/ Kitchen damp /building advice

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
ceri - on 15 Nov 2017
Hello!
We live in a Victorian terrace. The kitchen sticks out the back in what is basically a converted brick shed. The ceiling is boarded with some insulation above but the walls are just brick and plaster on the inside. It is damp. It gets mouldy at the far end and the windows get bad condensation. a couple of days ago the end cupboard shelf collapsed as it was damp.
So would a builder be able to make it less damp or would it be as cost effective to knock it down and start again? It's not big, so things that make the inside smaller are not ideal...
Do you think this will be expensive?
jkarran - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to ceri:

Insulate, heat and ventilate but you'll lose a fair chunk of space if the insulation is done to building regs (budget roughly 8cm on each wall). Unless it's done carefully you do run the risk of simply changing the damp problem to a hidden one. Thinner insulation will save space and still yield an improvement but it wont comply with building regs. Materials are cheap for a small room but there's lots of extra work will be needed, pipes, wires, sockets, door and window joinery. Heated floor with a little insulation under it saves space if there isn't room for a radiator, again without digging you probably won't get enough insulation in to comply with regs but it'll work.

Upgrading the ventilation insulation and heating will probably still save you space and certainly money over a rebuild as it's likely single skin brick now which is space efficient if nothing else.

Heat recovering extractors are available but they're pricey and I doubt they'd do well in greasy wet kitchen air long term.
jk
Fraser on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to ceri:

IMO I'd knock it down and build it properly to modern standards, particularly if you're going to be in the place for a while.

'Expensive' is a subjective term I'm afraid!
ceri - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to ceri:

Problem with heating is that it warms up quickly but immediately loses heat again. Our central heating works off a thermostat in the main house, so doesn't keep the kitchen warm. There used to be ventilation (a very technical hole in the wall with a metal grid on the inside which made it even colder) but that was lost when kitchen cupboards went in. There is an extractor fan.
At the narrow end of the room (it's not quite rectangular) it is only 86cm from cupboard door to cupboard door, so we can't really afford to lose 16cm
If it was knocked down and start again, it could possibly use a slightly larger footprint, to make up for thicker walls.
Having never had more than windows fitted, I have no idea on building costs, so if anyone has done anything similar I'd love to know!
Rigid Raider - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to ceri:

jkarran has it, above. If you want to stay in the house, knock down the shed and build a proper extension, done well it will enhance the saleability if not the value of the house. We insulated our son's miserable cold bedroom, which is outside the thermal body of the house above the unheated garage and it is now the warmest room in the house; if he plays his computer hard the 400w or so of heat blowing out of the computer fan warms the room up nicely. It is also lovely and quiet in there now.
jkarran - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to ceri:

> Problem with heating is that it warms up quickly but immediately loses heat again. Our central heating works off a thermostat in the main house, so doesn't keep the kitchen warm. There used to be ventilation (a very technical hole in the wall with a metal grid on the inside which made it even colder) but that was lost when kitchen cupboards went in. There is an extractor fan.

Does the kitchen have any heating? You can get fan heaters for under the units.

> At the narrow end of the room (it's not quite rectangular) it is only 86cm from cupboard door to cupboard door, so we can't really afford to lose 16cm

Worktops and cupboards don't have to be standard depth (though machines and ovens do!), they can be modified and some insulation will be a big improvement on none.

The brick boxes at the back of old terraced houses are always cold, there's a lot of uninsulated wall, floor and often uninsulated roof usually plus a draughty door. As a small space a correspondingly small amount of heater often gets put in or none at all.

If the damp is penetrating or roof related rather than 'just' condensation a rebuild gets more appealing but it won't be cheap by comparison with sorting what you have.
jk
ceri - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to ceri:

Thanks all! Lots to think about...
Mick Brinks - on 12:37 Thu
In reply to ceri:
Another possibility is external insulation. Saves messing about inside.
If your neighbour has a similar off-shot joined to yours it would be best if they could be persuaded to do theirs too (avoids a cold-bridge at the party wall).
Becky E - on 13:56 Thu
In reply to ceri:

Insulating and damp-proofing the floor could make a big difference. In our old house, the kitchen (not an offshot) had a crappy thin concrete floor, totally uninsulated. We dug it out, laid damp-proofing and insulation and it made a massive difference to the comfort of the room.

However, that will not solve the problem that the rest of you kitchen is an uninsulated box.

Sounds like you need to get a builder in for some quotes! Then do the best you can afford.
Rigid Raider - on 08:58 Fri
In reply to ceri:

Exterior insulation is actually a good suggestion especially if it includes your neighbour's kitchen.
ceri - on 21:36 Fri
In reply to ceri:

Doesn't connect to neighbours, all walls are external walls...

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.