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fixed4free.com > D.I.Y, Decorating > Question
D.I.Y, Decorating

d.i.y, decorating, paint, painting, wallpaper, wallpapering, emulsion, preparation 34 other questions

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mould/black patches?

I have some mould/black patches starting to appear on the top of some of the bedroom walls, it has been suggested it is probably condensation. The vents in the rooms were blocked up years ago and no problem until walls were insulated. Someone suggested that instead of drilling holes through the walls for me to try putting vents into the ceilings so the warm air goes up into the attic. Does anybody think that this may work if I put a pipe or similar fitting onto the vent to take it above the loft insulation?? Any suggestions gratefully received because I think the original vents were blocked up because the draught coming in made the room very cold even though there is central heating. thanks

adam     December 2009
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The reason for the mould on the walls is probably lack of air flow in the room allowing the stale air to get saturated with moisture and condense on the coldest part of the room. Opening the windows daily to ventilate the room should get rid of the stale air after a while. DO NOT vent the air into your loft space as this will in time rot the timbers. Loft spaces should have a good airflow through them to prevent the buildup of moist stale air. Clean the mould off and ventilate every day will cure the problem.

Bri     December 2009
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If you direct warm air into the attic you will have a condensation problem in the attic much worse than the one downstairs and it will cost you extra to heat the house because of the wasted heat going into the roof space. It may reduce the condensation below but not entirely eliminate it.

Mould will form where the Relative Hunidity is above 50% you do not necessarily need to see the condensation for damp to be accumulating.

It would be good to unblock the original air vents - the builder didn't put them in for a joke - but I guess you don't wish to do that.

A decent dehumidifier will cost you about £150 - mine changed a damp bedroom from 75% RH down to 40% in a couple of hours - if we take a shower the steam escaping from the bathroom pushes it up to 45% so I run it for an hour or so each day and maintain 40%. It sucks up about 250mL of water each day in just 90 mins.

The solution to your problem is mostly one of ventilation - central heating and double glazing do not help. Open windows and close doors when making steam in kitchen and bathroom - keep the house ventilated a bit more - wipe up damp - scrub the mould you can see with fungicide. Consider investing in (or hiring) a dehumidifier.

http://healthandenergy.com/mold_prevention.htm

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2005/05/10103020/30217

You can by a cheap but useful greenhouse RH meter from a Garden Centre for about £5 and find out just how bad your damp problem is and see if any changes you make are having any effect.

Good luck...

Peccavi     December 2009
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