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ste_c
05-02-2009, 14:15 PM
Hello all, your advice is needed.

I'm a landlord of a mid-terraced house dating from about 1900 (not me, it). Just commissioned a damp report from my letting agents. The damp inspection report is on its way. I have discussed the main points with the LA verbally but to summarise it went thus:

1. Original complaint of damp under window seems to be stemming from poor ventilation. They have suggested some remedial work here of the order of £200 which is aimed at improving the ventilation. This is a good thing, but has in the past been achieved by heating the house well and opening windows, so I'm not sure about this as a real fix - more a tenant lifestyle change perhaps?


2. The LA mentioned the front room suffering from rising damp. I don't know how this has been established by the inspectors and until I get the report I won't know more. This sounds serious (there be toruble) yet hasn't been a problem up till now. The house did have a damp proof course well before I bought it (1990) and it has a concrete floor.

Anyone any advice on these 2 points? I've read articles on this site about the misrepresentationof rising damp and associated useless fixes so I welcome your views.

ste_c
05-02-2009, 17:56 PM
Hi thanks for the reply. I can't remember seeing a damp course guarantee - I've had the house since 1990. I lived in it till 2000 then rented it till 2008 from when I handed it over to a letting agent. In all that time neither me nor the tenant noticed any damp, it's a recent event this is.

I'm taking it seriously obviously though I'm struggling with the sudden onset of it - I won't avoid getting it sorted, I just need to make sure of the cause and the correct remedial action. I've read stories of rising damp symptoms to be misread and the repairs made being completely wrong, and all variations in between.

I'll go and see if the place resembles it's previous condition (last seen in October). I redecorated the place then and didn't notice anything, it's all a bit mysterious. I'm sort of hoping the rising damp symptoms are due to the tenant's lack of ventilation but I'm a bit in the dark.

Thanks for your help.

LandlordZONE
05-02-2009, 18:14 PM
Be very wary of damp reports - most of these surveys find problems as the producer has something to gain.
In many cases damp problems in rental properies are cause by the fact that there is insuffiecient heating and ventilation - as you say.
At this time of your the problem is most prevalent - but look to the histroy - did you have this problem with other tenants?
See this:
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/FAQ/index.php?action=artikel&cat=2&id=32&artlang=en

bunny
05-02-2009, 18:55 PM
I can give you only the benefit of my experience (I am not a damp expert) but manage two three storey victorian properties with solid brick walls.

I have had various issues, some worse than others.

I had a damp patch that was rectified purely by fixing a gutter, the hopper was leaking onto the wall.

Another damp patch, this was caused by the doorstep bridging the damp course.

Another, a bedroom that's an annex with 3 external walls and very exposed to the elements so the walls are constantly cold. It has had chronic condensation/mould. I believe it's been a long term problem albeit the old agent painted over the problem and installed a UPVC window that did not fit propertly (that would have aided ventilation!). The window was rectified, the tenants have had a dehumdifier running, they do ventilate alot and yet the problem has persisted. There was one patch that you could call "damp" not condensation close to the roof but I've had that checked by a roofer, the gutters checked and the problem persists so I believe the problem is condensation but not something the tenants can rectify. I do think the brickwork is failing outside which is contributing as the brick faces are crumbly and you can see salt deposits. So, I've bitten the bullet and had all the internal walls tanked and insulated and I'll look to deal with the brickwork when the weather improves.

I have another wall, and I still do not know what the problem is. It was stripped back to brick and replastered with plaster that should prevent damp penetrating last summer and patches are appearing where the plaster is salting again.

The damp surveys I have had done have pretty much said "condensation" every time. With the wall it said something about moisture being attracted to different plaster types or something like that and that was after having explained it had been fully replastered. They recommended removing small patches of plaster, putting in some product that's like bubble wrap and plastering over the top. It's an external wall again. Now, I was really not impressed with that all as I think the problem will just shift along. They also recommended a type of extractor fan that you fit into the roof space but on speaking to my electrician he said he is does not recommend them and is currently taking them out of council properties and they aren't cheap.

I am also not convinced at all that the wall with the salting is condensation. The tenant has the windows open nearly all day and still has the heating on. She is trying her very best, I can't fault her. I can't seem to get to the bottom of it is as the salting is well above the height you would normally see if the damp proof course had failed. So, I'm looking at getting an independant survey done and/or tanking that wall like I've done on the other. This one has driven me bonkers.

