Blocked up Fireplace

Ventilation Faults in Period Homes – Condensation Part3

We’ve already seen ways of reducing condensation and also how period properties were originally built to avoid condensation but now let’s turn our attention to faults with the ventilation in period properties.  It should be noted that these “faults” weren’t part of the original build but have been introduced either by the occupants actions or inaction over the 100 years or so of the buildings life.

Previously we discussed about how draughts played a huge part in ventilating period homes. Look carefully at the modern period property and many of these draughts have been sealed up. Here are a few more errors that lead to more condensation and how to improve them:-

  • Blocked up fireplaces. These fires used to allow air to vent up the chimney but when blocked the room and the chimney will become less ventilated. This leads to more condensation in the room and also inside the chimney which may show itself as dampness on the internal chimney breast walls. Remedy is to either open the fireplace back up or fit and internal 9×6 cast iron vent were the open fire used to be.
  • Sash windows. Created small but steady ventilation through gaps in sashes. If these are sealed up consider removing sealant/draught excluder or partially opening secondary glazing. Were they have been replaced with UPVC double glazed units, ensure the new units have trickle vents fitted.
  • Increased ground levels. As previously mentioned consideration must be given to lowering outside ground levels to original levels. This often occurs were slabs and pavements have been built up by placing new pavements over existing ones. The idea is that this will reduce flooding but what really happens is vents become partially submerged and damp proof courses are breached. If pavements have been raised along public high streets at the front of period properties consideration should be given to removing air bricks and relaying higher up with periscope vent ducts.

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