Mum shares tip to prevent condensation in mould-prone fitted wardrobes

Easy steps to remove and prevent condensation

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Plunging temperatures are hard to ignore around the house this winter, mainly as many households try to delay switching on their central heating. While it is necessary to keep costs low, the freezing weather provides the ideal environment for condensation and mould to thrive – particularly in wardrobes near cold, external walls. Good air circulation and a balanced temperature are just two ways to minimise this risk, and a Mumsnet user has shared one simple trick to control the problem for good.

In a post on the popular forum, a user named Crazyone84 revealed how she had been desperately trying to control the levels of condensation in her solid brick wall home, built in 1902.

She explained how her daughter’s room had a north-facing external wall that “doesn’t get that much natural sunlight”, making it relatively cold compared to other parts of the semi-detached property.

The Mumsnet user wrote: “The external wall has a blocked chimney breast and two alcoves on either side. In each alcove are fitted wardrobes with full high doors. Since moving in three years ago we have always had problems with condensation inside these wardrobes as they are against a cold solid brick wall with clothes and boxes in.”

Having found common remedies like thermal wall liners a “complete waste of money”, the Mumsnet user reached out for advice from others. 

One user named Yarnival replied, explaining that they had previously experienced condensation issues. They wrote: “I removed all the fitted wardrobes when I moved to my current house as they all had the same problem.”

The forum poster added that the woman could try alternative methods like removing doors, and having “nice curtains” to open up the fitted cabinets if she didn’t want to remove them completely.

She explained that as a rule of thumb, external walls in her home are kept free of large pieces of furniture. According to an expert at the Kitchen Door Hub, this is particularly beneficial when it comes to fitted wardrobes.

They said: “When fitted wardrobes are built against exterior walls, the area behind them is cut off from the rest of the room so it doesn’t receive the heat and air circulation that it once had. This trapped space can also become humid if it is still heated slightly, which creates a prime location for mould to grow.”

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The tip was popular with other forum users, one of which replied: “I put all my non-fitted wardrobes against internal walls too, and then put desks and beds against the external one.

“That way I can see if there are any problems with damp very quickly.”

If you’re unable to remove fitted wardrobes to reduce mould and condensation issues, there are a few other remedies that may help.

Extra ventilation

The author of the original Mumsnet post suggested making ventilation holes in the doors at the top, middle and bottom points.

Heat sources

She added that installing a plug-in dehumidifier inside the wardrobe, alongside a wardrobe heater on one side had “helped a little” with mould growth.

Polystyrene wall covering

Polystyrene is a great thermal insulator that is known for its dense structure and moisture resistance.

While it won’t make a room feel warmer, it is effective at creating a thermal barrier between cold surfaces like walls, and moist air in the room.

Dry clothes fully

While cold external walls are a big problem for mould growth and moisture in wardrobes, clothes also play a part in worsening the problem.

Cramming too many items into a confined space is one thing to avoid, as is keeping garments dry before hanging them up.

According to an expert at Timberwise, putting wet clothes on a radiator provides the perfect conditions for mould to grow, and it will continue to do so inside your wardrobe.

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