I would suggest you take a look at the full report. What are they recommending re the windows, trickle vents perhaps?

Re the damp course failing, it may have, if it's been bridged or the ground level has been raised above the damp course level. Do your tenants have furniture pushed against that wall, is it an external wall, is there a gutter nearby?

I wouldn't take what they say at face value. Get another opinion and do take a look yourself as others have said. I certainly haven't been impressed with the damp company I have used.

You also do need to consider whether it really is down to the tenant's lifestyle and don't be pushed into spending a fortune if it is unnecessary. I have had to go through that process myself and then draw conclusions. I've also done alot of research and spoken to alot of people. Some tenants just will not accept that they are causing it but to do the level of work I have done I was confident it wasn't down to the tenant.

I hope that is of some help to you. Old buildings do throw up problems!

ste_c
06-02-2009, 13:28 PM
Once again, thanks for the help.

Well the "damp report" I have received is simply a letter from a local building firm (who I have nver heard of) quoting for a new airbrick to "solve" the condensation caused by "poor circulation" in the kitchen and back room.

Then in a new paragraph they say the front room "seems to be suffering from rising damp" and they offer to "remove the skirting board" as a further inspection. I have no further information on how their conclusions were reached, nor much confidence in their thoroughness.

So it's not really a "damp survey" at all and there is no real basis of investigation as yet why there "seems" to be rising damp. In terms of building history the previous tenant never reported a problem though she was fastidious in heating the house all day and ventilating - she was a full-time mum so was at home most of the time. It looks at first glance like the current tenant's lifestyle is definitely a factor.

I'm keen to improve the circulation (would an air brick really fix that or is it a good way of raking in an easy couple of hundred quid?).

Perhaps it's best to proceed with an independent survey by an expert, though even then I suppose I'm at risk from £££ signs in their eyes.

Further thoughts welcomed. Thanks again.

Rodent1
06-02-2009, 13:31 PM
Opening windows usually resolves most problems !!!

The Rodent

ste_c
06-02-2009, 13:35 PM
Maybe the airbrick would take the problem off the T's hands - an enforced wall-mounted open window, if you like.

I suspect she's block it up because "it was draughty" ;)

Edinburgh29
07-02-2009, 08:30 AM
Once again, thanks for the help.

Well the "damp report" I have received is simply a letter from a local building firm (who I have nver heard of) quoting for a new airbrick to "solve" the condensation caused by "poor circulation" in the kitchen and back room.

Then in a new paragraph they say the front room "seems to be suffering from rising damp" and they offer to "remove the skirting board" as a further inspection. I have no further information on how their conclusions were reached, nor much confidence in their thoroughness.

So it's not really a "damp survey" at all and there is no real basis of investigation as yet why there "seems" to be rising damp. In terms of building history the previous tenant never reported a problem though she was fastidious in heating the house all day and ventilating - she was a full-time mum so was at home most of the time. It looks at first glance like the current tenant's lifestyle is definitely a factor.

I'm keen to improve the circulation (would an air brick really fix that or is it a good way of raking in an easy couple of hundred quid?).

Perhaps it's best to proceed with an independent survey by an expert, though even then I suppose I'm at risk from £££ signs in their eyes.

Further thoughts welcomed. Thanks again.

Dont waste your money, its a condensation problem caused by the lifestyle of the tenants, these problems tend to surface in the Winter due to the difference in outside temerature compared to inside, also windows will be shut, and heating on, all these things combined lead to these problems at this time of year.
Forget the air brick, the tenant would have it covered up in no time due to a cold blast of air blowing into the room.
Id bet you if the property was vacant there would be no dampness, a quick way to resolve this issue is buy yourself a dehumidifier you can get one for around 80 pounds from B&Q , this will draw all the dampness from the air and dry the walls.

Dont let them take any skirtings off, and dont waste your doe on a so called specialist survey, these guys are mostly salesmen on commision for finding or making up issues that do not exist, and they will most likely charge you to visit, these guys will be under huge pressure to generate business in the economic downturn so avoid like plague.

I Should know i used to work for one of them, i left when they turned the business into a sales targeted wage structure, i do have the damp specialist qualifications though CTIS CRDS.

Try the dehumidifier i have found this works in 99 percent of circumstances.

Cheers.

Perplexed
07-02-2009, 10:01 AM
Edinburgh29 is 100% correct: don't waste your money over something that's probably caused by your tenants' lifestyle.

