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Can I block up this vent//brick. So Cooooold!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Stoatman, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Stoatman

    Stoatman Member

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    Unfortunately another DIY question I am afraid. I hope people dont mind , I find more help here though than on any other forum !.

    With the weather being so cold it is creating a problem in our little girls room , it is getting unbearably cold throughout the night.
    The room is an original two storey exension on the rear of our 1930's semi, it therefore has three external walls and a roof with no loft space and therefore I am unsure if there is any insulation what so ever in the roof.
    Anyway the immeadiate question is the air vent /brick that is installed in the room. This is the main culprit at making it cold , you can feel the very cold air streaming through even when the vent is supposedly "closed". My question is can I remove it , and block it up ?. This would help no end I believe. My thought was to block it up but not with a permanent fix, so therefore if any problems occur (damp) I can re-instate it. I am wondering if there has been a damp issue in the past as the vent looks newish. The ouside airbrick is original as they are all over the house to air the cavity. i think someone has knocked through into it.

    Any thoughts , the only solution is this cold weather is to keep the heating on. I cant have my little girl frozen.

    ANyway , the photos :

    Attached Files:

  2. Phil57

    Phil57 Active Member

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    I may get shot down for this but I would take the cover off and sucure a couple of sheets of newspaper to the back of the cover and replace
  3. p147

    p147 Member

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    Is there a boiler in the room?
  4. paul1967

    paul1967 Member

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    Is there or was there a fireplace in the room,as this might have been used to give the fire air,if are going to block it, block it from the inside,is there a cavity in the wall.
  5. paul1967

    paul1967 Member

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    To check if there is insulation in the roof,was there any snow on the roof, if so did it stay there or melt before the sun got to it,if it melted no insulation, my bedroom has 2 outside walls an stayed cold if i keep the door closed as the rad did not seem to keep the room warm ,check your rad size and see if it's big enough for the job go to B@q for the calculator.
  6. Stoatman

    Stoatman Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    No , no boiler in the room or fireplace . It is a cavity.

    I have included 2 pics of outside too. In the first you can see the original ornate air brick at the top of the picture. The second shows the room a bit more clearly.

    Attached Files:

  7. Orson

    Orson Moderator

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    If there's no gas or oil heater in there, just a normal central heated water filled radiator, I'd block it up, but as has already been said, do it on the inner wall, and with something temporary, so that you can easily remove it in summer or if you start getting dampness in the room

    As long as there is no carbon monoxide generating from anywhere, you should be fine.

    But look at insulating your ceilings, and into getting your cavity walls filled - there is quite a bit of funding available through the Govt at the moment, all through the various companies that do it. My neighbours have had their loft and cavity walls done recently, and it's made a big difference, and it only cost them around a couple of hundred pounds, for a 3 bed detached, and they are both in full time employment.
    Worth looking at :smashin:
  8. gbcasual

    gbcasual Active Member

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    Tesco do cavity wall insulation for about £200 and quite a few local authorites will have grants available. Tesco will send someone round for a free quotation.

    Be wary of companies that only install cavity wall insulation as they may just install regardless of whether it is rught to or not.

    I had several quotes from cavity wall installers and all said they would do it. However, the bloke sent round from Tesco's showed me in the wall with a scope and indicated just one wall tie in the cavity that was completely caked in mortar. He reckoned if the cavity was filled I'd have much lower bills for a couple of years, and then a terrible damp problem I'd not be able to ever fix. All because of that one mortar caked wall tie!!

    Cheers

    Jon
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
  9. Stoatman

    Stoatman Member

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    Thanks guys , for all your suggestions.

