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Condensation solutions

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by lettywetty, 23 Nov 2018.

  1. lettywetty

    lettywetty

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    Hi,

    I am owner of an old bungalow which I rent via an agency.

    The tenants who live in the bungalow since February have just complained about damp in the bedroom. My husband paid them a visit and was horrified to see the wall behind their bed was covered in black spots of mould. To the question "do you ventilate enough the room", the answer was yes (unfortunately we leave right next to them and can see that windows are always closed)

    We asked Kenwood Plc (specialised in damp) to come and see.

    I think personnaly that it is just condensation as water infiltration looks different I have been explained.

    I fear that Kenwood will try to sell us one of their "Condensation Control system", basically a kind of extractor.

    Are these kind of systems efficient? Is it worth it? Can't I just ask them to "open the windows from time to time" or use a dehumidificator? I fear the cost and don't want an installation that would be letting the cold air enter as these type of old bungalows are not well insukated and difficukt to keep warm in winter unless you let the heating on almost all day.

    Who knows about Kenwood condensation solutions and who can tell me if it is a good thing to install?

    Thanks.

    Letty
     
  2. Notch7

    Notch7

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    If it is the only wall suffering the issue, surely it would be cheaper to insulate the face of the wall and redecorate?

    The problem is whether it is a problem with condensation or a problem with a tenant......
     
  3. jonbey

    jonbey

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    Are there good extractor fans in kitchen and bathrooms? Maybe worth improving these. Having one connected to the bathroom light that they cannot turn off will help.
    Trickle vents on windows help, but again, people can close those.
    Tell them not to leave things to dry on rads etc.
    And, suggest keeping the heating on more - recommendation of keeping a house at about 17 degrees to avoid condensation.

    maybe something like this: https://www.i-sells.co.uk/nuaire-dr...gOfXFCuHujH_LWumGS2pAHf65jV5DhPYaAnwDEALw_wcB

    Never used one, but a few people recommend them. Expensive, but helps force out moist air and mould spores so mould cannot take hold.

    And of course, they could clean their home with bleach as well as open the windows ...

    But, only way to really deal with it is improve insulation, but that means refurbishing.
     
  4. blup

    blup

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    Bleach, maintaining the heating levels, and ventilation (kitchen and bathroom extraction) are likely to be cheaper than the product you may be sold, and worth trying first. Difficult to get tenants to change bad habits but gives you a defence if their next step is to stop paying rent. With two months or so to go that might be their tactic.

    Blup
     
  5. jonbey

    jonbey

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    did they give a deposit? is there a contract? if so, see what it says about keeping the flat property clean - allowing mould to grow means they are not cleaning it.
    They chose to live there. They agreed to the contract (if there is one) so need to follow it....
     
  6. lettywetty

    lettywetty

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    Thank you all.

    It is difficult for me to tell them "heat more" or "open your windows more often". Either are a bit daft (one of them has worked for Seymours and was landlord before, you would expect that they know what living in a old bungalow means) or they play a game but I feel I cannot stay without reacting. I hope that the letting agency will back me up.

    If we HAVE to do improvement to the bungalow, do you suggest that we install batons on that wall to stick some plaster board with insulation in between the 2. Would that be enough as well as cheaper, to solve the problem? This mouldy wall is really cold so I think it is effectively condensation.

    Letty
     
  7. lettywetty

    lettywetty

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    There is effectively a clause in the tenancy contract asking them to ventilate... to avoid that problem.
    The couple work all day and often go away the week-end so everyting stays shut.
     
  8. jonbey

    jonbey

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    well, breach of clause gives them little room to complain.
    Can the windows be left on the latch when they're out? We do this for our front rooms (north facing, solid wall 30s bungalow that is partly insulated now) and this make a big difference. But we still get mould growing if we are not careful.
     
  9. lettywetty

    lettywetty

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    This is a similar building, 4 rooms originaly. One of the room facing the garden has been extended, something like 20 year ago, to double its size. 1/2 of that extension is an ensuite bathroom with 1 window, the other half has big sliding doors (old fashion ones with no vents and no little flap to leave open with a latch). So very little way to ventilate I admit.

    For security reason they cannot let the sliding doors open when they go to work, they could let the bathroom door and its window open but they don't. And when they are at home, well I don't know why but they let everything closed. Maybe they try to save energy by limiting the heating and let the windows closed.

    I thought about replacing the sliding doors by french windows with flaps on top, after these tenants are gone (these are my first tenants).
     
  10. scbk

    scbk

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    If they don't want to open windows, a dehumidifier would be a help.

    I'm not sure bleach is a good thing to use on porous surfaces such as walls. The main ingredient is water, the last thing you need. It will make the mould look better but it will soon come back if the situation doesn't change
     
  11. wgt52

    wgt52

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    • Like Like x 1
  12. flameport

    flameport

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    Not really. It will prevent the condensation there - but it will reappear somewhere else.

    The problem is excessive moisture in the air, and reducing that is the only real solution.
     
  13. jonbey

    jonbey

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    It will certainly help, ad insulation will keep the house warmer and reduce chance for condensation. Ideally it will only be on windows which is much more manageable.

    I stick 50-75mm kingspan to walls with everbuild pink dryfix foam, and stick plasterboard on that. You want to avoid condensation forming behind insulation on the wall.
     
  14. durhamplumber

    durhamplumber

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    Ventilation.
     
  15. jonbey

    jonbey

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    ... and heat :)
     

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