Here is a useful fact sheet you may want to look at (and perhaps give a copy of to your tenants). It's entitled "Reducing Condensation in Your Home" and is very informative.

http://www.reading.gov.uk/Documents/Housing_and_Benefits/Housing%20factsheets/NScondensation.pdf

ste_c
07-02-2009, 17:08 PM
Thankyou all very much.

I think a peep behind the skirting board may be in order then.

Yes, the thing that keeps popping in my mind about this damp allegation is that this is the first time I've come across an instance of damp of any kind in the 19 years of owing that house - the previous tenant never experienced it and the last time I was in there there was no sign either. I can see how damp can manifest itself in that house as there is an external wall running the length of the rear access passageway, the wall can get very cold and there are no downstairs radiators. If you stoke up the fires and shut all the windows, hey presto, condensation.

I'll certainly print that leaflet out and pass it on. Thanks also for the de-humidifier suggestion. I'd expect this tenant to block any new airbricks as well, but that's another story. :(

You've all been very helpful, cheers.

Rodent1
07-02-2009, 19:02 PM
Thankyou all very much.

I think a peep behind the skirting board may be in order then.

.


If no problems for past 19 yrs save yourself this trouble as well !
Just print out sheet and make T aware that if they cant treat the property properly that recd cost will start from around £200 per room.


The Rodent

davidjpowell
07-02-2009, 19:36 PM
If you have rising damp, and a concrete floor, providing the walls are not visibly soaked, long term damage would be limited.

Education re condensation is probably your most cost effective soloution, providing your tenants are capeable of being educated.

Mrs Jones
08-02-2009, 03:28 AM
So, I've bitten the bullet and had all the internal walls tanked and insulated

Can you please tell me what you mean by "tanked and insulated"? I have a problem in one of my properties which is a ground floor flat in a converted victorian house. Surveyor has said problem is predominantly condensation and ventilation. I have had some remedial work done but wondered if what you have done might solve the problem once and for all.

Edinburgh29
08-02-2009, 07:06 AM
Take the skirtings off yourself and see if the plaster reaches the floor. This can bridge the damp proof course and cause rising damp. I have seen this several times and is normally a result of a person employing two different firms to do the job - one to inject, one to replaster. That is why most DPC firms make sure their guarantee excludes defective plasterwork if they are not contracted to do that work.

Yip you are spot on with this one, the guarantee from DPC Companies only covers the chemical DPC, The wall plaster which in most cases is sub contracted to the cheapest sub contractor has no guarantee.

In terms of the plaster bridging behind the skirting boards, well if the concrete floor has a DPM Below it, which it should have, then the bridgeing plaster does not matter.

ste_c
08-02-2009, 09:24 AM
You find out so much on these forums, it's incredible.

Yes I assume there's a damp proof membrane under that concrete floor of mine.

Edinburgh29
08-02-2009, 09:47 AM
You find out so much on these forums, it's incredible.

Yes I assume there's a damp proof membrane under that concrete floor of mine.


If there was not one, your property would be very very damp, so heres your options.

PLAN A.

1. Print off the article on condensation and hand it to the tenants.

2. Explain to them the damp is a result of condensation, the only way to cure this problem, is to adjust the levels of ventilation and heating in the house, this can be done by your tenants reading the leaflet and making some minor adjustments to the way they heat the property, its all there on the leaflet.

3. The last option is if they cannot head to what is on the leaflet, tell them they will have to either hire or buy a dehumidifier.

There you go , problem solved, and it wont cost you a penny.


PLAN B.


1. Pay the builder £200 pounds to install an air vent thats not required.

2. Pay for a timber specialist/Damp Surveyor £80 quid, to come out to your property, to provide you with an estimate, for a new chemical DPC, and specialist plaster works which will be provided on lovely glossy paper, with lots of useless information on it, saying if you dont get this work done, your property will colapse into a giant hole, there estimate will be at least a 4 figure sum, but hey dont worry you will get a 30 year guarantee for the works that were never required in the first place.

The choice is yours ?

It would be interesting to hear your choice.?


Drum Roll.............................................. .................................................. .................................................. ........................

Rodent1
08-02-2009, 13:19 PM
If there was not one, your property would be very very damp, so heres your options.

PLAN A.

1. Print off the article on condensation and hand it to the tenants.

2. Explain to them the damp is a result of condensation, the only way to cure this problem, is to adjust the levels of ventilation and heating in the house, this can be done by your tenants reading the leaflet and making some minor adjustments to the way they heat the property, its all there on the leaflet.

