Dampness inside wardrobes can be a major annoyance. The smell is certainly unpleasant, and whatever you store inside the wardrobe can become damaged. So what are some of the most common causes of dampness inside wardrobes? And what exactly can you do about it?
Wet Things Inside Wardrobes
The first cause might be the most obvious. Are you sure that your clothes are completely dry before you put them away in the wardrobe? Even the smallest amount of moisture can cause a deeply unpleasant smell and can lead to accumulated dampness over time. If you suspect that this might be a problem, it's a question of getting into the habit of allowing your clothes to dry for a little bit longer. If the clothes are already perfectly dry before being placed inside the wardrobe, then it is likely to be condensation from an external source.
Freestanding wardrobes should not be placed directly against the wall. Allow a small buffer zone to encourage air circulation. Even a buffer zone of a few centimetres and the subsequent circulation can prevent condensation from settling into place and affecting the wardrobe. Freestanding wardrobes should also ideally be placed against an internal wall of your home to better regulate the temperature the wardrobe is kept in. This is not possible with built-in wardrobes.
Built-in wardrobes that are positioned on an external wall of your home can be an irritating design flaw, although it's not one that you have much control over. The external walls of your home are the coldest walls in your home (no matter how well insulated it might be), and this reduced temperature can result in excess condensation forming in an enclosed space (which is the interior of the wardrobe). It might be as simple as encouraging air circulation as much as possible by leaving the doors open while you're out at work. You can also buy a damp reduction device from a hardware shop. This is a small plastic tub that is placed inside the wardrobe, and moisture is then absorbed into the device. It will need to be periodically changed as per the manufacturer's instructions.
In extreme cases, you might need to think about removing the doors of a damp built-in wardrobe and converting it into shelves. This is not everyone's cup of tea (even though removal of the doors will prevent the damp from returning), so hopefully adequate ventilation and a damp reduction device will do the trick.