Condensation in our built in wardrobe. Ideas?

29
Posted 13th Nov
hello we are end of terrace house and have solid walls/wimpy build. we have a built in wardrobe upstairs and it has two exterior walls as part of it.

winter time we suffer with quite a lot of condensation inside and if we're not careful keep checking we get black mould.

what is the solution to solving this other than keeping the door open all the time.
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Make sure all clothes are 100% dry before putting them into the wardrobe.
Vents in either the ceiling, external wall or the wardrobe itself.
Those wee moisture catching boxes inside?
Check to see if all your render externally isn't cracked/broken/any of it fallen out where the the wardrobe is located as moisture could be coming in from outside.
If you have a lot of clothes jammed together it can cause problems so if you do maybe clear some of them out so you get more airflow inside?
Check the attic/roof for any leaks.
If you are getting the mould skirting height and upwards, is there any problems with the room directly below it as could be rising damp.
If the mould is located ceiling downwards it could be attic/roof leak.
Otherwise yeah probably condensation as the external walls are a lot colder than the walls inside the wardrobe.

That's about all I can think of at the moment other than leaving the door open for more airflow.
Edited by: "Cloeeez" 13th Nov
29 Comments
Make sure all clothes are 100% dry before putting them into the wardrobe.
Vents in either the ceiling, external wall or the wardrobe itself.
Those wee moisture catching boxes inside?
Check to see if all your render externally isn't cracked/broken/any of it fallen out where the the wardrobe is located as moisture could be coming in from outside.
If you have a lot of clothes jammed together it can cause problems so if you do maybe clear some of them out so you get more airflow inside?
Check the attic/roof for any leaks.
If you are getting the mould skirting height and upwards, is there any problems with the room directly below it as could be rising damp.
If the mould is located ceiling downwards it could be attic/roof leak.
Otherwise yeah probably condensation as the external walls are a lot colder than the walls inside the wardrobe.

That's about all I can think of at the moment other than leaving the door open for more airflow.
Edited by: "Cloeeez" 13th Nov
Do try the moisture catching boxes they work well for small spaces , Asda sell them quite cheap .
We had this issue so put pre-bought fretwork panels into door front and then fully lined the inside of the wardrobes with thick sheets of polystyrene. The lack of airflow given that the doors are a snug fit doesn't help and the fact the doors are only opened probably twice a day for a matter of minutes.
Cloeeez13/11/2019 06:54

Make sure all clothes are 100% dry before putting them into the …Make sure all clothes are 100% dry before putting them into the wardrobe.Vents in either the ceiling, external wall or the wardrobe itself.Those wee moisture catching boxes inside? Check to see if all your render externally isn't cracked/broken/any of it fallen out where the the wardrobe is located as moisture could be coming in from outside.If you have a lot of clothes jammed together it can cause problems so if you do maybe clear some of them out so you get more airflow inside?Check the attic/roof for any leaks.If you are getting the mould skirting height and upwards, is there any problems with the room directly below it as could be rising damp.If the mould is located ceiling downwards it could be attic/roof leak.Otherwise yeah probably condensation as the external walls are a lot colder than the walls inside the wardrobe.That's about all I can think of at the moment other than leaving the door open for more airflow.


Thank you I did wonder about putting a tile vent in and bringing a extractor hose down into a ceiling vent. If that would help or even a vent going out into the soffit board.
North facing wall OP?
Can you insulate the outside wall?
Clad the outside with 10cm polystyrene and render over it. Ideally more insulation, but 10cm is manageable for diy or inexperienced builder.
Specialist thin coat renders eg insulationshop.co/cer…tml are very easy to apply
polystyrene rolls stuck on walls. Wallrock lining paper over as tuff. Then paint with vc175 mould inhibitor added.

Lower the dew point
Edited by: "wayners" 13th Nov
This paint is brilliant for preventing black mould forming (zinsser perma white)


toolstation.com/zin…BwE
chocci13/11/2019 09:37

This paint is brilliant for preventing black mould forming (zinsser perma …This paint is brilliant for preventing black mould forming (zinsser perma white) https://www.toolstation.com/zinsser-perma-white-self-priming-interior-paint/p94942?store=HD&utm_source=googleshopping&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=googleshoppingfeed&gclid=CjwKCAiA8K7uBRBBEiwACOm4d90qTWWerfZ_S_wCYHg93pNeKe2jCsFxCuc5fvPjIex55zK9TGv7ShoCJvIQAvD_BwE