3. The last option is if they cannot head to what is on the leaflet, tell them they will have to either hire or buy a dehumidifier.

There you go , problem solved, and it wont cost you a penny.





If only life was so simple !
Great theory, but in my experience T just wont take ot on board.

The Rodent

Edinburgh29
08-02-2009, 13:27 PM
Can you please tell me what you mean by "tanked and insulated"? I have a problem in one of my properties which is a ground floor flat in a converted victorian house. Surveyor has said problem is predominantly condensation and ventilation. I have had some remedial work done but wondered if what you have done might solve the problem once and for all.


Tanking is only required when the ground level outside your property is higher than your floor level.

It is very expensive, and lots and lots of Pirates out there claiming to be experts.

One thing for sure it costs fortunes.

ste_c
08-02-2009, 17:28 PM
Hmm tricky one, Edinburgh! :D

bunny
08-02-2009, 19:18 PM
Edinburgh29, you seem to know your stuff so as a landlord what do I do when I have a damp issue causing issues? I've had a damp report I am not satisfied with, I have a problem I can't seem to resolve and so thought about getting an independent report i.e from a company who do not actually carry out the work thus more independent, but you seem not to recommend that either.

So where does that leave me? I am trying, very hard, to resolve issues in a property I took over managing with a whole host of issues. Most I have resolved but I have others that are simply not the usual condensation issue resolvable by educating the tenants.

I am not a damp expert/builder etc but I am able to research and I don't accept advice from any cowboy who offers it but I am hopelessly stuck now having looked at many angles and am going to possibly end up chucking money at the issue in the hope it works.

Any thoughts?




If there was not one, your property would be very very damp, so heres your options.

PLAN A.

1. Print off the article on condensation and hand it to the tenants.

2. Explain to them the damp is a result of condensation, the only way to cure this problem, is to adjust the levels of ventilation and heating in the house, this can be done by your tenants reading the leaflet and making some minor adjustments to the way they heat the property, its all there on the leaflet.

3. The last option is if they cannot head to what is on the leaflet, tell them they will have to either hire or buy a dehumidifier.

There you go , problem solved, and it wont cost you a penny.


PLAN B.


1. Pay the builder £200 pounds to install an air vent thats not required.

2. Pay for a timber specialist/Damp Surveyor £80 quid, to come out to your property, to provide you with an estimate, for a new chemical DPC, and specialist plaster works which will be provided on lovely glossy paper, with lots of useless information on it, saying if you dont get this work done, your property will colapse into a giant hole, there estimate will be at least a 4 figure sum, but hey dont worry you will get a 30 year guarantee for the works that were never required in the first place.

The choice is yours ?

It would be interesting to hear your choice.?


Drum Roll.............................................. .................................................. .................................................. ........................

Edinburgh29
09-02-2009, 08:21 AM
Edinburgh29, you seem to know your stuff so as a landlord what do I do when I have a damp issue causing issues? I've had a damp report I am not satisfied with, I have a problem I can't seem to resolve and so thought about getting an independent report i.e from a company who do not actually carry out the work thus more independent, but you seem not to recommend that either.

So where does that leave me? I am trying, very hard, to resolve issues in a property I took over managing with a whole host of issues. Most I have resolved but I have others that are simply not the usual condensation issue resolvable by educating the tenants.

I am not a damp expert/builder etc but I am able to research and I don't accept advice from any cowboy who offers it but I am hopelessly stuck now having looked at many angles and am going to possibly end up chucking money at the issue in the hope it works.

Any thoughts?

You will need to provide me with more information on the actual problems in the property.
Also the age of the property, and the type of property.

If you provide this information, and details i should be able to help you.

Cheers

bunny
09-02-2009, 11:56 AM
You will need to provide me with more information on the actual problems in the property.
Also the age of the property, and the type of property.

If you provide this information, and details i should be able to help you.

Cheers


Thanks Edinburgh29. I was actually getting at the points you raised about damp experts not been independent and trying to sell remedies that aren't required just to make money and wondering what the solution to that is in terms of getting a correct diagnosis.

However, without wishing to hijack the OPs thread (please move if I shouldn't post in here) my problem is as follows:

House is Victorian, solid brick construction with a DPC. The windows are single glazed.

