Condensation in loft


Postby Boris » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:04 pm

I had water dripping from my loft hatch and the plumbers says it is being caused by very heavy condensation in the loft.Plumber did not express an opinion as to what was causing this heavy condensation Condensation is causing the cladding to sag.The water is falling onto and being absorbed by fibre glass loft insulation, but cracks are starting to appear between ceiling panels.
Gutters frozen solid with ice
I understand that if loft insulation that is laid too near the walls it can stop air circulation. Is this the cause, or is it also the iced up gutters?
Help please as I am living in fear of my ceilings coming down!
Boris
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Postby stoneyboy » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:26 pm

Boris,
Your loft should be ventilated either by gaps around the perimeter or vents in the roof slope. You need to make sure these are fitted and are clear of obstruction.
Since you have had plumbers invloved ask whether they looked in the header tank (if you have one) to see if hot water was coming from the vent pipe.
end
stoneyboy
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Postby Perry525 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:51 pm

It has been very cold of late, so I suppose it may be heavy condensation?
Did your plumber chap say where this condensation is taking place?
The usual cause of condensation is a badly fitting trap door into the loft, or a door left open?
The water vapour that you and your family create every day rises enters the loft and heads for the nearest cold surface – usually the underneath of the tiles or slates, sometimes the rafters.
Take a careful look with a bright light, see exactly what is wet,being so cold up there it may show as frost.
Perry525
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Postby Boris » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:06 pm

Thanks Stoneyboy.Property is a retirement home run by a Housing Association. Technical Manager coming on friday to view. Says when place built no loft ventilation installed and loft insulation was not a requirement? Suggests I open my windows and open the loft hatch every day. In this weather he must be insane.Short term solution would be for him to drill a couple of holes in the top brickwork to allow air into the loft to circulate.In the long term they will have to remove a number of bricks and replace with airbricks on all top floor flats in this complex. Not expecting any short term action to be taken. :shock:
Boris
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Postby Perry525 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:37 am

[quote="Boris"]Thanks Stoneyboy.Property is a retirement home run by a Housing Association. Technical Manager coming on friday to view. Says when place built no loft ventilation installed and loft insulation was not a requirement? Suggests I open my windows and open the loft hatch every day. In this weather he must be insane.Short term solution would be for him to drill a couple of holes in the top brickwork to allow air into the loft to circulate.In the long term they will have to remove a number of bricks and replace with airbricks on all top floor flats in this complex. Not expecting any short term action to be taken. :shock:[/quote]
++++++++++++++++=

The proposed short term solution is spot on, opening the windows for five minutes in the morning will enable the water vapour to escape.
Opening the trap door will only make the problem worse.

Your proposed solution is way off the mark.

The water vapour is caused by you and the other people living there.
Its caused by washing, cooking, drying things on radiators, breathing, sweating.
Keeping the bathroom and kitchen doors closed, using extractor fans (preferably with heat exchangers) when cooking, boiling a kettle, after washing will make a big difference.
Changing the way you live is simpler and cheaper than,
spending a lot of money making big un necessary changes to the fabric of the building.
At the basic level, lathes and plaster ceilings or the modern plasterboard ceilings are transparent to water vapour, which has no problem in moving through them, as it moves through fibre glass insulation. A simple solution is to carefully block all holes and cracks in the ceiling and to paint the ceilings with gloss paint – gloss paint is an almost water vapour proof product, a coat or two of gloss paint will cause the water vapour to move elsewhere probably to condense on your windows.
However, you must insulate the ceilings, as they are costing you a lot of money in wasted heat.
To give you an example, a ceiling with five inches of polystyrene placed – three inches between the joists and two inches across the ceiling under the joists will hold the temperature of the room below at 19 to 20°C with an outside temperature of minus eleven centigrade. Merely with the heat moving through the walls of adjacent heated rooms.
Perry525
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Postby stoneyboy » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:14 pm

Boris,
Ventilation is essential, press the landlord to take corrective action by installing air bricks.
end
stoneyboy
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