Condensation in loft and upper floor


Postby catherinemuirhead » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:06 pm

I have read previous advice on your site re this topic but even after having cavity wall and loft insulation fitted still have a major problem with condensation. The loft seems to be worse since having the insulation fited and is dripping with condensation. My 2 front bedroons have black spores in the front facing corners and along the all off the window frames on this floor. There doesn't seem to be a problem with downstairs windows/ceilings. I try to clean this away and open the windows as much as possible - this helps but the problem always returns.

Could the windows be the problem? They are standard UPC double glazed and have been in the house since built around 1980. Advice on your site suggested they may need trickle vents. Can these be fitted or will windows have to be replaced? Also could there be a problem with the ventliation in the loft ? Would this be costly to fix?

We need to try and fix this problem as cheaply as possible as we want to sell in the not to distant future. Can anyone help, please?!
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Postby ALDA » Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:56 pm

CM,

DID YOUR LOFT INSULATION INSTALLER COVER OVER ANY SOFFIT BOARD VENTILATORS OR TAKE THE INSULATION TO FAR INTO THE EAVES, RESTRICTING AIR FLOW?

THIS WOULD INCREASE THE CONDENSATION PROBLEM IN YOUR LOFT!

FITTING EXTRA SOFFIT VENTS WILL HELP TOO.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, WARM MOISTURE LADEN AIR IS PASSING INTO YOUR LOFT SOMEWHERE AND THIS ENTRY POINT/S MUST BE LOCATED AND REMEDIED.

ENSURE LOFT HATCH CLOSES AND IS SEALED.

ANY CEILING LIGHT FITTINGS THAT PROTRUDE INTO LOFT SHOULD HAVE SEALED COVERS OVER THEM.

CRACKS IN CIELING SHOULD BE FILLED TO SEAL.

ENSURE ANY EXTRACTORS THAT REMOVE MOISTURE LADEN AIR FROM BATHROOM OR KITCHEN AND VENT TO OUTSIDE VIA LOFT SPACE ARE NOT LEAKING INTO LOFT(CURE SPLITS & LOOSE JOINTS IN DUCTING)

THE CORNERS OF THE ROOMS ARE THE MOST PRONE AREAS TO MOULD GROWTH EVEN AFTER INSTALLING CAVITY INSULATION AND LOFT INSULATION SIMPLY BECAUSE GETTING THE INSULATION TO THESE POINTS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF THE JOB AND MAY NOT BE FULLY COVERED WITH INSULATION.

TRICKLE VENTILATORS CAN ONLY HELP THE SITUATION AS ANY VENTILATION WILL HELP TO GET RID OF MOIST AIR AND REPLACE WITH DRYER AIR.(SO I WOULD FIT THEM IF POSSIBLE)
ALSO IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH THE IDEA OF LEAVING WINDOW/S OPEN SLIGHTLY IN ROOM/S AFFECTED, OVERNIGHT, THIS WILL HELP A LOT.
TRY NOT TO PUT MOISTURE IN THE AIR WHERE YOU CAN.

YOU SHOULD TRY TO ATTAIN AT LEAST ONE FULL AIR CHANGE PER DAY TO YOUR HOME AT A TIME THAT IS APPROPRIATE FOR YOU.

IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO KEEP THE HEATING ON, THIS WILL HELP RETAIN MOISTURE IN THE AIR RATHER THAN CONDENSING OUT ONTO COLD SURFACES AS IT DOES WHEN HEATING IS TURNED OFF.

IT IS ALL ABOUT FINDING A BALANCE WITH HEATING, VENTILATION AND INSULATION TO ACHIEVE THE CONDITIONS THAT YOU CAN LIVE WITH.

HOPE THIS IS OF SOME HELP TO YOU.

ALDA.
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Postby cruque1 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:20 pm

Catherine, Alda is spot on right about needing to find the right balance of heating and ventilation but my experience with trickle vents is that they usually don't work as they simply don't allow sufficient air movement on their own (i.e. The Buidings Regs used to assume that you would open your windows regularly to provide rapid ventilation at times when moisture was high e.g.cooking, bathing).

Modern lifestyles and our obsession with energy efficiency mean that a different approach is needed. It won't necessarily be the cheap option you were hoping for but try putting 'Heat Recovery Ventilation' in to Google and you should be able to track down a contractor that can fit a system which a) works b) is energy efficient and c) does not lead to cold draughts.
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