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  • FIRST POST
    • saintscouple
    • By saintscouple 6th Oct 17, 6:28 AM
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    saintscouple
    Condensation Bedroom Windows
    • #1
    • 6th Oct 17, 6:28 AM
    Condensation Bedroom Windows 6th Oct 17 at 6:28 AM
    OK, so we live in a 2 bed, mid-terrace house with a wet room between the 2 bedrooms, no window, just an extractor pump fitted in loft the sucks the moisture out of the wet room and pumps it outside via an outlet in the roof. The pump works well with condensation quickly leaving the bathroom mirror.
    Both bedroom have had newly fitted windows this year, also had new central heating system installed this year with correctly sized radiators.
    Now the cold weather is here, we have all windows closed, but trickle vents open.
    We are a couple and only use the 1 bedroom, both bedroom doors are left open for the cats to wander freely.
    The heating is on 21c during the day which we increase to 22c when going up to bed.
    But yet we still have condensation on all upstair windows in the morning.
    Can anyone suggest where the problem lies?
    I have checked the loft and insulation seems plentiful above the bedroom, and perhaps a little sparse above the wet room where the pump was installed and cabling laid.

    The extractor pump was again installed this year and was told it was the most powerful solution, it comes on when we turn the light on, and continues for approx 5 mins after we turn the light out.... could it be the power or duration could be increased and that could help?

    The condensation used to affect the downstairs windows, but the radiators and windows seemed to have solved it there.

    I forgot to mention we have a condenser dryer in an alcove in the spare bedroom, which has doors, but still main and spare bedroom windows have condensation equally. I have a cheap hydrometer which showed at 5am this morning the inside temp was 19.4c with a humidity of 86%. The 2 outer panes of glass with the trickle vents above weren't too bad, but the middle panes were full steamed up completely.
    Incidentally the outside temp was 8.0c and the thermostat downstairs was showing 22.0c, the hygrometer was placed on the window sill above the radiator (which was warm).

    Would really appreciate some advice as we are housing association tenants, and although they've done a lot of improvements in terms of the extractor pump, radiators, and windows, it would be good if i could point them in a direction of finally solving this condensation issue.

    Tia

    Last edited by saintscouple; 06-10-2017 at 6:30 AM. Reason: photo
Page 3
    • saintscouple
    • By saintscouple 14th Oct 17, 4:03 PM
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    saintscouple
    I've got two rental properties that had this problem. The PIV worked beautifully in both and I thought they were well worth the investment. I don't know all the technical stuff and don't know if they would suit all situations but I found them great.
    Originally posted by thepurplepixie
    I hope that the solution to our problem will be as simple as fitting one of these units, and that the housing do this. Good to hear they work in your properties, thank you

    23 watts is a tiny amount of power. If you let the fan running constantly all year, it would use about £25 of electricity. I have the same fan controlled by a remote humidistat, and it runs for up to an hour after someone has taken a long shower. We're a large family, and I hear the fan running twice a day at most. On that basis, it is costing us £2 a year in electricity.

    The PIV units will cost a similar amount to run, if they don't have a heating element. I would not fit one without a heating element as you will get a cold draft from the input vent in winter.
    Originally posted by tacpot12
    That's good to know, must admit when the surveyor came round, he did describe it as a little pump, but it's reassuring to know it doesn't cost that much to run. The readings are showing there is no real difference in humidity after a shower and we have little condensation in the bathroom... toilet cistern a given of course.
    If a PIV is agreed and authorised to be installed, we have little say as to if it is a system with a heating element. Perhaps one for me to research and if the benefits are there and the costs not much difference, then to state my case to the housing should the PIV be proposed. Best for all to nip this in the bud once for all, and save me keep calling on them with problems. Thank you

    My tenants haven't had a problem with a cold draft, the guy who fitted it said if you position it properly it won't be a problem. If I put my hand up near it I can feel it but not standing normally.
    Originally posted by thepurplepixie
    Interesting to know, I will look up and see how the different models operate, benefits, and costs, etc. Thank you

    We have a top window open in every bedroom 24/7 365. If we didn't we'd have a condensation problem.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    Yeah, the new windows they fitted on ours don't have a top window, just 3 panes with outer 2 opening, and trickle vents only on those outer 2 panes. So we don't have that option sadly, but the outer panes do have child locks on, or rather cat locks in our case, so we can open them a little without threat of the cats jumping out lol

