Condensation problem at bottom of stairs

Discussion in 'Building' started by jocollett, 19 Apr 2013.

  1. jocollett

    jocollett

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    Hello, hope some one may be able to help. We live in a small 2 bed ex-council house and have a problem with condensation forming on the wall at right angles to the front door at the bottom of the stairs. The hall area here is generally the coldest part of the house. The door is very old with thin panels and single sheets of glass that also develops bad condensation.

    Any ideas of how to combat this problem?
    I've been thinking that a new well insulated door would help or putting a studwall over the damp wall to give it a little more insulation.

    Many thanks

    Jo
     
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  3. noseall

    noseall

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    Doing both sounds like a plan.
     
  4. pinenot

    pinenot

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    How far away is the damp patch from the door? and what in on the other side of the wall from this damp patch??
     
  5. DIYedboy

    DIYedboy

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    It's unlikely to be the door, but it certainly isn't helping, is your wall solid or cavity? does it face north? is there a gutter/ downpipe/ outside tap leaking on the outside of the wall? are you using a tumble drier and not venting it outside?

    We must know more before suggesting an answer ie wall insulation of some sort.
     
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  7. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    A better insulated, and draught-proofed door will probably make the condensation issue worse

    This is an unusual place for condensation as the airflow is normally sufficient to prevent it. You need to deal with the actual cause - lack of ventilation and high humidity or a cold spot on the external wall

    When you say an ex council house, that could be anything. Is it concrete walls of a system built construction, an old Victorian terrace or a more modern traditional build with cavity walls?
     
  8. jocollett

    jocollett

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    Thanks for your replies. There's actually quite a lot of back ground that i'll go into now (didn't want to go into it at the start) I've tried quite a few things to solve the issue but we're still getting condensation. Also attached a couple of photos.

    When we bought the house there was a large double thickness radiator attached to this wall which i think was the previous owners attempt to solve the issue. I took this off as it was leaking and i felt it was unnecessary at the time. The survey we had done also said this wall was damp. We now have a wood burning stove so we try to keep the heating off except at kids bath time so not sure if reinstalling a rad would help.

    When i was renovating the house i had to replace a couple of rotten joists that exited this wall and ran under the staircase.

    I've wall papered this wall and i understand mould loves wallpaper paste.

    The damp patch covers the bottom of the wall at right angles to the door starting inches away from it (see photo) and moves across about 3ft. In winter water droplets form on the exposed plaster (where I removed the skirting boards at bottom of the wall).
    There is no leaky guttering above it however there is a small walk in room/cupboard directly above in the corner of the bedroom that also suffers a similar problem.
    The wall faces North east east so gets some morning sunlight but is blocked by other houses. The front door faces another house so gets next to no sunlight.
    The walls are cavity (house build in 30's - 50's) and we have had insulation pumped in. There was a patch of insulation missing next to the door but i've had them back round to correct this. (see photo)

    We try to keep doors closed whilst cooking and have bought a condensing dryer, as we were drying clothes on radiators prior to this.

    There is an air brick leading under the floor directly below the damp wall.
    The concrete house foundations are at their highest in this corner of the house only about 10 inches below the engineering brick damp proofing layer. The outside ground level was up to the engineering bricks so i've dug out a trench to 2 bricks below the engineering bricks level around the wall.

    I've also repointed this wall as it had holes right through the mortar. I used some whicks ready mix lime mortar Not sure if it actually had lime in it though.

    I've insulated under the floorboards with loft insulation hung from scaffold netting under the joists but left a gap where the air brick comes in.

    The only things left i can think of to do are insulating the wall further, putting on a new door and building a porch.

    Thanks

    Jo
     
  9. pinenot

    pinenot

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    Out of all that you've said there, I wonder if the air brick vent allows cold air to pass over un-insulated floor/wall causing a cold spot and moisture ingress is the problem. Could you fit a pipe/box section to the internal face of the air brick(s) moving the flow further from the affected wall spot?...pinenot
     
  10. 1028741

    1028741

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    The condenser dryer is your main source of humidity (and hence condensation). They don't condense all of the water, and a lot of moisture ends up in the air. They should be banned in favor of ducted dryers. Also, do you have adequate ventillation (wall vents/window trickle vents and kitchen/bathroom extractor fans?) Just think of everywhere moisture comes from.
     
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