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Topic: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows  (Read 1574 times)

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Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« on: December 20, 2017, 09:14:20 PM »
We've recently moved into an older house. We have double glazed windows,but their old wooden ones. These windows are also crafty AF.

The house is not well insulated and out of date. we've been getting tons of moisture and mould so I asked the letting agent for advice. Bear in mind our bathroom fan does nothing, and we keep the house pretty well, evenly heated, never dry on radiators but use our tumble dryer or outdoors.  Basically, all the things we've always done and never had this issue in previous house.

The letting agent sent (what I think is a very condescending) a leaflet to me on how it's our fault and how we can control it.

I told them everything we do to prevent mould in the house, when I went for advice. I just want to scream tell the landlord to fix up his house! It seems like we're constantly running into issues.

In this case I truly don't feel like the mould is our fault and it felt a bit of a slap in the face. Maybe I'm being silly...but if I ever rent again it'll be a new house. Hopefully I never have to rent again.

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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 09:26:26 PM »
We've recently moved into an older house. We have double glazed windows,but their old wooden ones. These windows are also crafty AF.

The house is not well insulated and out of date. we've been getting tons of moisture and mould so I asked the letting agent for advice. Bear in mind our bathroom fan does nothing, and we keep the house pretty well, evenly heated, never dry on radiators but use our tumble dryer or outdoors.  Basically, all the things we've always done and never had this issue in previous house.

The letting agent sent (what I think is a very condescending) a leaflet to me on how it's our fault and how we can control it.

I told them everything we do to prevent mould in the house, when I went for advice. I just want to scream tell the landlord to fix up his house! It seems like we're constantly running into issues.

In this case I truly don't feel like the mould is our fault and it felt a bit of a slap in the face. Maybe I'm being silly...but if I ever rent again it'll be a new house. Hopefully I never have to rent again.

.


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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 08:23:53 AM »
Oh, sounds like you have the same cow of a letting agent that I had when I lived in a damp, mouldy flat. It too was old, had terrible heating, single glazed windows. I ran a dehumidifier constantly and spent an incredible amount on heating to still be freezing.  And yet it was my fault and she talked down to me like I was a 3 year old who didn't understand anything  ::) ::)

I still want to throw eggs at that letting agent when I see her. 
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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2017, 10:35:27 AM »
Ours offered the same suggestions in our lease 7 months ago but like, nicely.  Sounds like your letting agent has no manners.

It is totally a pain, by the way, to run around turning on and off various extractor fans, heaters, opening and closing windows, etc.  Not something I can't handle, but when I saw this thread existed I was surprised it didn't exist a lot earlier.
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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2017, 06:01:59 PM »
I do understand you can cause it yourself but we do take precautions to try to not because mould makes me really feel poorly.

I don’t even turn on most the heaters but run space heaters. Half the heaters are old storage heaters. But I do try to run them evenly throughout. I don’t keep them on all day because it’s not not safe but that’s not my fault the heaters are horrible and I had to invest in space heaters.


Sigh the things I wish we knew before we moved in.


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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2017, 06:31:58 PM »
The house we rented was the 400 year old former kitchen wing of a country house, complete with those 18" thick stone walls and horsehair & lime render.  It was quaint and had a special charm, but the day-to-day living was not the most pleasant.  Unlevel floors, cold and damp walls, draughty windows and thresholds, and yet, poor ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom.  Mould was a constant problem... one we didn't resolve so much as try to cope with.

In warmer months, we followed the rule of "if it's dry enough to hang your laundry outside, open the windows".  But in winter, you don't want the windows open!  We didn't like to run the heat because the thermostat wasn't capable of keeping all the rooms comfortable, so we only used the heat manually, turning it on until the room we were using was comfortable, then turning it off again.  We probably used it for about an hour each evening, so we could cook and eat dinner without freezing.

We did eventually get a dehumidifier... once we had that, we kept it on pretty much 24/7.  It made a big difference in maintaining the air quality.  But the mould had already taken hold, so any parts of the house we couldn't ventilate properly were just lost to us.

Oh!  And we thoroughly cleaned and painted the bedroom and the bathroom with mould resistant paint about a year before we found our house.  With the dehumidifier going, it was enough to keep the mould from coming back.  When we were doing the final cleaning at move-out, we didn't have to do anything in those two rooms.  (We did have to clean and paint the hallway, kitchen, and lounge/dining room, though!)

Anyway, yeah... I recommend mould resistant paint (if you can be bothered to spend your money and do the work in a rented accommodation), and definitely a dehumidifier.  It won't magically go away, but it helped us some.

Plus, we got to take our dehumidifier with us to House, and it's been instrumental in helping us dry it out after it had been empty for a number of years.
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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2017, 08:08:00 PM »
The house we rented was the 400 year old former kitchen wing of a country house, complete with those 18" thick stone walls and horsehair & lime render.  It was quaint and had a special charm, but the day-to-day living was not the most pleasant.  Unlevel floors, cold and damp walls, draughty windows and thresholds, and yet, poor ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom.  Mould was a constant problem... one we didn't resolve so much as try to cope with.

