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  • FIRST POST
    • fleetingmind
    • By fleetingmind 9th Jan 19, 2:18 PM
    • 411Posts
    • 58Thanks
    fleetingmind
    Wardrobes on External Wall - Condensation
    • #1
    • 9th Jan 19, 2:18 PM
    Wardrobes on External Wall - Condensation 9th Jan 19 at 2:18 PM
    So weve just moved into a new house and the main bedroom which is an extension has a huge vaulted ceiling and towards one end are 2 x velux windows, plus 2 other normal windows. At the end of the other room are fitted wardrobes which go the full width of the room and I believe back onto an outside/external wall. We have now noticed that there is a lot of trouble with water/condensation at the back of the wardrobes (on the outside wall) and the clothes are now getting damp and smelling or starting to go mouldy. There was tissue paper in there so probably the old owners way to try and sort it!

    As there are no windows down that end we cant ventilate very easily. what can be done? Happy to rip it out and build better if there is a good solution

    Thank you!
Page 1
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 9th Jan 19, 2:31 PM
    • 3,416 Posts
    • 2,409 Thanks
    Tom99
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 19, 2:31 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 19, 2:31 PM
    Paper the back of the wardrobe with this:
    https://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Polystyrene-Veneer-Lining-Wallpaper-White---10m/p/105968
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 9th Jan 19, 3:13 PM
    • 24,108 Posts
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    Fire Fox
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 19, 3:13 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 19, 3:13 PM
    Opening windows and internal doors regularly causes air flow in the room/ floor, not just in one part of one room. My windowless bathroom has never got mouldy, but the large living area windows can pour with condensation ... they are maybe eight metres away.

    Additionally you might consider a good dehumidifier: the Which? Best Buys are almost all Meaco and Ecoair brands.

    Please wear a face mask when cleaning condensation damp and mould, and hot wash your affected clothing. The mould can be a health hazard.

    HTH!
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 9th Jan 19, 3:15 PM
    • 26,192 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #4
    • 9th Jan 19, 3:15 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jan 19, 3:15 PM
    Insulate properly behind the wardrobes. The cheapest way would be to just place the insulation directly where the wares will be and build the wardrobes in front. The permanent way would be to install insulation backed plasterboard and plaster it in.

    I'm not convinced that polystyrene wallpaper would quite cut it.

    Ventilation is never really going to help in a full wardrobe. The key issue is heat anyway.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Mistral001
    • By Mistral001 9th Jan 19, 4:08 PM
    • 3,391 Posts
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    Mistral001
    • #5
    • 9th Jan 19, 4:08 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jan 19, 4:08 PM
    Ventilate the room. The problem is moisture and you need to get rid of that. If you insulate the wall the moisture in the air in the room will not disappear unless there is sufficient ventilation.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 9th Jan 19, 10:13 PM
    • 26,192 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #6
    • 9th Jan 19, 10:13 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Jan 19, 10:13 PM
    Ventilate the room. The problem is moisture and you need to get rid of that. If you insulate the wall the moisture in the air in the room will not disappear unless there is sufficient ventilation.
    Originally posted by Mistral001
    If you insulate the wall, the wall will be warmer and the wardrobe will be warmer meaning that water won't want to condense on it as condensation is attracted to cold surfaces.

    If the room is warmer as well, the air can hold a much higher % of moisture and so the water doesn't even need to condensate.

    Yes, you need ventilation, but the average wardrobe should not need ventilating to prevent mould otherwise they'd build wardobes with vents and tell you not to out items in it

    The problem is the cold surface. The lack of air movement will exacerbate any mould growth, but it is not the source of the problem.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • jk0
    • By jk0 9th Jan 19, 11:42 PM
    • 2,685 Posts
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    jk0
    • #7
    • 9th Jan 19, 11:42 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Jan 19, 11:42 PM
    I have a built in wardrobe on a north wall. Nothing I've done has stopped it getting mouldy, other than leaving the door open all year round.
    • Mistral001
    • By Mistral001 10th Jan 19, 11:46 AM
    • 3,391 Posts
    • 2,604 Thanks
    Mistral001
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 19, 11:46 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 19, 11:46 AM
    If you insulate the wall, the wall will be warmer and the wardrobe will be warmer meaning that water won't want to condense on it as condensation is attracted to cold surfaces.

    If the room is warmer as well, the air can hold a much higher % of moisture and so the water doesn't even need to condensate.

