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Thread: Damp/mould. Inspection today

  1. #1
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    Damp/mould. Inspection today

    Last year we had to have our bedroom and bathroom treated for black damp/mould. We were told that we needed a new air brick in the bedroom and despite chasing this up, the LHA repairs department now have no record of this apparently.

    The bathroom has been fine, but the bedroom is now worse than ever. We have done everything possible to try to keep the problem to a minimum. Heat, ventilation, wiping everything down (we now also have a Karcher window vac to take all the condensation off he windows, used several times daily), various mould/mildew/damp remedies.

    The black mould is all round the windows, on the ceilings etc. I understand its condensation but its back almost as soon as we clean and treat it.

    The main problem we have now is, we have black mould creeping up from the skirting board on the main outside wall. It is also on our wardrobes along the same wall. We did not have this before and I know this is not condensation. When speaking to the lady on the phone, she said it sounds like a more serious problem. It could be the damp course or something structural.

    I know the airbrick would have made no difference to the problem coming up the wall, but may have helped with the condensation problem, so I told the lady I am angry that this has not been done, despite me chasing it up. I also said how this damp and mould problem could be very detrimental to my health, (its not healthy for anyone really).

    So, today, we have an "inspector" coming out to look at the problem. I am just hoping that he does not try fobbing us off and that the problem gets treated properly.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    A common cause of mildew on ceilings and corners is lack of ventilation. I had the same problem and had two air bricks put in the room - the problem did go.

    In the meantime use a damp cloth and bleach to get rid of existing mould.

    Dampness in the air also causes mildew in room corners where the air is stagnant. Don't hang clothes or towels on the radiator to dry as that is the usual culprit. If you use a clothes horse to dry clothes put it in a large room with plenty of air ventilation.

    Rising damp

    Sometimes the damp proof course can be compromised leading to rising damp. The damp proof course sits on the second brick up from the floor. If earth is pushed up against the wall above this line you will get penetrating damp. Simply ensuring no earth goes above this line will sort the problem out.

    A new damp proof course can be injected into the wall if it's just a rotted DPC.

    Hope the problem gets sorted out.
    Last edited by Lighttouch; 11-01-16 at 08:45.

  3. #3
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    my mom used to swear by wiping walls with Milton. But you right, this isn't dealing with the problem. Does sound like a fundamental flaw in the building. Damp proof course most likely.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I'm a member on a forum for landlords and tenants; as you can imagine dampness and mould is one of the topics frequently discussed there.

    LT has already given good advice on drying clothes, etc.
    Showers, baths, cooking, (and even breathing) can all be sources of condensation and good ventilation is a must.
    Houses these days tend to be less draughty than they used to be, but this comes with the downside of less ventilation.
    A working extractor fan in the bathroom (and maybe the kitchen) is a virtual necessity in modern properties.

    For removing mould the landlords on that forum swear by the HG range of products, and lets face it they have lots of experience.
    Especially with 'black spot' mould bleach is often not effective enough.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/HG-186050106.../dp/B000IU40HQ

    You may also consider getting a dehumidifier, costs range for around £20 for a passive one that takes replaceable cartridges, up to over £300 for a top of the range electric one.
    http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Browse...s|33013093.htm

    The outside wall may not be the damp-proof course, it may be just that as this is the coldest wall so that is where most moisture in the air condenses out.
    Hopefully it is not the DPC as these can be expensive and disruptive to sort out.

    Hope the inspection goes well.
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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    As I said, we have ventilation in the room, we also have a dehumidifier. Do not dry clothes on radiators or anything like that. Also, as stated, we were supposed to have a new air brick put in, but it never happened. We had a brand new extractor fitted in the bathroom last year, and the bathroom has been ok. As for the black mould, I have found the best treatment to clean it is an antibacterial to which I add neat tea tree oil.

    Anyway, the inspector came out, nice chap, and he had a good look round. I asked about the damp course, but he said it was not that. (is the damp course supposed to be visible? With ours, there are a few places where there are small parts of the black line visible, but not much).

    We have a huge crack in the outside wall running diagonally from top to bottom. The crack is about half a centimetre wide, but he insisted this had nothing to do with the problem. (even though the crack is in the exact place we are having the main problem).

    He admitted he was, "only an inspector", and that he was not 100% on causes etc. So, we now have to wait for a proper surveyor to come out and do further testing with proper equipment. In the meantime, the Inspector is arranging for the wall to be re-pointed and to have a new extractor put in the kitchen.

    It is so frustrating as we want to decorate but this problem needs sorting before we can do that.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblu64 View Post
    We have a huge crack in the outside wall running diagonally from top to bottom. The crack is about half a centimetre wide, but he insisted this had nothing to do with the problem. (even though the crack is in the exact place we are having the main problem).

    He admitted he was, "only an inspector", and that he was not 100% on causes etc. So, we now have to wait for a proper surveyor to come out and do further testing with proper equipment. In the meantime, the Inspector is arranging for the wall to be re-pointed and to have a new extractor put in the kitchen.

    It is so frustrating as we want to decorate but this problem needs sorting before we can do that.
    Just reopened. No doubt he thinks it's a settlement crack in the wall!

    As a wild guess it sounds like you have subsidence and rather than papering over cracks and pointing you might need underpinning work to the foundations. Having a gapping crack in the wall wil allow cold air and moisture to creep in and will be a contributing factor as to why you have mildew et6

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    Lighttouch, I am hoping the surveyor comes out before the re-pointing work is done to be honest.

    I am thinking the same as you, the crack needs to be seen by the surveyor first as it could be something serious. I don't want it re-pointed, only to have more problems further down the line.

    I have just had someone else out from the repairs department about the wetroom floor. The Lino flooring has developed some large air bubbles in it. The guy said it was a "bad job initially, not enough glue and not left long enough before finishing etc". The upshot is that we need new flooring laid, but he said there is no guarantee it will be done. I told him to put on the report that if I fall over and injure myself, I will sue them!!!! Hopefully, that will spur them into action.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblu64 View Post
    Lighttouch, I am hoping the surveyor comes out before the re-pointing work is done to be honest.

    I am thinking the same as you, the crack needs to be seen by the surveyor first as it could be something serious. I don't want it re-pointed, only to have more problems further down the line.
    Take some photos, so if it does get repointed you can show them to the surveyor.

    I suggest that you hold a ruler or something everyone knows the size of, like a pound coin, next to the crack when taking the photos.
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  9. #9
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    That is good advice nukecad, thank you. I will get my camera out later and get some photos.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

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