Cold bridging

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I understand the principle behind Cold Bridging and find that at work we're coming up against this problem quite often.

Other than major re-working of walls is there a practicle solution to the problem?
 
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It needs to be designed out, or a continuous insulation layer used on the internal face
 
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Thanks Woody, trouble is the jobs we're working on don't lend themselves to the design out option.

Bascially we're talking about council owned houses where the residents report 'damp' mould on the walls where damp is not penetrating from outside.

However, cold bridging is very much the likely cause. I suppose a better way to ask my question is to say -

Does anyone know how to cure cold bridging without re-building the wall or installing a full wall insulation layer?
 
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You're talking about condensation then. This is a lifestyle issue (tenant responsibility), and not cold bridging, which would be a structural design issue and potentially a landlord responsibility.

I'm not sure of the context of your involvement ie if you are surveying and diagnosing, or just doing the work. But each property needs an individual diagnosis and remedial schedule, or they should just have the typical upgrade such as the Decent Home work

Otherwise, its just the typical condensation prevention measures
 
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You're talking about condensation then. This is a lifestyle issue (tenant responsibility), and not cold bridging, which would be a structural design issue
I'm inclined to say it is both Woodblock.

You can't expect tenants to not exhale, when this is sometimes all the vapour that is needed to create condensation issues in a poorly insulated building.

Whilst i agree that you could not be expected 'design out' a sealed house that is producing vapour from a family of seven, washing on rad's, cooking pots going ten to the dozen and bathrooms with windows permanently closed, i would say it is fair to assume that the average family would want a building that could deal with average condensation production.

It is also unfair to expect people to have all windows wide open when it is freezing cold outside.
 
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As current landlord and tenant law stands, the landlord is only responsible for structural dampness - ie dampness caused by something in disrepair and in need of repair. Design, or previous construction methods don't count.

Condensation is produced by the occupants, not the building. It may be harsh, but that's the basis of the law and the contract of letting

Its also important to distinguish between a thermal bridge, which is a specific term to describe a situation where dissimilar materials cause localised temperature differences, and mere cold surfaces which cause condensation
 
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Woody, my part of the job is the fixing, where possible, not the surveying side.

The most recent case was a block of 4 flats with a common walk though area between the bottom 2 flats which leads from front to back.

The building is of face bricks, however, the walls of the walk through area appear to be concrete.

Now, the internal wall effected is on the other side of the concrete wall. Having measured the wall as best i could it appears to be less than 9" which makes me think there is no cavity or if there is one, it must be very small.

The reason i think cold bridging is the problem is because the effected area starts in the very corner of the internal wall, its external side being the most exposed to cold/wind BUT covered and not open to rain.

At this point please dont jump to penertating damp, it is NOT damp getting through from the outer wall.

It's clear that the warmth inside is meeting cold somewhere and producing condensation behind the wall paper.

So far (on instruction) i have stripped the wall paper and treated the wall with anti-fungel solution, then painted over with eggshell paint.

We'll see how it goes.

On the original subject, is the above of any use? What other treatment could produce better results?
 
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External corners are the coldest part of a room, and the part which get the least air movement. This makes corners a proverbial hotspot for condensation and mould.

Whilst a defect such as a blocked cavity could cause a thermal bridge, the actual cause is normally one of just a cooler area of wall, at the dew point for the room, and with insufficient air movement to cause evaporation.

Therefore, the remedial work should be that for condensation prevention, not for a thermal bridge

Your treatment is a stop-gap, and good for a few weeks only.
 
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As said, my treatment was following instructions received from above & i fully agree with you Woody in a few weeks the problem will probably be back.

So lets assume that is to be the case and also assume thermal bridge is not the cause.

Therefore, what would you recommend as the required application to cure the problem Woody....?
 
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If this is a council block, and it is a council "surveyor", then you are getting a typical instruction .... spend a little and hope for the best. The trouble is, all these little job costs, a few times a year can easily add up to the cost of one job and doing it right first time.

There are several options. Either they properly assess the flat and decide what is the actual cause - is it just a case of the tenant creating excess moisture or the property not being able to deal with modern living, or they decide if they are going to stick to their precise obligations and do nothing for condensation issues, or be pro-active and try and upgrade or adapt the property to cope better with condensation

It may be just a case of giving advice on heating, ventilation and dealing with humidity, or it could mean upgrading heating, insulating all the walls, fitting extract fans or fitting a positive pressure fan

The next thing normally done after your mould treatment, would be to line the walls with an insulated plasterboard. This may work, or if excess humidity is still present, then it could just shift the condensation to a different surface or part of the flat.

That is why condensation problems need to be looked at as a whole and not just dealt with piecemeal with a bit of fungicide. Treat the cause not the symptoms
 
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I typed a long reply and then .....

"You are not friends with the user you are trying to send a message to. You can only send private messages to friends, unless they have allowed messages from 'non-friends"
 

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