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condensation??? help!!!

Postby sarahdee » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:01 pm

:cry: Please help, we moved into a ground floor purpose built flat 2 years ago now, we were the first residents in the flat which had been finished for around 1 year.
Whithin a few months a damp patch appeared on the lounge wall, which was treated after the one year inspection. No problems then until July of this year, my sister and neice stayed for one week and both ended up with colds and bad chests, we had noticed a musky smell but didn't click until they left. Upon searching the room we found green mould growing about 2 and a half feet up both bedside cabinets (against external walls) and also up a chest of drawers, we cleaned this up but the smell has got steadily worse and the mould returns. Outside the wall near enough exactly where the bedside cabinets are, are 2 air bricks one on ground level the other about 1 inch above ground level, both were filled with soil etc, so we did our best to free them up.
We have borrowed a dehumidifier and vent the room all the time but the smell is quite over powering.
Have also since found the same type of mould in our bedroom on an internal wall, next to a boiler and on a laundry basket.
Also there is now a patch of green blue spot mould in the lounge just above the skirt.
We rent our property from a housing association and have had a company out to look, they said condensation and said to turn down heating, which never gos above 21c and to vent the property more, which apart from inviting burlars in we do to the best of our ability!
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Postby becki » Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:10 pm

If it makes you feel better, you are not alone Sarah.

I purchased a one bed ground floor part rent part buy flat 18 months ago and am suffering with musty smells and damp in my bedroom and now the window has started rattling in the evening (not good at halloween! :twisted: ) Clothes are going mouldy in cupboards and drawers, I have a dehumidifier going all evening and have now purchased another one in hope will help but surely not great solution. Can not see any air bricks in the room and as ground floor, am not leaving windows open (although the trickle vents are) when am not in property or in the winter

The bathroom is situated in middle of property so has no windows and extractor fan has now died on me so am trying to find an engineer who knows about them to look at it for me as this obviously is not helping matters at the moment.

The front door is wooden with glass panels and every day is dripping so all post is wet by time i come home from work. The door is starting to warp and mould has appeared on ceiling all around it so looks really attractive.

Help - what is the long term solution? I can not live like this for much longer as it's getting me down and not doing health much good either as had continous chest infection last winter and have had the sniffles already. I dont have the money to spend out on mad ideas so need some serious help on what can do, all advice welcome
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Postby Perry525 » Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:09 pm

Sarah, it is not your responsibility!
Regardless of what ever you may have been told, your landlord/housing trust/association, whatever, is responsible for sorting out your problem.
You may of course, have signed up for a tenancy of over seven years, but I would guess that you have not.
For tenancies under seven years the Government have passed laws and one of them relates to damp.
Whatever a landlord may say, he/they cannot usurp the rule of parliament!
You must contact your local council. They have a "Tenancy relations Officer" whose job it is to sort this out. If your landlord does no co-operate he/they can be taken to court, where they face a large fine.
As always, councils are trying to save money and he/she may fob you off, in this case go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau and get their help.
Best of Luck.
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Postby Perry525 » Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:35 pm

Becki, I am not at all sure how your arrangement fits into law, so I suggest you try the Citizens Advice Bureau first.

Now the damp. Merely by being in the property your breath and sweat aided and abetted by cooking and washing all bring humidity. High humidity leads to running windows when the temperature drops. This happens every time you turn the heating down.
The immediate (part) solution is to keep the temperature steady and to open the windows. The air outside, will have a lower temperature and will hold less water - humidity/moisture always moves into a vacuum/drier space so the condensation will disappear.
The next thing to do is replace the bathroom fan, once fitted it can be left on from time to time, with all internal doors open to draw in the drier air from outside. These measures may well solve the problem.
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Postby mitch121 » Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:57 pm

I have got a similar problem with one of my properties and the tennants are to blame. I have been out to fix the condensation, mould and damp by putting in trickle vents, open brick vents etc. The problem was with the tenants simply not opening windows and blasting the heating and then turning it off. I have told the tenants they must must open windows otherwise the problem will come back. So far they taken little notice. next thing is simply kick them out! The housing association is right in that you must open windows. Taking this to the council and CBA will be costly and very hard to prove that the landlord has failed to sort it out
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Postby tucny » Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:53 am

Condensation is simple stuff. Its basic sceince. Air holds moisture vapour. The warmer the air the more moisture it will hold but remember air has its moisture holding limit.

You put the moisture in the air by cooking, cleaning, breathing etc...

If the air cools, it no longer has the ability to hold as much moisture, therefore cold surfaces such as windows and external walls that cool the air will be covered by condensation droplets. When these cant dry mould grows.

To dry the condensation you need to heat cold air (remember cold air its dryer). This means that the warm air is able to lift the moisture droplets back up into the air again. You then need to get the warm moisture filled air outside and replace it with cool air that again you have to heat to dry the condensation and carry on doing this. So yes you do spend money to heat the air and then let it outside!

The landlord is limited to what he can do. In my opinion he should provide you with extractor fans in the kichen and bathroom, opening windows and space for a tumble dryer. Its YOUR responsibility to use them. i dont mean to sound rude but you rent the flat, you put the moisture in the air, you need to get the moisture out. you cant expect the landlord to come round every morning and evening and open your windows for you. its like blaming him for you crapping your pants after you ate to much even though you had a toilet to use.
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