Condensation in fitted wardrobes

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Joiner Jim, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    This thread has woken from a deep sleep! Lol.

    If it were me, I would either try to move the wardrobe to a better position in the room, if big enough, or, line the walls behind the wardrobe with insulated rolls and then fit wardrobes back. But, the room also needs good ventilation but that doesn't mean introducing North Pole weather into the room!
  2. Glass Hammer

    Glass Hammer New Member

    Correct solution: Make sure there is no external source of damp. Remove the wardrobe, dryline behind it, fit a vapour barrier and replace the wardrobe.

    If you really cannot do this, you MAY have some options but these all have risks:

    1 If there is a kick board at ground level you could remove it, inspect conditions inside and consider installing air vents in it. You would also need vents at ceiling level. This may give you some downward circulation of cold air at the back. However, this might create more condensation at the back if the room is not regularly heated and properly ventilated.

    2. If the vents are not an option, you could get a couple of 500 gram packs of Kontrol dehumidifying salt (calcium chloride) in Woodies and put them in the space behind the kickboard and seal everything up and put a removable inspection panel in the kickboard for renewing the Kontrol. If you try this you could also experiment with sealing up all the wall-gaps around the edges of the wardrobe with tape. The idea is to make a barrier to prevent more warm humid air from getting behind the wardrobe. This might give the Kontrol a better chance of dehumidifying the enclosed space. I have to say that this "solution" is a bit of a gamble but a least you will be able to see if the Kontrol is doing its work.

    Both of the above suggestions can be reversed if they don't work. I would stay miles away from trying to inject expanding foam!

    Lots of modern, warm Irish houses suffer condensation due to insufficient daytime ventilation, drying clothes on rads etc. An electric dehumidifier is a most useful domestic appliance.

    Good luck!
  3. AEKostas

    AEKostas New Member

    This thread will never die. :)

    I have a slide-door (so not too airtight) built-in wardrobe that's wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling. Its broad side backs onto a wall with my unheated garage; when we had cavity insulation added the contractors said that the gap between that wall and the garage wall was too narrow to insulate. The left hand side backs onto a bedroom wall; the the right hand side onto an external, Southeast facing wall (so the garage wall is Northeast, but there is a garage between the wardrobe back-wall and the elements). I heat to 17 in the afternoons, 16 overnight, let it drop during the day; the window is trickle-vending 8-9 hours from 08:00am every day. The wardrobe has wooden sides (up to the cornice) but backs onto the wall; it has no wooden back.

    The clothes in the bedroom-side drawers smell mouldy and the (low use, it happens to be) clothes hanging over that side get mouldy over time. The other, external-wall side has no such problems. I can see no mould or damp inside the wardrobe.


    I knock on the back-wall (garage-side) and it's solid in parts, "hollow" in others. Does this not mean it is already dry-lined? Am I left with vapour barrier, something like this (could not find something similar at ScrewFix :-o):

  4. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    Get a dehumidifier
  5. AEKostas

    AEKostas New Member

    Thanks. I have an old ebac, which I used for a few days blasting through the wardrobe; stank the air for sure. Bulky and noisy and in any case is it really a solution to the problem? Not a big fan of masking things.
  6. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    Get a newer one.

    Other thing you could do is put insulation on the wall behind the wardrobe.

    I did that in a bungalow i had as it was an outside wall. Did the trick.

    Another option is to install a positive air unit in the house.
  7. AEKostas

    AEKostas New Member

    Can you please expand on the insulation method that you successfully used?

    And have got you direct experience of the positive air solution?

    Thanks again, this is very helpful.
  8. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    We used that insulation roll material you put behind wallpaper. It stopped the wall from becoming a cold spot directly behind the big wardrobe we had.

    Condensation is warm air condensing on a cold surface. By using that roll insulation the wall was no longer cold.

    Not used the positive air system but only read good reviews about it.
    AEKostas likes this.
  9. AEKostas

    AEKostas New Member

    Thanks again. Did you use “padded” insulation or the paper-thin type? If you could remember the brand it would be great.
  10. Glass Hammer

    Glass Hammer New Member

    You say the problem is that there is a mouldy smell from unused clothes in left corner where you also have drawers.

    If that is your only problem, then you just need to give those clothes more ventilation. Maybe they are too closely packed. Maybe get rid of some of them.
  11. Severntrent

    Severntrent Screwfix Select

    Is this the longest thread ever????
  12. Glass Hammer

    Glass Hammer New Member


    However, condensation is a big issue for lots of people these days.

    They are not pleased when their clothes start going mouldy in wardrobes.....
  13. dubsie

    dubsie Active Member

    They will need ripping out buddy, old houses need to breathe. I've seen this with modern paints and plasters ....fitted wardrobes are laminated and can't breathe.....
  14. Jon Twigg

    Jon Twigg New Member

    Hi all,

    Thank you for all your advice on the topic.... it’s been extremely useful and reassuring.

    I am having very similar issues myself; I have a large flat pack wardrobe that sits against an outside wall. Since the recent cold weather condensation and mould had built up behind the wardrobe and also found it ways inside ruining some of the content inside and providing me with the issue of washing my whole wardrobe.

    Upon reading up on the topic I am planning to solve the issue by doing the following;
    - replace back hardboard (base or wardrobe is okay, plastic coating)
    - install vents into side of the wardrobe (top and bottom)
    - apply anti mould paint to the wall
    - apply ant mould paint to the new hardboard
    - provide a 2-3 inch gap betweeen wardrobe and wall
    - add a vent lip to my windows
    - add another vent in the room itself (only one upper at present)
    - add dehumidifier bag in wardrobe
    - attach vapour barrier to wall (any recommendations?)
    - I have also consider attaching vapour barrier to the back of the wardrobe? (As an extra safety measure)
    - add the cream into the bricks above the damp course.

    Can I kindly pick all your brains please on whether I am on the right track and if you have any further suggestions. Thank you once again.

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