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Air bricks 1930s semi

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by gtsloz19, 7 Dec 2011.

  1. gtsloz19

    gtsloz19

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    Hello all this is my first post so be gentle! :D

    We have a larger style 3 bed semi built in 1937.
    The house has single glazing to the front and double at the rear, also I have noticed that we have 5 air bricks on the front bay window (yes 5!!)
    and also 7 along the side of the house, not to mention the 2 on the top course of bricks on the side of the house!!

    To make the house a little less draughty.....(we are freezing!!!) can I cover some of the bricks and leave say maybe a couple open?

    Looking to cover them temp, so we can open them in summer time.

    For info, we have a gas fire in the front room and GCHeating thoughout, I have CO detector in the room with gas fire, and flue is good with new pots on stack etc....

    Thanks in advance

    Loz :D
     
  2. foxhole

    foxhole

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    You need vents open for a gas fire and also to prevent condensation, damp and mold.
     
  3. gtsloz19

    gtsloz19

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    thanks but a mentioned, I have not covered all of them up just a few.

    Out of the 5 on the front bay, 2 are still open

    Out of the 7 on the side of the house, 3 are still open

    Will this be OK do you think?

    Cheers :D
     
  4. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    At least it sounds like you'll never suffer from rotting timbers :p
    It does sound like the air bricks have been somewhat overdone, but if there's only a small space between the floor joists and the house raft (which may be concrete, earth, or anything in between) then its a good thing.
    You'll need good heavy carpets to prevent the cold striking up though, and seals between the skirting and the floorboards is a good move.
    If you do cover any of the air bricks over, open them up again in the Spring.
    John :)
     
  5. gtsloz19

    gtsloz19

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    Thanks John, thats exactly what I plan on doing.

    At the moment, we have an ancient 15 yr old boiler which has an OP of 11kw! this house needs a good 30 kw combi fitted and new rads, but as you all know this needs cash, so we are saving at the mo like mad to get this done in the new year.

    I am currently feeling around for draughts and filling/sealing where I can, its going to be a cold, expensive winter but I suppose i'll have to suck it up!
    Thanks again

    Loz
     
  6. gtsloz19

    gtsloz19

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    Morning all

    bit of an update, I have spent the last few days sealing the exposed wooden flooring in our bedroom where we could feel the cold air blowing through the gaps, this has helped no end.

    But re. the air bricks...

    Most of them have been covered up now since my first post a few days ago, I use silicone sealants and transparent perspex cut to brick shape to cover them up, this way I would be able to remove in the future and also see if any condensation was visible...

    On nearly all of the covers, lots of condy is present, so this would indicate to me that its cold outside (obviously!) and warmer inside the cavity (from heating etc...) and there is no where for the condy to go.

    So I have opened the covers back up halfway by leaving one half stuck down and splitting the other halfs sealant....this in theory should let in a certain amount of air and still protect against draughts.....fingers crossed

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks

    Loz :eek:
     
  7. Perry525

    Perry525

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    Condensation is formed in the home the result of cooking, washing, drying clothes and breathing, sweating, fish tanks, animals, indoor plants
    .
    Water vapour is programmed to head for the nearest cold surface to condense.
    This is normally your windows, as the coldest place in the home, but blocking vents with something thin has the same result.

    Interestingly, all home built after 2016 will have to be of Passive House standard, this means airtight, with controlled mechanical ventilation.

    You can see from this that blocking those vents will merely put you near the front of the queue to adopt the 2016 standard.

    The EU and UK Government have realised that having holes in the walls of a home is stupid and wastes an enormous amount of energy and it costs you a lot of money in trying to warm the United Kingdom.

    You can deal with water vapour by fitting and using extractor fans in the bathroom and kitchen. Extractor fans with built in heat exchangers are best as they bring in warm air. Normal extractor fans have to find their make up air from somewhere and this means dragging cold air from outside that you have to pay to heat.
     
  8. DIYnot Local

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