been sealed behind one of the units, and the cold air is coming from top and bottom on the unit.
How is the best way to stop this. On the outside is a gride effect brick in the wall. What is the best way to seal this up.[/quote]

If the air brick looks an original part of the house I would advise against blocking it up, as it could be the only ventilation for your kitchen. Personally I wouldn't block up any air bricks, as you can never have enough ventilation, especially if you have double glazing.

Is there a louvred vent on the inner face of the opening? if there isn't, stick one on with building adhesive and that should reduce the wind flow.
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:26 pm

the best way to seal it up is with a couple of bricks and mortar.
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Postby bricktech » Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:47 am

[quote="chris_on_tour2002"]the best way to seal it up is with a couple of bricks and mortar.[/quote]

...and watch your windows steam up and condensation appear on your walls..if you really do want to block it up, get some expanding foam and spray it in the hole from the inside. When its dry, trim it back flush with the wall. The holes hidden behind cabinets so it doesn't really matter what it looks like. You dont need to touch the air brick on the outside wall, and if a new owner moves in and wants the air flow reinstated, its an easy job of removing the foam.
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:49 am

[quote]...and watch your windows steam up and condensation appear on your walls..[/quote]

what, if you block the hole with bricks and mortar? i assume that you mean condensation will appear as the mortar dries? hardly a persistent problem!

personally i'd much prefer to fill a 9-inch hole using bricks and mortar than expanding foam.
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Postby Did it myself » Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:38 pm

Personally, I wouldn't block it either, the airbricks are there for a good reason. We recently moved into a house that had all bricks covered or filled with cement. The surveryor advised to unblock all bricks to limit the risk of rot (floorboards etc). Unfortunately, the only way I know to solve your problem would need to be done before the kitchen was fitted. Basically, yuo can use insulated plaster board. Its slightly thicker board with a layer of polystyrene.... My understanding is that other than cavity wall insulation, this is the only way to insulate your room against these drafts. Someone else might no more though.
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Postby bricktech » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:19 pm

[quote="chris_on_tour2002"][quote]...and watch your windows steam up and condensation appear on your walls..[/quote]

what, if you block the hole with bricks and mortar? i assume that you mean condensation will appear as the mortar dries? hardly a persistent problem!

personally i'd much prefer to fill a 9-inch hole using bricks and mortar than expanding foam.[/quote]

No, I was referring to the problem that will be created by simply blocking up a form of air flow - there's plenty of examples in the forums here of condensation (damp) caused by a lack of ventilation such as an air brick. The air brick was installed for a reason, and as such should not be blocked.

However, if the present owner is determined to block it up, I would advise a method of blocking it up that is fairly easy to remove, in case the property was sold. This can either be foam as I suggested or by simply sticking a board up against it.
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Postby TheDoctor5 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:55 am

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Postby rigga » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:48 pm

I totally agree with Bricktech you should not block the air brick up unless you have an extractor fitted in the kitchen, besides the bathroom this is one of the worst areas in the house for condensation problems, if you feel the need to block the air vent up and you have no other form of ventilation in the room you should fit a humidistat type of extractor which comes on automatically when the humidity level reaches a certain point.
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