    I have always been A bit wary of cavity wall insulation to be honest. I thought why would houses be made with a cavity only for someone to fill it up. Is there any drawbacks ?. Thanks

    Chris
  10. Cocacola

    Cocacola Member

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    We live in a 30s semi with a wooden floor, with crawl space underneath. There are air bricks at either end of the house. The wind passes through there and freezes the house. We block the air bricks up in cold windy weather with a vinyl floor tile in front. Then just remove the tile when the weather improves.
  11. eric pisch

    eric pisch Member

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    air bricks are normally there for a reason, depending on the room use, construction type etc, its more common to have vents like yours on solid wall construction and they did a fair bit of this in the 30s. blocking them can cause condensation and on houses where you dont have solid floors (which normally have air bricks low down) condensation which can lead too rot.

    if the roofs not insulated doing that would be a good idea, you can get insulation backed plasterboard, a reasonably easy diy job

    Long & Somerville :: Insulated Plasterboard & Ply
  12. paul1967

    paul1967 Member

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    Becareful blocking air blocks for the floor , friend built a new extention and because there was enough airflow he got rot appear on some of the timbers within 4 months,if you can get under the floor put some celotex or kingspan in between the joists.
  13. Stoatman

    Stoatman Member

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    I was thinking of adding a dry wall layer to the walls using this (or similar) as suggested.

    Gyproc ThermaLine PLATINUM

    I have a question though. What is best "Dot and Dab" or battons across the wall. What would be easier for a basic DIYer.

    Thanks

    Chris
  14. dazzafact

    dazzafact Member

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    I have a feeling the airbrick is there as the room would have been a bathroom at some point and it was there to help with the moisture; so i reckon it could be blocked, imo. And looking at one of your pictures, I reckon that money would be better spent on dealing with the ceiling/roof insulation. I could almost guarantee that all your heat is escaping there and all the cold is coming in from there. Did you convert your bathroom or was it like that when you moved?

    EDIT:Obviously not all the heat escapes from the roof, but a lot will. And what Eric said. What size is your radiator? If its just a single, stick a double on, should only cost you 50 squid.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  15. eric pisch

    eric pisch Member

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    depends on the surface your applying to, dot and dab is fast and cheap but needs a course clean surface, battens the opposite but will last forever.
  16. Stoatman

    Stoatman Member

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    Yes I think the roof has to be done at some point , but as I cant get into the roof space it strikes me as a large messy job. Does the original ceiling have to come down ?

    More pictures !! , this shows the ceiling line. It is not just flat its sort of vaulted. I am thinking this will only add to the difficulty. Any ideas.

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  17. eric pisch

    eric pisch Member

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    if you can find the joists you can nail through the existing board when you add an insulating board, not the ideal way but a quick and relatively easy way
  18. dazzafact

    dazzafact Member

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    Personally, I would do the ceiling properly. That coupled with a bigger radiator and cavity wall insulation, it'll then be lovely and warm in there. Shouldn't cost much more than 500 quid either for the job lot professionally done.

    Or get your kid some warmer pj's.:eek::D

    EDIT: Looking at that last picture again. Have you got any damp patches on the right of the window just below the ceiling? Looks a little bubbly!
  19. Stoatman

    Stoatman Member

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    No Damp , (yet!) the walls are very cold but I think its badly finished plaster. As can be seen with the picture attached the room is badly plastered It could probably benefit from some boading anyway for asthetics (or re-plastering) all round.

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  20. Stoatman

    Stoatman Member

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    Well , thats that blocked up. I will have to keep an eye out for any condensation or damp and look into more serious long term solutions. Thanks for taking the time out to reply.
  21. mattclarkie

    mattclarkie Member

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    It looks to me like there was a fireplace in the room. In order to prevent the wall getting damp when you block them up you leave an air vent behind.


    It is fine to cover them up in, but if you leave them covered-up permanently you get damp in the wall, as happened in our house because the person who blocked it up didn't leave a vent/air hole.




    As for external air bricks. We got terrible rot on the floor joists because one of the airbricks was too high, it didn't go under the floor boards. Touch external air-bricks at your peril, in a very short time you can be in a world of trouble.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009

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