Paint isn't really a solution. It's a cover up and can also stop it for a short while but dampness will eventually come back through time if you don't do other methods to stop as much moisture.
I would also say OP that even though people are suggesting some kind of insulation internally (not entirely sure about external) but internal insulation I'd be very doubtful of it helping longterm. Just like all those people who took the internal insulation grant and got those beads put inside their wall then they had to get it took back out because the walls were riddled with damp through time.
Houses need to breathe. There has to be airflow. I'd be surprised if that in 15 years time all the people who got external cladding don't end up with problems. Add a fluffy jacket onto your body and your body sweats. So do houses.
Anyway OP I hope something here helps you, mould is a killer.
Edited by: "Cloeeez" 13th Nov
Cloeeez13/11/2019 10:18

Paint isn't really a solution. It's a cover up and can also stop it for a …Paint isn't really a solution. It's a cover up and can also stop it for a short while but dampness will eventually come back through time if you don't do other methods to stop as much moisture.


every winter I got black mould all over my shower ceiling. this paint stopped it completely so it is obviously a solution . I would also place a load of those silicone sachets in the wardrobe too and put a couple of vents in there as well.
chocci13/11/2019 10:27

every winter I got black mould all over my shower ceiling. this paint …every winter I got black mould all over my shower ceiling. this paint stopped it completely so it is obviously a solution . I would also place a load of those silicone sachets in the wardrobe too and put a couple of vents in there as well.


For how long?
It will treat it and cover it up in the mean time.
But it isn't a solution long term.
Most paints have anti-fungal properties in them, just some more than others like the one you have mentioned. But it isn't a solution, eventually moisture will get through the paint film and you will end up with the same issue.
That's why you'd use an eggshell or silk on a kitchen/bathroom because the finish is more resistant to steam/moisture but it doesn't keep it out forever, everything has an expiry date.
Edited by: "Cloeeez" 13th Nov
I was also going to suggest you buy some moisture catching boxes. They're cheap abd effective and some smell nice. We tend to pick them up from Home Bargains.
Thanks for all the comments creating air flow seems the best solution here and being as Its upstairs and I can gain access to the roof of soffits I will try this first. Aswell as clean and paint the inside of the wardrobe aswell. If I do see signs of moisture still I think maybe tank the wall inside the walldrobe and build a stud wall keeping it away from existing wall say 25mm and plasterboard this.
This

mikeportsmouth13/11/2019 07:24

Do try the moisture catching boxes they work well for small spaces , Asda …Do try the moisture catching boxes they work well for small spaces , Asda sell them quite cheap .


A damp trap can be bought very cheap from places like home bargain, B&M, pound stretcher or a local DIY store.

Here is a totally random example of the exact same one I had

It's surprising how effective it is. I used one for a downstairs passage that was constantly damp and had mould (looked like fungi) all over the walls. The box stayed in a corner for 7 years. I only every refilled it once. It worked marvelously.
Edited by: "notalwaysright19" 13th Nov
Cloeeez13/11/2019 10:34

For how long?It will treat it and cover it up in the mean time.But it …For how long?It will treat it and cover it up in the mean time.But it isn't a solution long term.Most paints have anti-fungal properties in them, just some more than others like the one you have mentioned. But it isn't a solution, eventually moisture will get through the paint film and you will end up with the same issue.That's why you'd use an eggshell or silk on a kitchen/bathroom because the finish is more resistant to steam/moisture but it doesn't keep it out forever, everything has an expiry date.


I painted the ceiling 6 years ago so I can live with having to repaint it every 10 years or so

used to get black mould and have to bleach it every week all winter but now I dont get any

tbh, if I had black mould in a bedroom, then I would definitely invest in a dehumidifer as the humidity levels must be very high so very unhealthy
Edited by: "chocci" 13th Nov
chocci13/11/2019 11:17

I painted the ceiling 6 years ago so I can live with having to repaint it …I painted the ceiling 6 years ago so I can live with having to repaint it every 10 years or so used to get black mould and have to bleach it every week all winter but now I dont get anytbh, if I had black mould in a bedroom, then I would definitely invest in a dehumidifer as the humidity levels must be very high so very unhealthy


Not very believable but if you say so lol.
Cloeeez13/11/2019 12:20

Not very believable but if you say so lol.


plank - as if I'd make something so boring like that up lol
Cloeeez13/11/2019 12:20

Not very believable but if you say so lol.


