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Self-built walk in wardrobe: air flow considerations

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by potato80, 13 Apr 2020.

  1. potato80

    potato80

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    Folks,

    Am building floor-to-ceiling wardrobes for the missus. Entirely enclosed units, with doors.

    Question. I'm planning on removing the rest of the skirting (as seen in the picture) and then filling gaps with a little expandable foam. The units will be placed in front of this, entirely covering the entire wall.

    Is there anything else to consider to reduce the likelihood of damp or mould? The room/house doesn't seem to have an issue with it; am just making sure.

    Thanks in advance

    *Oh, and I'm obviously safely disconnecting the sockets in advance.
     

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    Last edited: 13 Apr 2020
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  3. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Is it a north-facing external wall, i.e. likely to be relatively cold?
     
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  4. potato80

    potato80

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    West-facing external; doesn't get the sun, really.
     
  5. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Don’t cover wall , serves no purpose .
     
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  6. domdee

    domdee

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    can you not just use the walls as part of the wardrobe? be less work involved.
     
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  7. potato80

    potato80

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    D'you mean use the wall as the 'back' of the wardrobe, essentially; with shelving or shelving units attached to it?

    Yes no reason why I can't do that. Just figured it would look more 'professional' with contained units.
     
  8. domdee

    domdee

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    thats exactly what i mean. less chance of stale air being trapped behind the wardrobe and generating damp/mould issues.

    use battons along the wall to support shelves.
    put facing strips along the front of shelves for a better look and more strength/suppoort.
    you can still create dividers vertically to seperate sections for long hanging etc secured by small concealed brackets or battons.
    If you scribe all your boards to the walls there should be good seamless joints, plus you can cork it and paint it.

    consider keeping the sockets so you can use tube heaters if you are concerned about damp. or mount some of them small pc type fans into the plinth to generate more air flow, and to add lighting into the wardrobe that can be contolled by the door opening and closing.
     
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  10. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Air that is literally trapped, i.e. sealed, won’t cause any damp issues.

    Condensation, and consequently black mould, happens when the moisture in warm damp air (e.g. from a shower) eventually reaches a cold surface. If that air can’t reach that surface, no condensation.
     
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  11. domdee

    domdee

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    I’ve found poor air circulation isn’t good for damp in my experience. Like if a piece of furniture is too tight to a wall I have had this problem.
     
  12. JohnD

    JohnD

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    circulating damp air around doesn't do as much good as ventilating it outside, and replacing it with dry.
     
  13. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Yes, if it’s not actually sealed then the moist air will get there, and if the air flow is slow it will cool down.
     
  14. Mottie

    Mottie

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    We have a similar setup in our house and the built in wardrobes are the whole depth of of our bedroom, about 12ft and they go from floor to ceiling. Been there since we moved in in 1990 although we have had the doors changed, all 9 of them. The back of the cupboards is the wall. Never had any condensation problems.
     
  15. Donkmeister

    Donkmeister

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    A gentle heat source can help... As mentioned by others above the issue is that water condenses out of moist warm air when it reaches a cold surface, and by definition bedrooms contain at least one source of warm moist air during the coldest part of the day!

    I built a sliding-door wardrobe into an external wall that is in continual shade all winter, and that wall is solid block. My neighbour had built similarly and had an issue with clothes getting damp and eventually had mould, so I installed a low-output, short but very wide single panel radiator at the bottom of the external wall, without a TRV. The wardrobe is heated to approx the same temperature as the bedroom it serves, and we have had no issues with cold or damp in that wardrobe over a decade or so.

    Noting you might have already finished your fit-out so it could be too late, but there is an alternative: from admiring the walk-in wardrobes I've seen at friends' and family's houses, I actually prefer the sort where everything is on show... To me the point of a walk-in wardrobe is that you walk into your own personal clothing department and it's all just there on show. So if you install racking and rails into the walk-in wardrobe then you'll have more storage space and vastly reduce the risk of damp.
     
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