    One other thing i hadn't mentioned, but the surveyor picked up on, is the back door - it has the old 4mm glass, wooden with wooden frame, and has one of those brush-bar draught excluders fitted to the bottom to keep the draught out. The glass being as it is, is a cold spot and he demonstrated just how cold the glass it by putting your hand on it, compared to the window next to it, he said that will the next thing to rain condensation, and it's already beginning to blacken around the side of the glass where i had stripped, sanded, sealed, and repainted in the summer. So see if this comes up in his report, if not will keep an eye and if starts to mould like it did last year, will be back to reporting that one.
    The housing changed the front door and all the windows this year, but said the back door isn't to be replaced till 2028... so we have all upvc apart from the back door which opens directly into the lounge, but it's the thickness of the glass on the back door which will become a problem if things remain as they are, even when the surveyor for the central heating came round, he said the 4mm double glazed glass, for btu calculations, could only considered as single glazed... and when you look at the difference in the panes in the window to the back door now.. wow... the ones in the window are like at least 3 times as thick!

    one other thing, when i found this in the loft....


    Would that indicate the property doesn't have cavity wall insulation?
    I ask as i thought there would be evidence of the insulation bits, but i looked as far as i could and nothing. Unless they don't fill the cavity that high?

    Just i find it odd that with all these grants around, that tenants cannot apply for, only owners and landlords, why this property would say have the minimum insulation (and in one part of the loft no insulation at all) so perhaps below minimum?
    I'm not saying it's a cold house by all means, being mid-terrace, it can get quite warm - which perhaps with minimum insulation means our neighbours aren't retaining their heat and it's traversing along the row of 4 houses and out at the end terraces.
    I checked the outside brickwork and can't see any noticeable holes filled where cavity insulation may have been added, the houses were built 19 years ago, so maybe cavity insulation boards were available back then and these houses may have them?
    Last edited by saintscouple; 14-10-2017 at 4:08 PM.
    • saintscouple
    • By saintscouple 16th Oct 17, 3:42 PM
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    saintscouple
    ok, so the report from the surveyor has come back with the following recommendations -

    1) Updating bathroom and kitchen fan to automatic humidistat extractors
    and
    2) Installing passive vents in both bedrooms.

    I have concerns about the passive vents, not knowing anything about them, in that will it create a draft, will it create a wind noise problem, and will it mean we will hear outside noises?

    The house is located in a pretty elevated and exposed position, so we do get the wind regardless of the direction it blows, thus concerned about any drafts these passive vents might cause.

    Also I have severe obstructive sleep apnea and regularly have to have a sleep during the day, and currently close the windows when i do to shut out the noise.... hence concerned about not being able to shut out the noise.

    If any can if anyone can allay my fears on these passive vents, or forewarn me on any problems they can cause it would be much appreciated.
    I understand that installing them may help the condensation problem, but have fears they could just be creating others problems that will then need addressing.

    Thank you
    • saintscouple
    • By saintscouple 29th Nov 17, 7:35 PM
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    saintscouple
    Update:

    Humidistat fans have been installed in the bathroom and kitchen, only been a few days but no improvement.
    The bathroom is worse, now have a musty, damp smell about the room, with the toilet cistern constantly dripping condensation.
    The kitchen we also have seen no improvement, condensation on the windows in the morning, sometime the full pane and the fan is situated above the window. installer also identified the wall above the window is damp and cold to touch.
    Bedroom windows condensation issues remain the same.

    We have been told to run with it for 2-3 weeks and contact them in the problem remains.
    The loft has been inspected and deemed suitable for a piv unit should it be required.

    At the end of the day we had them called in as we have condensation issues, they have changed the fans, and the issues not only remain, but have gotten worse... perhaps the fans need time to 'bed' in hence the 2-3 week wait to see what happens.

