Our fondness for the charms of ‘characterful’ period buildings continues unabated, but there is a downside to owning or inhabiting an older property, namely, poor ventilation.
Many period properties still entertain single-paned windows. This can make the property draughty and therefore harder to keep warm and insulated. You don’t want draughts in a house, but a house must have adequate ventilation. Why? Because inadequate ventilation leads to excess humidity, which in turn can cause condensation, mould and damp. In older properties, it can prove more of a challenge to have a properly-ventilated, non-draughty property.
Poor ventilation can be an issue in newer properties too, with airtightness playing a role. What is important is good air quality, and an efficient ventilation system which operates throughout the property.
If you’re thinking of investing in a period property, either to live in or let out, or you are planning to sell your period property but are keen to improve its ventilation before you do, then read on. We’ve offered up some tips for ventilating a period property.
- Tip 1: Check the chimneys and flues
Flues and hearths should remain open, as this is vital for ventilation. If fireplaces are not being used, adequate airflow up through the chimney is important, so chimneys should not be entirely blocked off.
- Tip 2: Consider the bathroom/s and kitchen
When it comes to improving ventilation, consider what is required in the bathrooms and kitchen. These are the two rooms in house – save a utility/laundry room, if you have one – where excess moisture can become an issue.
- Tip 3: Windows
Older windows can prove draughty. However, the traditional sash window, so often a feature of Georgian and Victorian properties, is designed in such a way as to facilitate airflow through its air openings. If it looks like the sash windows are not performing as they should, for example, if condensation is forming, then there is not enough ventilation, and the sash windows will need to be adjusted to make sure the air openings allow for enough airflow. Trickle vents are often incorporated into the design of double-glazed windows to allow for ventilation. This is important, as no property should be airtight.
- Tip 4: Attics
Steps are usually taken to improve insulation in the attics of older properties, as typically they are quite draughty. Roof voids should allow for proper ventilation, and if insulation work doesn’t allow for enough ventilation, then roof vents can be added.
With older properties, adequate ventilation is paramount. The challenge is usually incorporating ventilation technology while retaining the integrity of the property.
If you need advice about investing in or selling a period property in Barons Court, West Kensington, or across the W14 area, get in touch with our team today.