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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:27 pm 
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Hello all you fine people! There are a couple pf questions that have been knocking around my noggin for a while - and I have ten minutes to ask you them.

As such, I've taken the probably foolish option of combining!

They both relate to our 1900ish mid-terrace.

1. Airbricks.

The house was renovated before we bought it. The builders took most walls back to brick, and put up plasterboard. (Sadly, not insulated of soundproof, given our neighbours!)

The property has bay windows and a northern-facing aspect. Double glazing. There are airbricks in the bays.

The problem is that these seem to be letting cold air circulate behind the plaster - making the bays the coldest spot by far in the house. The skirting, as a result, seems to have warped slightly, creating a crack between it and the plasterboard which lets in significant drafts from the airbrick. People say that sealing the airbricks up is a big nono to avoid mould - but there is plenty of mould growing on the room-facing part of the plasterboard simply due to condensation.

My feeling is to block it up - I tend to air houses weekly anyway, and we have a dehumidifier. The question is - will this cause mould and damp issues [i]behind[i] the plasterboard?

2. Roof Timbers

As I said above: north-facing. So, the back of the house enjoys lots of sun.

The bathroom at the back of the house is under what I'm going to describe as an 'additional' roof - tacked onto the main two-up-two-down A frame roof. (Tacked on, though original - these almost always cover the bathroom and kitchen, and tend to be lower than the main roof, sloping to the guttering.)

1a11da16-b4b8-4d20-8028-213e3e3895ac (2).jpeg
1a11da16-b4b8-4d20-8028-213e3e3895ac (2).jpeg [ 20.48 KiB | Viewed 274 times ]

My question - I'd love to knock the plaster out of the ceiling in the bathroom, to create a much more airy space with rooflights in the roof.... I'm uncertain if the beams in the loft (highlighted blue) are there to create the ceiling, or are actually structural in some way.

Many thanks!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:50 pm 
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Hi Rendelf,
1 - I'm not sure about building regs here but what I would do is block the airbricks using a temporary measure and see how it goes. I have tackled two homes with damp and cold spots and the advice out there is overwhelming and I found that sometimes stuff works, sometimes it doesn't. So a temporary measure is a good option. You could do this by cutting a piece of wood, just bigger than the airbricks and, using adhesive (the sort that you use with a sealant gun), put a bead around the perimeter of the board and squeeze it over the airbrick, then closely monitor the results for a year - you want to see the effects over all seasons.

2 - those beams could well be structural, they are called ceiling ties and could be there to hold the upper most part of the wall in place ( the wall to the far right on your drawing). If in doubt, consult a structural engineer. As these changes are structural, it would likely need to go through building regs anyway.

Hope that helps,

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