    Boxes ticked in that we open the windows ajar during the day and keep the heating on at all times between 18-21c
    • lotteryman
    • By lotteryman 30th Nov 17, 9:52 PM
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    lotteryman
    Condensation
    Hi,
    My daughter's flat has serious condensation issues and after a lot of research I installed a Positive Input Ventilator(PIV) unit in this year and it has cured the problem. Essentially this is a unit that fits into the ceiling in the hallway and takes air which it filters from the loft and circulates it around the house. This has the effect of pushing out humid air and keeping the whole house ventilated. It also has the added effect of improving the quality of the air. It is whisper quiet and easy to fit (some electrical work). They are made by Nuaire and cost around £250 (see i-sells.co.uk) As I say it has completely resolved the issue throughout my daughter's flat
    Hope this helps.


    • saintscouple
    • By saintscouple 1st Dec 17, 6:13 AM
    • 3,844 Posts
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    saintscouple
    Hi,
    My daughter's flat has serious condensation issues and after a lot of research I installed a Positive Input Ventilator(PIV) unit in this year and it has cured the problem. Essentially this is a unit that fits into the ceiling in the hallway and takes air which it filters from the loft and circulates it around the house. This has the effect of pushing out humid air and keeping the whole house ventilated. It also has the added effect of improving the quality of the air. It is whisper quiet and easy to fit (some electrical work). They are made by Nuaire and cost around £250 (see i-sells.co.uk) As I say it has completely resolved the issue throughout my daughter's flat
    Hope this helps.


    Originally posted by lotteryman
    We are housing association tenants and have been asking for this system to be installed.
    They sent a condensation / mould contractor out called Airtech Environmental Services out to do a survey to which they have changed the fans in the bathroom and kitchen and we have to wait 2-3 weeks to see if conditions improve.
    Crazy thing is i can see the company is charging the housing association over £750 for these 2 fans incl installation...... and the bathroom inline pump they changed like for like where the old one was only 7 months old!
    We all know it would have been more cost effective just to install a piv unit. It's frustrating that they seems to be going round the houses and not dealing with the problem head-on..... the contractor has even examined our loft and deemed it 'perfect' for a piv unit installation!
    So frustrating.
    • lotteryman
    • By lotteryman 1st Dec 17, 8:28 AM
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    • 6 Thanks
    lotteryman
    Hi,
    I suppose you need to keep plugging away at them and try to gather enough evidence to convince them. There is a lot of information on Nuaire.co.uk and if you look at forums you will find similar evidence.
    The crazy think is that the running costs (for the non-heat model) is about the cost of running a light bulb and you can get a model that reads humidity sensors.

    Good luck with your challenge
    • saintscouple
    • By saintscouple 1st Dec 17, 8:40 AM
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    saintscouple
    Hi,
    I suppose you need to keep plugging away at them and try to gather enough evidence to convince them. There is a lot of information on Nuaire.co.uk and if you look at forums you will find similar evidence.
    The crazy think is that the running costs (for the non-heat model) is about the cost of running a light bulb and you can get a model that reads humidity sensors.

    Good luck with your challenge
    Originally posted by lotteryman
    Cheers,

    Airtech have their own branded piv unit http://www.airtechenvironmental.co.uk/product/air-piv/ I have been looking at the Nuaire site, and the reviews of their units from Amazon, all very positive.

    Perhaps the fans over the next 2-3 weeks will cure the condensation issue, and they just need time to 'bed' in, but the other thing that doesn't make sense to me is the fans are placed in the kitchen and bathroom, and yet we are told to keep these doors closed (which we have always done anyhow) so can't see how they increase ventilation in other rooms, i.e the bedrooms?

    I just hope they will work and the issue doesn't drag on and on, will keep this thread updated for any future potential usefulness for anyone else.
    • no1catman
    • By no1catman 1st Dec 17, 9:43 PM
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    no1catman
    We get the same problem in the front bedroom bay-window. Depending on how cold it is outside, I can use up to ten kitchen paper towel sheets.
    Fortunately we had the windowsill resealed otherwise the pools of water that collect would seep down into the wall!

    Tried a couple of Unibond 360 airers - but - not a lot.
    I used to work for Tesco - now retired - speciality Clubcard
    • saintscouple
    • By saintscouple 2nd Dec 17, 9:11 AM
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    saintscouple
    We get the same problem in the front bedroom bay-window. Depending on how cold it is outside, I can use up to ten kitchen paper towel sheets.
    Fortunately we had the windowsill resealed otherwise the pools of water that collect would seep down into the wall!