You'd be surprised how many customers I've had make up the wildest of claims. You always figure it out in the end.
Cloeeez13/11/2019 10:24

I would also say OP that even though people are suggesting some kind of …I would also say OP that even though people are suggesting some kind of insulation internally (not entirely sure about external) but internal insulation I'd be very doubtful of it helping longterm. Just like all those people who took the internal insulation grant and got those beads put inside their wall then they had to get it took back out because the walls were riddled with damp through time.Houses need to breathe. There has to be airflow. I'd be surprised if that in 15 years time all the people who got external cladding don't end up with problems. Add a fluffy jacket onto your body and your body sweats. So do houses.Anyway OP I hope something here helps you, mould is a killer.


Condensation damp is caused by the warm damp air hitting a cold surface. Insulation (including the polystyrene rolls mentioned) stop the condensation issue - or displace it to the next cold area

Im not a fan of internal insulation unless its the only option. External is always better - it brings the thermal mass of the walls into the warm envelope which helps with temp variation. I esp dont like the poly wall rolls because of fire issues.

You are correct about ventilation being needed - we have humidity controlled heat exchanger vents. The problem with just increasing ventilation is that you lose lots of heat.

The issues with filling the cavity arise because in cavity wall construction the cavity is intended to allow water that penetrates the outer wall to run down. And filling the cavity just allowed moisture straight into the inner wall.

EPS used as external insulation is vapour permeable and doesn't hold water, so doesn't give the same issues.
Thick polystyrene sheets have stopped the issues. The thin stuff on the roll didn't work plus kept catching and ripping it when taking boxes, shoes etc out of the bottom of wardrobe.
parents had the same problem. They bought an air dehumidifier made a massive difference. They just leave it running 24/7 and empty the water tank everyday. You'd be surprised how much water those humidifier sucks in from the air
.
Cloeeez13/11/2019 10:24

I would also say OP that even though people are suggesting some kind of …I would also say OP that even though people are suggesting some kind of insulation internally (not entirely sure about external) but internal insulation I'd be very doubtful of it helping longterm. Just like all those people who took the internal insulation grant and got those beads put inside their wall then they had to get it took back out because the walls were riddled with damp through time.Houses need to breathe. There has to be airflow. I'd be surprised if that in 15 years time all the people who got external cladding don't end up with problems. Add a fluffy jacket onto your body and your body sweats. So do houses.Anyway OP I hope something here helps you, mould is a killer.


if you are adding insulation on the exterior you need to consider adding ventilation via ceiling through the loft etc with a n air exchanger.
Parents had same problem with their fitted wardrobe against an exterior brick and block cavity wall with injected mineral wool cavity insulation. Mould from the condensation on the cold wall ruined some of the clothes in it.

We insulated the wall inside the wardrobe with a fairly expensive thin foil coated insulation, looked similar to the stuff you use behind radiators, which solved the problem.

You might also want to add vents to let the air circulate between the wardrobe and the room, could even divert a radiator feed pipe inside the wardrobe along the bottom of the wall.

Check any insulation you use is not a fire risk and doesn't burn and produce toxic fumes. Don't use polystyrene.
Edited by: "melted" 14th Nov
chocci13/11/2019 09:37

This paint is brilliant for preventing black mould forming (zinsser perma …This paint is brilliant for preventing black mould forming (zinsser perma white) https://www.toolstation.com/zinsser-perma-white-self-priming-interior-paint/p94942?store=HD&utm_source=googleshopping&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=googleshoppingfeed&gclid=CjwKCAiA8K7uBRBBEiwACOm4d90qTWWerfZ_S_wCYHg93pNeKe2jCsFxCuc5fvPjIex55zK9TGv7ShoCJvIQAvD_BwE


Might prevent mould growth, but won't stop the condensation, which I believe also creates the ideal environment for clothes moth.
Will putting a vent into the ceiling and venting into the loft sort this do you think? Weirdly we have radiator pipes coming up from the floor inside the wardrobe and the tails capped off so I imagine the previous owners had the same advice
You can get very small heaters which are low wattage and just give off enough heat to keep this damp at bay. A builder I once knew suggested it to me
Possibly not. Whilst you want some air flow you want to keep the wardrobe warmer rather than colder, hence why I have used polystyrene. Yes a small tubular heater should work, but could also be a fire risk?
JimboParrot17/11/2019 12:19

Possibly not. Whilst you want some air flow you want to keep the wardrobe …Possibly not. Whilst you want some air flow you want to keep the wardrobe warmer rather than colder, hence why I have used polystyrene. Yes a small tubular heater should work, but could also be a fire risk?



They are such a low wattage and the heater is enclosed in a pvc kind of pipe. They are on amazon under motorhome or caravan heaters.
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