Tag Archives: Damp Prevention

You ask the dehumidifier questions – we answer via video

We get lots of dehumidifier questions via email every single day and although we answer each and every one via email as fully as possible we thought that it would help those searching for information on dehumidifiers to answer some via video as well.  So here is our first ever video question and answer film.

Today we have six questions from five different visitors to the Meaco website, the questions are;

Nigel: Can I use a Meaco DD8L on a boat at temperatures below 10°C?
Barry: What do the numbers in your model names relate to, is it tank size?
Ronald: How do you use the timer function on the dehumidifier, mine will not run continuously?
Sian: If I put a Meaco 20L at the bottom of the stairs will it deal with condensation upstairs?
Michael: Can I put a Meaco DD8L on continuous drainage in the garage and should I cover it up when I am woodworking as this creates a lot of dust? 

If you would like to see your dehumidifier question answered via video then please send your question to me via askaquestion@meaco.com.

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Ask a question – dealing with damp in built in wardrobes

A continuation of our series answering some of the questions about using a dehumidifier in the home that we receive on a daily basis via email. This question came from Gail and concerns dealing with damp in a built in wardrobe.

‘I have a great deal of condensation in my home. The main problem being condensation and mould growth on windows and the other major issue is dampness and mould growth in a number of built in wardrobes fitted along an external wall. Will purchasing the above detailed dehumidifier control the issue in the wardrobes as well as the window condensation? Would it be sufficient to leave the wardrobe doors open a couple of times a week whilst the dehumidifier is running to control the issue?

Many thanks for your help.’

Gail,

Damp in built in wardrobes is always a problem especially those on a north facing outside wall. Whether the plan above will help depends on where the moisture is coming from. If you live in an old house with no damp course then the moisture will be coming up through the ground and will keep on coming. If you are in an old stone cottage then the problem might be similar but through the walls. If you are in a brick house with a damp course then your plan should work.

To prevent the mould growth on your clothes and shoes we recommend making sure that the clothes in the wardrobe are not touching the outside wall, this will reduce/prevent mould from growing on the clothes.

You should also consider using the Mini-D dehumidifier inside the wardrobe, one Mini-D per single wardrobe will help to keep the air inside the wardrobe dry.

Regards

Chris

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What is the IP Rating of Meaco Dehumidifiers – Don’t ask, Wrong Question!

The first question that I was asked this morning was what is the IP rating of the Meaco DD8L?  This is a question that comes up from time to time and it really frustrates me!  Why, because it is the wrong question to ask!!

First of all what is an IP Rating?  IP stands for Ingress Protection Rating which is a measurement of the amount of protection a product has to prevent solid objects, water, dust etc. from getting inside.

Why it’s the wrong question to be asking..

When someone asks about the IP rating of a dehumidifier my ears prick up and I know that nine times out of ten they want to use the dehumidifier in the wrong way.  This is why we do not list the IP Rating of the dehumidifiers amongst the main specification details, we don’t want customer using this information in the wrong way.

What they are thinking about is using the dehumidifier in a bathroom.  You can see the customers train of thought, bathroom gets damp, mould starts to form, put a dehumidifier in the bathroom.  I understand the logic but the execution is wrong.

You do not want to put an electrical item drawing 220 volts into an area where you are wet; this will lead to possible electrocution and death!  In fact there are safety regulations that forbid having a 220V unit in a wet area unless it is 2.5m from the surface of the water, and few of us are lucky enough to have bathrooms with that much free space.

A dehumidifier will never have a high IP Rating because the whole idea of an IP Rating is to prove that a product is sealed and therefore that things cannot get inside it.  The whole idea of a dehumidifier is for it not to be sealed so that things can get inside it (i.e. air in and air out).

A solution for drying a bathroom to prevent mould & condensation

So what is the solution for drying a bathroom to prevent mould and condensation?

Simple – do what I do at home!

We have four children and the shower-room is in constant use, if left alone mould will start to grow on the walls, especially in the summer and during a cold snap in the winter.  It has a reasonable extractor fan which is activated by movement, light and humidity, but even so it still needs a dehumidifier.

We place the dehumidifier on the landing just outside the shower-room and when we have finished in the shower we make sure that the door is left open rather than close it.  This means that the damp air from the bathroom migrates to the dry spot that is the landing and is processed by the dehumidifier.  This prevents the mould growth and keeps the bathroom dry without the need for the dehumidifier to placed in a potentially dangerous position (also who has a mains socket in their bathroom?).

One of the only times to use a dehumidifier in a wet area

So when is the one time out of ten that it is right to use a dehumidifier in a wet area?  In a swimming pool, having an indoor pool without a dehumidifier is madness because of the level of moisture and the damage that comes with that moisture.  Swimming pool dehumidifiers are wall mountable and this helps to ensure that they are 2.5m away from the surface of the water.  Dehumidifiers are also designed with extra low voltage controls to make them safer and have the electronics safely away from where any wet hands might reach.  They are also coated to protect them from chlorine and other chemicals that might be present in a pool room.

