dampness in external walls around the house


Postby carlama86 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:33 pm

:twisted: me and my family moved into a ground floor flat 4 weeks ago. we are currently at a loss for what to do. our problem is that we currently rent from local housing (NLC). we thought the flat was brilliant to start off with. the walls were smoothe and all done with backing paper. we decorated and carpeted straight away. we were moved in a week after getting the keys. but it was too good to be true. within days of the heating being set up mould and black damp patches were showing through the wall paper and paint and the windows get really bad condensation. it is in the bathroom. throughout the entire kitchen the hall cupboards and in the bedrooms. the worst room is my 9month old daughters room. i'm scared to let her sleep in there incase she gets a chest infection or worse.
i requested the local authority housing inspector to look at it and arrange for it to be fixed. all he said is it won't be fixed and that i should keep the windows open when the heating is on.
we spent a lot of money on this flat and the paint and carpets are ruined. the concrete floors are also damp.
is there anything we can do? i'm not brilliant at diy but i'll do anythin? [color=red]please help?[/color] :cry:
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Postby thedoctor » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:49 am

See our project on condensation this may help. You can also look on the left of this project in our related projects list where you will find one on treating timber decay. If you click through to this one and then contact our sponsors in there ( Property Repair Systems) they will give you free, no obligation advice over the telephone.
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Postby tucny » Fri May 04, 2007 8:35 pm

Black spot mould (aspergillus niger) is genrally associated with condensation. The common cause is a heating and ventilation imbalance. The mould does not come through a wall, it forms on the surface. Imagine breathing on a cold mirror and the mirror steams up as the warm air cools and the moisture condenses, then imagine that the water cant dry, it will then go stagnent and bacteria will form (the mould). thats the effect the walls may be having. its a common problem in flats as all areas that contribute to airbourne moisture are on the same level. for example, the bathroom, and kitchen where lots of condensation occurs due to the steam caused by cooking and washing, can quite easily move around into an adjacent cooler room where the warm moisture filled air cools and the moisture condenses on the cold surfaces (usually the colder walls i.e. the base of externall walls or behind stored items).
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Postby carlama86 » Sat May 05, 2007 8:21 pm

does this mean that it is a surface problem? would it be resolved by removing the plaster and replacing it? i had someone in to see what has caused it and they think the condensation is so bad because the windows are only single glazed and the previous tenant didn't ventilate properly.
if the affected plaster is replaced and the windows get replaced by double glazing would this solve my problem?? i am also investing in a dehumidifier. :?:
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Postby tucny » Tue May 08, 2007 8:16 pm

providing condensation is the only problem then its an atmospheric problem. in other words, yes the problem is in the room and not a problem on the other side of the wall.

Dehumidifiers will help. This works by drawing in the moisture filled air within the room and passing it through cold louvres to cool it. This process will cause the molisture in the air to condense, this will run down in to a tray ready for you to empty. In other words it takes the moisture out of the air. But it will only do this if it is operated correctly. A dehumidifier will state the room size its designed for so a small one may not be adequate for use in a whole property.

Opening windows as often as possible and keeping a low background heat is equally as good.... and cheaper.

As for the plaster, if a wall is subjected to condensation for a long period of time then potentially it may become damaged. However, before spending money on plastering try removing sections of wall paper to see if the plaster is sound underneith and wash the mould down with a bleachy/water solution.

Renewing the plaster on its own will not solve the problem. The problem hasnt been caused by the plaster (unless its salt contaminated) its caused by the temperature of the wall.
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