Ending Our Condensation Nightmare

We have fitted an extractor fan in our bathroom (well, our lovely electrician has)!

Condensation Issues:

When winter hit, we really struggled with the levels of condensation in the Raggedy House and we tracked the issue down to the bathroom. We tried everything to reduce the levels of moisture in the house including:

  • Leaving the bathroom window open and the door shut during showering and for as long as we could afterwards. This worked for a little bit, but as it got colder and wetter outside it made no difference (other than making the rest of the house cold).
  • Leaving the bathroom window on vent permanently and opening other windows in the house as much as the weather/us being home allowed. Again, this made the house cold and as the weather got colder, it made little difference to the condensation levels.
  • Turning the temperature of the shower down to limit the amount of steam it produced. This just made for a miserable shower, given that the window was wide open in the middle of winter too 🙁
  • Turning the heating up. This made little difference to the condensation.
  • Using lids on pans whilst cooking and the keeping kitchen door shut. This helped a little bit downstairs.
Picture of condensation - At times it covered the entire window!
Picture of condensation – At times it covered the entire window!

Our short term solution, until our Electrican could come and fit the fan for us, was to borrow a dehumidifier (thanks Peter and Anne!) which removed unbelievable amounts of moisture. But the problem has dramatically reduced since fitting the fan (yay)!

Mould Issues:

As a result of all the condensation, we found black mould:

  • Behind the filing cabinet in the study (a large patch of it – Kate had a little cry when we saw the extent of that one!)
  • Behind the sofa in the lounge.
  • Around some of the windows, such as in the master bedroom.
  • On the bathroom ceiling.
  • On a wall at the back of our dining area.
    Mould around Bedroom Window
    Mould around Bedroom Window

    Mould behind the Sofa
    Mould behind the Sofa

Aside from not being very healthy, this is very frustrating as these rooms are newly decorated so it feels like a step backwards having to sort this out.  Thankfully this has now been sorted with the help of some of this fabulous stuff: Polycell 3-in-1 Mould Killer.

After the Polycell Treatment!
After the Polycell Treatment!


Fitting the Extractor
Step 1 – Vented Roof Tile:

The first thing to do, whilst the weather held out, was to install a new vented roof tile. We couldn’t vent directly from the bathroom because the fascia board outside meant that we couldn’t run the fan straight through the wall.

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Step 2 – Loft:

Ducting needed to be run from the fan in the bathroom to the vented roof tile. This was hampered by there only being a very small loft space to work in above the bathroom.

Mike in loft
Mike looking unimpressed at being squeezed into the tiny loft space.

 

Step 3 – Bathroom:

In the bathroom, we figured out where we wanted to place the fan and drilled the hole through to run the cables.  We had decided to link the fan in with the bathroom light so that they would operate together.  This meant running some new wiring up inside the wall – always a fun task when you’re working blind (in a very small space – see above!).

Once all that was done, it was just a case of wiring the new fan in and testing it out.  Success!

New bathroom fan!
New bathroom fan!

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