Damp wall inside wardrobe cupboard

6 Sep 2016
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United Kingdom
We have a no cavity Victorian semi which we have always had a problem with cold outside walls attracting condensation. The inside of the wardrobe cupboard wall facing outside is pretty wet, making clothes damp and leading to mould. Ditto for bedroom wall. Having a log burner installed, warming the chimney breast slightly in the bedroom I thought would have helped but it seems worse.

I am in the process of re-painting the inside of the cupboard with matt emulsion but is there anything better that will keep it from getting so wet, perhaps a sheet of foam latex stuck to the wall ? Its really a problem and ruins clothes
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I would have thought that the chimney breast being hot (in part of the cupboard) would have increased moisture. It really is down to insulation and airflow. You could dot and dab some insulated plasterboard in the cupboard, or add air vents to the doors. Air vents will never be sufficient on their own given the way air flows around internal corners but they will allow the moisture an escape path (to a degree).
The room adjacent to the bedroom is my studio which has the exact same cupboard backing on to it (both cupboards are back to back having one side on outside wall) I was wondering if I drilled a hole through the wall that separates, fit a vent it would perhaps cure the problem in both rooms ? We have a couple of dehumidifiers but as energy prices have soared this would be too expensive to run all the while. Even sheets of bubblewrap would be better for now ?
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Insulate the inside of the exterior wall or pull the wardrobe away from the wall (if you can). Wardrobes should never be put against exterior walls in solid wall homes.

If you're using a flue liner for your burner, what's the heat output like on your chimney breast? I bet it's just 'warmish' -- it'd take the heat of a radiator to dispel moisture like that in a cupboard, and it'd have to be on whenever there's cold weather to keep the wall warm.
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The cupboard is the wardrobe, not a separate piece of furniture.
Don't know if this is good or bad advice, but some wardrobes have a low powered electric tubular heater, with a wire guard.

Might help, might make things worse, I expect someone could advise.
Am i right, you have an outside wall with excessive condensation showing and two wardrobes/cupboards with excessive mould/condensation inside the cupboards?
Can you move the wardrobes away from the outside wall or are they built-ins?
Sounds like the wall is part of the wardrobe!
You could try a roll of thermal wallpaper on the wall.
Cold Back Wall, warm air in room trapped in wardrobe results in condensation , stick a sheet of polystyrene to rear wall, cheapest solution
Thermal wallpaper might not be thick enough .
I had a similar issue on wardrobes I built in a 1970s flat, with the wardrobes up against what turned out to be a very poorly insulated wall.

I don't think that any paint will fix it. It's moisture from the room condensing on a cold surface within an enclosed space.

Rather than rebuild with insulation hard up against the wall (itself not a guaranteed fix), I found that moisture traps worked a treat, one in each area of wardrobe. Had to refill regularly in winter but kept things fresh! That might be a decent and cheap option for you? I used refillable ones from Lakeland.
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