    Tried a couple of Unibond 360 airers - but - not a lot.
    Originally posted by no1catman
    yeah we tried the unibond 360's, can't remember how long they said the tablets should work for, but ours would last less than a week! Thus something more sinister was at hand, hence we had the windows changed, and when we had new rads put in they had to put lager ones in as the survey concluded the installed ones were too small... but even after those major changes the condensation problems continue.
    One thing i have since read is that if insulation is put fully other the eaves in the loft, it could create the loft to sweat rather than have airflow like it should. Our condensation problems are mainly with the bedrooms windows, albeit the kitchen as well.
    The housing association haven't even been in the loft to see if that could be an issue, so i'll get up there at some point tomorrow to see if anything like that looks obvious to me.
    I find it disappointing the housing haven't even looked at these basic things, not even to see if there is sufficient insulation..... simply if i don't read up on these things and investigate myself they are not interested.
    • saintscouple
    • By saintscouple 3rd Dec 17, 12:37 PM
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    saintscouple
    Windows were put in earlier this year, yet this morning I noticed mould appearing on the kitchen window. And the installer of the fan said it is keeping the perfect environment!!

    • Shimmyhill
    • By Shimmyhill 7th Dec 17, 5:40 PM
    • 324 Posts
    • 207 Thanks
    Shimmyhill
    We have condensation issues and have tried most things, running a dehumidifier does help but it’s noisy and uses plenty of electricity - our bedroom windows are always open overnight on the latch and this prevents condensation in that room.

    We are getting a PIV system fitted next week, fingers crossed it will solve the issue and if so will be worth every penny.
    • g33k0ut
    • By g33k0ut 12th Dec 17, 6:22 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    g33k0ut
    Piv ftw
    As someone who has been on a similar journey over the past 8 years(!) and benefitted from threads such as this, I wanted to throw in my experiences should they help others searching out solutions.

    We have a 1930s solid wall detached house. When we first moved in we had a bit of a nightmare to be honest - humidity readings in the range 60% to 80%, external walls very cold to touch, certain fabrics and clothes noticeably Ďdampí feeling, musty smells in rooms and cupboards, thick black mould on various surfaces and very heavy window condensation in the winter. It was so bad at times our smoke alarms would even be triggered by the high humidity!

    Always struck me as a confusing issue. We moved here from a 1980s-built semi-detached house. We didnít change any of our behaviour in terms of cooking / washing / drying / showering / breathing, but it was clear the 1980s place had no issues whatsoever, whilst the 1930s place did.

    We did loads of things to try and resolve the problem over a number of years. Improved extraction in the bathroom and kitchen, fitted additional air bricks to ventilate under the floors, replaced windows to include trickle vents (and used them!), opened the windows often, fitted more powerful radiators to replace weaker single panel ones, fitted foam-backed plasterboard to some of the more mould-prone walls and improved insulation in the loft space. We also purchased a dehumidifier, run on itís own humidistat, which essentially ran non-stop all winter.

    All of above definitely addressed the more extreme humidity levels in the house. However we were still sat squarely around the low 60% humidity level in winter and still suffered with all the issues mentioned above to some degree.

    I eventually decided to buy a PIV system. Fitted it myself (Iím an enthusiast amateur, not a tradesman!) and cost about £400 all in. The benefits are clear and Iím of the opinion that the PIV has contributed the most of anything we did. Iíd even go as far to call it the cure we needed all along. If I did it all again, a PIV is the first thing I would buy.

    From the second the PIV was turned on, the landing area under the ceiling diffuser smelt fresher. After a few days that fresher smell spread around the entire house and the air felt noticably better throughout. Painted walls now feel chalkier and warmer to the touch. Fabrics and bedsheets feel dry. The windows barely mist up at all, even in this current spell of cold weather. The house seems to Ďfeelí warmer at a given temperature, appears to hold that heat longer and takes less time to warm up than it used to. Humidity levels now measure in the low to mid 40s, which is a dramatic improvement. In fact the humidity is so good now that running the old dehumdifier makes the house perhaps too dry, so weíve been able to stop using that entirely.

    So, tl;dr - Iím a big fan of positive input ventilation. At least in our case itís a solution we needed all along and I will consider fitting one in any future house.
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