Saturday, 12 November 2011

The learning curve

Today we discovered all about narrowboats and humidity.  For the past couple of evenings I felt the duvet was cold and damp but didn’t mention it to Jan.  This morning the duvet definitely felt damp and Jan pointed out there was a surface mould patch on the ceiling. 

Damp patch on the ceiling in the bedroom

The rest of the ceiling was dry so I was somewhat confused.  Then I noticed a horizontal band of condensation across the ply lining the exterior wall.

The ply must be in contact with steel along this line.

Then I pulled the mattress on the cross-over bed away from the wall and discovered the area was very damp.  Interestingly the area was damp despite there being a vent. 

That’s when I started to notice all the condensation on the windows.  We’ve pulled the mattress and all the bedding away from the wall in an effort to get it dry.  Meantime I had a towpath discussion with ‘Paul’ who is an experienced “liveaboard”.  He advised me it’s essential to manage the ventilation and heating in the boat.  Ideally the boat should be warmer than normal and all the vents need to be open.  You must also allow air to pass through the boat.

We now realise our problem has probably arisen because we’ve let Ufton get too cold.  This has allowed the humidity from our breathing (Oh… we must be alive) and the cooking to condensate on the cold surfaces.  I’ve also now remembered seeing other boaters in their boats wearing short sleeved shirts whereas we have been wearing warm polarfleece tops.  Obviously their boats are warmer!  So this afternoon we’ve made a conscious effort to raise the temperature in Ufton; increase the ventilation by opening windows and hatches; and regularly mop up the condensation on the windows.  It will be interesting to see whether we have the same problem tomorrow.


Derek and Dot said...

Hi Tom

probably being a hire boat there is not spray foam insulation necessary for a liveaboard. If on power consider getting a dehumidifier. Good luck.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Dot,

Learning more every day :-)