So don’t ask about the IP rating of our dehumidifiers, but do ask for help in solving your damp problem.

How do you solve your damp bathroom problems, dehumidifier, ventilation, squeezy mop, all three?  Please do let us know in the comments box below, we would be delighted to hear from you.

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Leave the dehumidifier on or turn it off in Summer?

The weather has definitely started to warm up and officially we are well into summer but I have certainly not had to apply any sun tan lotion yet this year so far.  It is this time of year when we all start to open our windows that customers phone us up and start to ask if they should turn their dehumidifier off or leave them on.

It is certainly true that if you have your windows open then you will be trying to dehumidify the whole country as you have a constant supply of fresh air coming in.  What I tend to do with my dehumidifier that sits outside of the shower room door, is to leave it on using our recommended humidistat setting.  That way I know that if the relative humidity

Should you use your dehumidifier in summer?

Dehumidifiers are mainly used in the winter in Britain but there are many reasons why you would want to use them in the Summer.

is ok then the dehumidifier will remain switched off and no electricity will be consumed.

In summer when I am in the bathroom I open the window to let the moist air out but if outside looks damp (as it often does) I close the window straight away and make sure that the shower room door is left open so that the damp air migrates out of the bathroom and towards the dehumidifier.  If outside looks dry then I leave the window open and the shower room door closed so that the bathroom is dried naturally and the dehumidifier does not sense the moisture and remains turned off.

On Sunday I was outside kicking a rugby ball around with the boys and it was not long before you noticed have humid and clammy the weather was.  It is on warm, humid days like this that mould will grown fastest and a dehumidifier is very useful for stopping that mould growth and for making us feel more comfortable, especially in bed at night.

Leaving the window open on warm, humid days is great to allow a breeze through the room but one should be aware that mould is likely to grow particularly fast – this will reach a peak in July and August.

With the air being more moist in summer and the relative humidity being naturally higher

House Dust Mites love to reproduce in the summer

There will be millions of these in your bed and in summer they can reproduce faster. A dehumidifier will slow this down.

then mould spores and dust mites will be on the increase.  If you are allergic to these then you will want to use your dehumidifier more often in the summer.

In central Europe and America the peak season for dehumidifier sales is actually in the summer.  The driving force behind the bulk of these sales is basements.  In summer a basement will be cooler than the outside air and if a window is left open that warm, humid air comes in and comes into contact with the cooler surfaces inside the basement.  Wherever you have organic material (i.e. wood or paper) mould growth is very likely.  This is why where you have a basement you should have a dehumidifier.

So the answer to the question should I turn my dehumidifier off in the summer, the answer is – it depends!

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Sudden Mould Growth in our Bathroom

This March has been freezing, there is no other word for it, and one knock on consequence of the cold weather has been an accelerated growth of mould in our shower room.

The shower room used to be a traditional box room with just enough space for a single bed.  When child number four came along we had a loft conversion to create the necessary extra bedroom and the box room became a shower room.

It has two outside walls on the north side of the house and the extractor fan has to blow into the prevailing wind which hits that side of the house with any other houses in its way to buffer it.  The ceiling also suffers from not enough insulation which means that the ceiling surface temperature is lower than we would like.

High number of daily showers + cold weather = a possible recipe for sudden mould growth

With six of us in the house that means at least six showers a day and with a house guest over the past two weeks this has been increased to seven showers a day at least.  The combination of the high numbers of showers and the cold weather has resulted in a sudden burst of mould growth on the ceiling.

Mould on bathroom ceiling

The mould creates a map on the ceiling of where there is not enough insulation.

Mould grows where there is a high moisture content in the organic material and a high relative humidity in the room, hence a shower room is perfect for mould.  The cold weather will have reduced the surface temperature of the ceiling which means more condensation when the warm, moist, air from the shower hits the ceiling.  Add all of these factors together and you have mould.

Normally we have a Meaco 20L outside the shower room door on the landing.  We like the 20L because the landing is quite warm anyway so we do not need the extra warmth that comes with a Meaco DD8L or Meaco DD8L Junior and the 20L is quiet enough not to disturb anyone at bed-time.  It looks good at the end of the corridor and its energy efficiency means that every 5 litres it collects costs next to nothing in terms of electricity consumption.

We’ve been testing.

Shower-room post mould

One shower room with a clean ceiling after treating with mould removal spray.

Over the last month or so though we have been testing other, smaller, dehumidifiers at home to see what they are like to live with and although it has been a useful exercise they have obviously not been man enough for the amount of moisture that we put into the air in the bathroom and the speed of drying required during this cold snap.

So the mould has been wiped off with a mildew cleaner this morning and the 20L will be coming home again from work tonight.

It has been a useful experience though because this all goes into the memory banks to be recycled and used to help our customers with similar problems when they call us or read this blog.

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