Damp or condensation? - is there anything else i can do?

Postby DaveW » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:08 am

I live in a terraced house which is around 100 years old. Every morning the bedroom window is covered in condensation and there are also damp patches on the outside wall (at the bottom) and behind the wardrobe. There is also black mould in the top corner of the room - also on the outside wall. This has been a problem for sometime which gets worse in cold weather. Ventilation seems to help as does the dehumidifer which I use regulary. Is there anything else I can do? I'm worried that it maybe causing long term damage.

Also - damp patches are also starting to occur downstairs on one of the walls behind the furniture (again towards the bottom near the skirting board) and condenstaion seems to be increasing on the downstairs windows (its open plan downstairs so effectively all 1 room)

Is this the same problem (i.e. condensation) as upstairs or is it rising damp? The difference with downstairs is that it creates an orange/ brown mark which looks a bit like rust. There isn't that much of this but it seems to be increasing - it seems to occur around the frame of the front door which we don't use. The kitchen cupboards also have that misty smell which drives my Mrs mad!

I've lived here for 2 and a half years but I've checked what the previous owners left and the damp proof work was done in 1985 so maybe this is the problem? - although it says the damp courses are guaranteed for 30 years.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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Postby dcmoore » Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:05 pm

If your damp proof course was fitted a short while ago then this shouldnt be the problem. However, i am assuming that this was done correctly. Has your pavement or driveway been heightened since this was done? This is known as 'bridging' which means the water is getting above the damp proof course and interfering with your interior.
Otherwise its a good idea to check the exeterior state of the house. Im guessing its a solid brick property due to its age so there's no issue of a blocked cavity, however if there are cracks in your mortar or brickwork then this may cause the damp to penetrate through.
If you could get in touch with us at Property Repair Systems on 01626 331351 to discuss this problem and then we can get to the bottom of it!
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Postby DaveW » Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:24 pm

The damp proof course was fitted in 1985 - does this class as a short while ago?

No - the pavement has never beee heightended so I don't think this can be the problem. The exterior of the house is solid brick and looks in good condition.

Since I last posted I've been working from home due to having an operation - it's amazing what a difference ventilation makes as its not anywhere near as bad if you open the windows regularly etc. This makes me think its just a condensation issue - do you agree?

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Postby dcmoore » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:55 pm

i would definately class 1985 as a short while ago. Sounds to me like you've tackled the problem tho. Like you've been doing keep up with the ventilation and dehumidifier and if you can keep furniture away from the walls slightly too.
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Postby Perry525 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:03 pm

Yes, it is condensation!
You have a classic situation, solid cold, possibly damp (from the outside weather) walls and poor ventilation, probably due to. trying to keep warm.
The solution?
Stop turning the heating down at night or when you go out,( or off? )
Stop putting moisture into the house.
That means, turn the extractor fans on in the bathroom and kitchen, when washing or cooking. Make sure the steam from the kettle goes into the extractor hood.etc:
Hold the curtains/blinds away from the walls, don't close them at night.
Dead patches behind curtains or furniture equal even colder walls, equal more condensation -keep things away from the walls/windows to enable air to circulate, circulating air means warmer surfaces, means less or no condensation.
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Postby rich_sp@hotmail.com » Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:06 pm

Glad I found this site, I moved into a similar sounding house about 6 months ago. When the survey was done, nothing was seen in terms of damp, and the dpc was renewed only a few years ago. The full outside of the house has also been repointed recently. However, I have been seeing some damp patches in our main bedroom in certain places during the cold weather and have been fearing the worst - but condensation has also been prominent on the window so it's looking more like this than damp now.

If I keep the room well ventilated, will chipping away and replastering the outside wall prevent this damp reappearing, if it's due to there being salts in the original plaster?
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Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:48 pm

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