Damp upstairs and down, help and advice please

Postby Lizzieah » Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:37 pm

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Can anyone please give me some guidance about damp. We moved into our current property 3 years ago and found within a few days that there was rising damp in the kitchen. We thought we had had this treated but recently two tiles fell off the wall by the cooker so I shall have to ask the people to come back out and redo it. However, in the lounge by the fireplace and on the wall to the left of the fireplace, the wall feels damp and the wallpaper seems loose. Next door said they lifted their carpet and it was wet underneath, told us we had a leak and to get it sorted. When British Gas came to service the heating they said we did not have a leak but next door dont seem to be doing anything either. I have now noticed on the joining wall upstairs in the front bedroom that the wall is damp, both on the internal joining wall and the front wall. I have scrubbed the wall with mould and mildew remover but am paranoid now that I can smell damp everywhere. I really dont know what to do. The wall seems to be a bit easy to pick at if that makes any sense. If I paint it with Thomsons Water Seal will that help, or hinder. On the wall outside there is a downpipe and next door have a plant climbing up it. My window cleaner recently cleaned our guttering as it was full of bits from the plant and I wonder if perhaps that may have caused a problem? Oh I dont know. Any advice would be very gratefully received. Thank you. Lizzie
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Postby mdpmspitfire » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:13 pm

hi, this sounds like more than one problem. you say british gas services the heating and said no leaks. did they check just heating or all pipes?
if you are on a meter, let everything fill up turn off all taps etc and see if the meter moves. this will tell if there is a mains leak. if not on the meter, do the same then get a piece of steel pipe rest it on mains pipe where the stopcock is and listen , you may hear running water in there is a leak. worth a try. if all investigation points to no leak, how about the neighbour checking the same. only when there is def no leak look at the poss of rising damp or a condensation issue. your mention of tiles comming off. treated walls with a dpc take app 25mm per month to dry out. so if you have 225mm walls then allow 9 months etc. upstairs sounds like a roof or flashing issue. sorry i cant be of more help but without looking it is very hard to diagnose. one other point. any continual ingress of moisture/ leak etc can dry into the atmosphere of the property and then re-condensate onto internal surfaces giving the impression that it is only a condensation problem
hope this helps a little
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Postby no1son » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:01 pm

my reading of this is damp on chimney breast walls both upstairs and down,if this is the case i would investigate what they both have in common ie the stack,if the flues are open to the elements have them capped with a flue vent/cowl and point the stack if needed.you say B/Gas said no leaks so you have a combi boiler installed,otherwise it is a back boiler and they checked the surrounding boiler pipework only.it is likely rainwater is travelling down a shared flue as your neighbour is suffering the same problem.if you have rising damp in the kitchen which had previously been rectified get your man back in to do the job properly,but something tells me you were not given a guarantee.
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Postby Lizzieah » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:21 pm

Thank you for your help. I do have a combi boiler and thats housed under the stairs across the hallway from the lounge. The British Gas man said he thought there would not be cold water pipes across the lounge as the kitchen is off the hall and not next to the lounge. Bathroom is above the hallway. Just noticed that the wall seems damp in the lounge adjoining the hallway, near the bit where the front door is on the other side. However the skirting is dry yet the wall for about 6 inches above the skirting seems damp/tacky. I dont know now if Im getting paranoid. Ive moved my dehumidifier into the lounge to see if that will help. The stopcock for the water is pretty inaccessible as it is underneath the kitchen cabinets and the plumber when we moved in had to fit a long handle thing so we could turn it off.

I wish Id never bought this house. I will get the damp people out but I dont know who to get to look at the rest? Had a look outside and noticed that next doors downpipe seems to go into some sort of ceramic jug type thing in the ground and next to it on our side we have a huge puddle. We did ask next door to look but they wouldnt, said it was our problem. Will have to try and get the carpet and floorboards up I expect but I dont really know how to do that, will see if I can find some help I think.

Thank you for your advice, we arent on a water meter, the water board couldnt fit one because there wasnt enough room by the stop cock.
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Postby Lizzieah » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:15 pm

Meant to say, its an old house, about 1929, dont know if that has anything to do with it?
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