In warmer months, we followed the rule of "if it's dry enough to hang your laundry outside, open the windows".  But in winter, you don't want the windows open!  We didn't like to run the heat because the thermostat wasn't capable of keeping all the rooms comfortable, so we only used the heat manually, turning it on until the room we were using was comfortable, then turning it off again.  We probably used it for about an hour each evening, so we could cook and eat dinner without freezing.

We did eventually get a dehumidifier... once we had that, we kept it on pretty much 24/7.  It made a big difference in maintaining the air quality.  But the mould had already taken hold, so any parts of the house we couldn't ventilate properly were just lost to us.

Oh!  And we thoroughly cleaned and painted the bedroom and the bathroom with mould resistant paint about a year before we found our house.  With the dehumidifier going, it was enough to keep the mould from coming back.  When we were doing the final cleaning at move-out, we didn't have to do anything in those two rooms.  (We did have to clean and paint the hallway, kitchen, and lounge/dining room, though!)

Anyway, yeah... I recommend mould resistant paint (if you can be bothered to spend your money and do the work in a rented accommodation), and definitely a dehumidifier.  It won't magically go away, but it helped us some.

Plus, we got to take our dehumidifier with us to House, and it's been instrumental in helping us dry it out after it had been empty for a number of years.

We did talk about a dehumidifier. Was it a lot to run constantly??

Our downstairs is completely fine, it just seems to be the windows upstairs. I think I’ve taken a lot of the paint off the windows that I need to repaint anyways. I’ll look at that paint. I’ve seen it but didn’t know if it really worked or was a gimmick.

If this house had a few upgrades (windows,doors, flooring etc) it would really be a great house for us. For now we’re managing. Our front door handle fell off the other day had to get an emergency lock smith out. Just things like that keep happening lol not anything you’d expect. But we still have wooden external doors too.


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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 09:37:14 PM »
We did talk about a dehumidifier. Was it a lot to run constantly??

Our downstairs is completely fine, it just seems to be the windows upstairs. I think I’ve taken a lot of the paint off the windows that I need to repaint anyways. I’ll look at that paint. I’ve seen it but didn’t know if it really worked or was a gimmick.

If this house had a few upgrades (windows,doors, flooring etc) it would really be a great house for us. For now we’re managing. Our front door handle fell off the other day had to get an emergency lock smith out. Just things like that keep happening lol not anything you’d expect. But we still have wooden external doors too.

I won't lie, my electric bill did go up.  Let me see if I can pull up old statements from before and after to compare.  But I want to say it was probably £110-120 quarterly before the dehumidifier, and around £130-140 after?  Hrm.  I can't go back any earlier than March of 2016, and by then we definitely had the dehumidifier.  I think we got it in the late summer/early fall of 2015.

As for all those little maintenance things... ugh, yes.  We actually really loved the character of the rented house.  But the owners didn't live in it, and they were rather tight. So if we didn't complain (and we never complained because we paid such low rent for what we got!), it didn't get fixed.  We discovered the cracked tiles in the bath were allowing water to seep through into the thick wall between the bathroom and the kitchen, and it was causing problems on both sides, so I re-tiled rather than bother the neighbours/landlord.  My new tiles actually looked much nicer than the cracked and grotty old ones.  I should've retiled the whole wall, rather than just the bottom two rows where the damage was.  The last time the job was done, it was done poorly.

But, so many times, my husband and I would say to one another what a shame it was that they didn't care enough to maintain the place properly, as it was such a charming place.

(Their house, on the other hand, was constantly being renovated... their constant building works was driving us mad!)
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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 07:25:43 AM »
I won't lie, my electric bill did go up.  Let me see if I can pull up old statements from before and after to compare.  But I want to say it was probably £110-120 quarterly before the dehumidifier, and around £130-140 after?  Hrm.  I can't go back any earlier than March of 2016, and by then we definitely had the dehumidifier.  I think we got it in the late summer/early fall of 2015.

As for all those little maintenance things... ugh, yes.  We actually really loved the character of the rented house.  But the owners didn't live in it, and they were rather tight. So if we didn't complain (and we never complained because we paid such low rent for what we got!), it didn't get fixed.  We discovered the cracked tiles in the bath were allowing water to seep through into the thick wall between the bathroom and the kitchen, and it was causing problems on both sides, so I re-tiled rather than bother the neighbours/landlord.  My new tiles actually looked much nicer than the cracked and grotty old ones.  I should've retiled the whole wall, rather than just the bottom two rows where the damage was.  The last time the job was done, it was done poorly.

But, so many times, my husband and I would say to one another what a shame it was that they didn't care enough to maintain the place properly, as it was such a charming place.

(Their house, on the other hand, was constantly being renovated... their constant building works was driving us mad!)


I know, I've been putting loads of work into this house, thankfully my husbands been supportive of it. But our landlord is the same, I haven't seen his house (lives in London) but we for some reason have his address, even though a Lettings agent fully manages it. I looked the post code up, and it's a very ritzy part.

So he has money, but is just a cheapskate. We've talked about buying the place if he ever put it up for sale. We'd do some renovations and be happy.


