In our experience in over 32 years of property management and years before that in the construction trade the use of vinyl silk paint comes with an added problem not immediately associated with this product.
We can without doubt contribute the forming of mould and condensation on walls which have been painted with vinyl silk. Probably, every Landlord has had to deal with mould or condensation complaints from tenants at some time and in certain cases this can become a severe problem which is difficult to solve.
The usual formula of balancing heating, ventilation, cooking and drying of clothes are the first areas that are addressed but very rarely do the materials used in decorating the inside of a property come under immediate scrutiny.
The evidence of vinyl silk condensation problems first came to light after we purchased our first rental property and purchased enough vinyl silk emulsion to paint an entire 5-bedroomed property and re-painted all the walls.
It was not until the tenants had taken residence and we were early into the winter months that we received complaints about condensation problems. After investigating and instructing the tenants on the normal heating ventilation and drying of clothes scenarios the problem was continuing.
It was by chance that during a visit of the property we discovered that the hall walls were very sticky and had a thin film of moisture even though the heating was on and there was no evidence or obvious source of water.
After checking the rest of the house the majority of walls had the same sticky feeling and the only common factor was that they had been painted with vinyl silk.
The walls of the house were subsequently re-painted in time with a vinyl matt paint and the sticky feeling and condensation problem was eliminated and drastically reduced.
We have advised numerous landlords over the 32 years on decorating their properties and this theory is more than well proven that it is much better to avoid painting interior walls with vinyl silk paint wherever possible.
Unfortunately, the modern way of living with high performance insulation, double glazing and smaller room sizes encourages condensation. When you look back to the Victorian terraced housing every room was larger and had a chimney the windows were always extremely draughty which gave a good air flow throughout the property. There was very little heating and even then most of it was from paraffin heating or open fires.
The lesson to be taken from this is that a good balance of ventilation, heating and a good plan of how to deal with a regular cleaning/treating of the problem areas is the answer but will vary from property to property.
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