Condensation in Cellar

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Hi all,

I have a query that I hope someone might be able to help with.

I am currently studying Building Surveying and, for an assignment, have been asked to advise a ‘client’ on condensation issues in the beer cellar of their bar. As I do not have any expertise in this area I thought I might ask on this forum.

Information

  • Bar is Victorian era.
  • Cellar is two rooms with bottle store in one and chilled beer storage in the other. A double unsealed door separates the two areas
  • NRS Beer master cooler (no other info given) provides the cooling and current temp and humidity of the cellar is 13 deg C and 67% respectively.
  • Cellar is subterranean and damp with efflorescence staining to the painted (not plastered, not tanked) brick walls.
  • There is no ventilation to the cellar (the only air brick has been blocked off).
  • There is no insulation to the cellar walls or ceiling. The latter being exposed timber joist and timber floor boards. Timbers to the centre chilled area show signs of condensation in the form of damp readings and black spot mould.
  • In heavy rain the delivery chute leaks which has caused rot in the timber wall plate close to the chute.
  • The ‘client’ has limited budget.

Advice

  • Ordinarily I would advise to ventilate the area but I believe this would probably compromise beer cooling in the summer months and therefore is not an option.
  • Tanking wall to eliminate a source of moisture.
  • Insulate walls and ceilings and draft proof doors to reduce energy consumption.
  • Replace the rain seal to the delivery chute.

Questions to the forum

  • Is there a way (cheaper the better) to ventilate the cellar without compromising on beer cooling?
  • Is there an easy fix for a leaking delivery chute or are they generally known to leak?
  • Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Thanks again and sorry for the long post. I’ve been going round in circles without much luck.

JS

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