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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2017, 09:24:42 AM »
Oh, gosh, now I'm getting an idea how lucky I am to have found a good landlord in this Housing Agency. They installed an 'anti-damp' system, apparently, a few years before we moved in. It brings in outside air and warms it to so that it's "within 10 degrees of the inside" (or 10 degrees warmer than outside, I don't quite remember) and circulates it through our hallway as the sensor instructs. (Which explains that cold spot we thought might be a ghost ;) when we first moved in. Had to flip the switch on it's heater on.) And they installed double-pane windows just before we got here. We've been trying to figure out what the cylindrical things that are in the window-frame, but above the windows, are since we came in, and just this week found that they are "trickle vents" that are supposed to allow a minuscule amount of air in by the windows to help fight condensation. Not quite sure how bringing outside air in instead of inside air going out helps with condensation, though.

So far the only rooms we have had trouble with moisture on the windows/frames/walls are the kitchen and the  baths. As noted above, opening the windows in the summer is no big deal, but when it's below zero all week I'm not inclined to open them!  There is a very small, underpowered vent in the top corner of the kitchen that doesn't seem to do much, and the stovetop's vent-hood exhausts into the room!  I'm keeping an eye out for mold, since I'm a bit allergic, and hoping for the best. Am also now very thankful we went with a "modern" (if 1950s counts) build than that cute older place that had such charm when we viewed it! :D

To the OP, if it was me, I'm not sure I wouldn't have a little voodoo doll of that landlord... etc. ;)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 09:30:03 AM by Nan D. »


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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2017, 11:56:26 AM »
I'd say you have been rather lucky, Nan!  That's quite a bit of effort.  I guess the owner wants their property to retain its value and be comfortable going forward.  Maybe they're only letting it out 'til the mortgage is paid, and then they'll retire, so they want it to be a nice place to live in the future.  The people who own our old place already had the main house to live in, so our wing was just a bit of extra income for them, to pay for holidays and stuff.

Edit:
I replied to this topic for the sole purpose of making it appear above another topic, so the forum topic list would look like this:

« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 11:57:56 AM by jfkimberly »
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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2017, 12:41:25 PM »
Edit:
I replied to this topic for the sole purpose of making it appear above another topic, so the forum topic list would look like this:

Heehee! I see what you did there!  ;D
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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2017, 06:13:07 PM »
Oh, gosh, now I'm getting an idea how lucky I am to have found a good landlord in this Housing Agency. They installed an 'anti-damp' system, apparently, a few years before we moved in. It brings in outside air and warms it to so that it's "within 10 degrees of the inside" (or 10 degrees warmer than outside, I don't quite remember) and circulates it through our hallway as the sensor instructs. (Which explains that cold spot we thought might be a ghost ;) when we first moved in. Had to flip the switch on it's heater on.) And they installed double-pane windows just before we got here. We've been trying to figure out what the cylindrical things that are in the window-frame, but above the windows, are since we came in, and just this week found that they are "trickle vents" that are supposed to allow a minuscule amount of air in by the windows to help fight condensation. Not quite sure how bringing outside air in instead of inside air going out helps with condensation, though.

So far the only rooms we have had trouble with moisture on the windows/frames/walls are the kitchen and the  baths. As noted above, opening the windows in the summer is no big deal, but when it's below zero all week I'm not inclined to open them!  There is a very small, underpowered vent in the top corner of the kitchen that doesn't seem to do much, and the stovetop's vent-hood exhausts into the room!  I'm keeping an eye out for mold, since I'm a bit allergic, and hoping for the best. Am also now very thankful we went with a "modern" (if 1950s counts) build than that cute older place that had such charm when we viewed it! :D

To the OP, if it was me, I'm not sure I wouldn't have a little voodoo doll of that landlord... etc. ;)

Nan, you didn’t end up nearby Garriochmill Way, did you? I remember chatting near to when you were looking at moving over and recommending the area. Just wondering if you ended up in my old stomping grounds! Loved it there.

I’m in Fife now and it’s a close second to Glasgow, for sure. Close to Edinburgh and on the coast and slightly more dry. But still not Glasgow!

And to the OP, defo get a humidifier. You’ll be amazed how much it collects!
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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2017, 07:12:07 PM »
To be honest, this sounds a lot like my letting agent. Our mould is uncontrollable in the bathroom though we try everything to fix it. Unfortunately, I haven't made any headway on how to prove that it's not our fault. If you figure a way, let me know lol
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Re: Condensation/mould due to poorly sealed windows
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2017, 09:43:44 PM »
Nan, you didn’t end up nearby Garriochmill Way, did you? I remember chatting near to when you were looking at moving over and recommending the area. Just wondering if you ended up in my old stomping grounds! Loved it there.

I’m in Fife now and it’s a close second to Glasgow, for sure. Close to Edinburgh and on the coast and slightly more dry. But still not Glasgow!

And to the OP, defo get a humidifier. You’ll be amazed how much it collects!

No, we're over on the other side of the River, not far from the Botanic Garden, and  agree with you. Glasgow is wonderful - the people are incredibly friendly, it's so much more laid back than life in the States, and the food (in the grocery store) is to die for!  ;D


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