    Yes, you need ventilation, but the average wardrobe should not need ventilating to prevent mould otherwise they'd build wardobes with vents and tell you not to out items in it

    The problem is the cold surface. The lack of air movement will exacerbate any mould growth, but it is not the source of the problem.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Mould can grow on an insulated wall where there is moisture in the air and there is no air movement.

    In some ways condensation is just the symptom. When it forms on cold surfaces, it could lead to mould forming, but mould thrives on there being moist stagnant air.

    Getting rid of the condensation at the wall will not reduce the moisture in the air and will not increase air movement either and hence the OP might still find that the clothes will still be mouldy in the wardrobe if the wall is insulated without attempting to reduce the moisture in the air and increase air movement.
    Last edited by Mistral001; 10-01-2019 at 11:49 AM.
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 10th Jan 19, 2:40 PM
    • 1,838 Posts
    • 1,572 Thanks
    tacpot12
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 19, 2:40 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 19, 2:40 PM
    I think you can cure the problem by fitting some small (100mm) silent fans to pump fresh air into the wardrobes. Ideally these would dray warm dry air from somewhere like the loft and pump it down the back of the wardrobe and out through grills at the bottom.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
    • Rodders53
    • By Rodders53 10th Jan 19, 2:53 PM
    • 554 Posts
    • 371 Thanks
    Rodders53
    Had similar on an old Victorian end terraced house and "fitted" wardrobes on the outside wall. I fixed 2 x 1 battens to space wardrobes away from wall and the problem was solved.

    Full central heating was fitted by me at more or less the same time, which may have also helped?
    • Alan2020
    • By Alan2020 10th Jan 19, 10:11 PM
    • 202 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Alan2020
    Lack of heating, ventilation and insulation. In our house the radiators in the bathroom and airing cupboard come on whenever there is hot water demand or heating and have electrical backup. Humidity is 50%. And they do vent, have a fan and I open windows when we shower and squeegee the water off tiles/glass in shower.
    • naf123
    • By naf123 11th Jan 19, 8:39 AM
    • 1,254 Posts
    • 1,310 Thanks
    naf123
    Wow everyone has elaborate and expensive solutions!

    The cheapest and effective solution is

    https://www.lakeland.co.uk/24627/Lakeland-Non-Spill-Moisture-Trap

    Just put one or two of these in the cupboard and drain/change the crystals every few months.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 11th Jan 19, 1:12 PM
    • 26,192 Posts
    • 70,658 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    Wow everyone has elaborate and expensive solutions!

    The cheapest and effective solution is

    https://www.lakeland.co.uk/24627/Lakeland-Non-Spill-Moisture-Trap

    Just put one or two of these in the cupboard and drain/change the crystals every few months.
    Originally posted by naf123
    That isn't actually a solution though, is it?

    Great if it deals with the symptoms, but it doesn't address the cause, so I'm not sure why you're surprised that people want to address the issue head-on.

    Different courses for different horses.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • naf123
    • By naf123 11th Jan 19, 1:56 PM
    • 1,254 Posts
    • 1,310 Thanks
    naf123
    Prevention is always better than cure. so yes there are ways to design and build it.

    But there is a solution, to use crystals that take away the water. Its not a maintenance free solution but its pretty instant solution till you get the room redesigned and rebuilt :-)

    Even if you have insulation there might be a build up of mould behind the insulation - Ive always wondered about that
    • fleetingmind
    • By fleetingmind 12th Jan 19, 9:22 PM
    • 411 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    fleetingmind
    I really appreciate everyone's replies. Certainly need to plan very carefully.

    Turns out that 3/4 of it has horrific mould so we've taken out the clothes and removed the wardrobe doors in anticipation of putting a new one in. Something i misjudged (new house) is the mouldy section joins onto a standalone garage when they did the extension. The part that wasnt and was just external there was no mould. So need to see how being joined to the garage affects it.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 16th Jan 19, 1:32 AM
    • 24,108 Posts
    • 27,204 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    Prevention is always better than cure. so yes there are ways to design and build it.

    But there is a solution, to use crystals that take away the water. Its not a maintenance free solution but its pretty instant solution till you get the room redesigned and rebuilt :-)

    Even if you have insulation there might be a build up of mould behind the insulation - Ive always wondered about that
    Originally posted by naf123
    I'm game for another condensation experiment.

    Lakeland gizmo v. Wilko kitchen roll.

    Lakeland fleeced my mother for an Egg and a Snake dehumidifier twelve years ago. A newspaper umbrella would have performed better, or indeed a bag of table salt IIRC.
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
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