The wall affected is an external wall. The problem was originally really bad. I had all the plaster taken off the wall back to the brick and replastered but it hasn't cured it.

There are now two patches on the wall (quite small but growing) where the plaster is salting and the paint has bubbled. (still in the same place as the original problem but not as bad). One is immediately above the radiator and the other about the same height but further along the wall. I guess the patches are no more than 1m from the floor (which is concrete). Originally the problem was like a band along the full width of the wall but it doesn't get anywhere near as high as the ceiling.

On the other side of the wall i.e. outside, the wall is part rendered up to about 1m high so I have made the link that the damp patches are appearing inside just above the height of the render. Above the render, the brickwork is painted in masonry paint but this is flaking in exactly the same places as the patches on this inside. The render does not go down to the ground i.e you can still see the DPC. If you scratch the bricks you can see salting.

The damp report said, the dampness ie the patches are attributable to condensation and the salt damage is "probably" (their words not mine) due to differential absorption.

They recommended removing the plaster where the patches are, fixing mesh behind and replastering. I am not happy with this as I think the problem will only move somewhere else. But I do need a solution so any thoughts welcome.

I have tons of photos of the problem.
thanks

Edinburgh29
09-02-2009, 12:16 PM
Thanks Edinburgh29. I was actually getting at the points you raised about damp experts not been independent and trying to sell remedies that aren't required just to make money and wondering what the solution to that is in terms of getting a correct diagnosis.

However, without wishing to hijack the OPs thread (please move if I shouldn't post in here) my problem is as follows:

House is Victorian, solid brick construction with a DPC. The windows are single glazed.

The wall affected is an external wall. The problem was originally really bad. I had all the plaster taken off the wall back to the brick and replastered but it hasn't cured it.

There are now two patches on the wall (quite small but growing) where the plaster is salting and the paint has bubbled. (still in the same place as the original problem but not as bad). One is immediately above the radiator and the other about the same height but further along the wall. I guess the patches are no more than 1m from the floor (which is concrete). Originally the problem was like a band along the full width of the wall but it doesn't get anywhere near as high as the ceiling.

On the other side of the wall i.e. outside, the wall is part rendered up to about 1m high so I have made the link that the damp patches are appearing inside just above the height of the render. Above the render, the brickwork is painted in masonry paint but this is flaking in exactly the same places as the patches on this inside. The render does not go down to the ground i.e you can still see the DPC. If you scratch the bricks you can see salting.

The damp report said, the dampness ie the patches are attributable to condensation and the salt damage is "probably" (their words not mine) due to differential absorption.

They recommended removing the plaster where the patches are, fixing mesh behind and replastering. I am not happy with this as I think the problem will only move somewhere else. But I do need a solution so any thoughts welcome.

I have tons of photos of the problem.
thanks

can you private message me please.

It sounds like you have a salt band, this means if the new wallplaster was removed and new ( salt retardent plaster ) was refitted when you had the DPC Installed, the plaster was not done high enough, when you are specifiying the heights for new plasterworks, the proper way to identify the heights required is to use a moisture meter and take the last recorded reading and allow for 600mm above the last reading.
If it is not done high enough the salts and the dampness will return just above the 1 meter height and produce salts and dampness.
A simple way to check this is to tap the plaster with your knukles at the areas of salting, if it sounds hollow, it means the plaster has lost its key to the wall, due to the salts expanding behind the plaster.
Most of these so called preservation specialist companies take the plaster 1 metre high end of story.
I Have seen this problem on loads of occasions, i actually act as a consultant to one on the major surveyors in Edinburgh, so i sort out there claims for them.
If you pm me you can send me the photos, any salts on the new plaster should be removed with a cloth right away, because these salts are Hygroscopic and will absorb moisture from the air.

All the Best.

bunny
09-02-2009, 17:20 PM
I just wanted to publicly thank Edinburgh29 who has been advising me on my damp issue off forum.

He's been very helpful.

Thanks


Perhaps Edinburgh29 you could answer this question on the forum for the benefit of others. If a landlord has a damp issue what type of organisation should they consult about it in order to diagnose the cause and who should they avoid in order not to be ripped off. (I don't mean name company names).

You saw from my issue that it's a tricky problem and I have not been overly impressed with the "professional" advice I have previously been given.

ste_c
09-02-2009, 17:36 PM
No problem "hijacking" the thread (you weren't anyway) - this is all gold dust, keep it up!

As for my damp allegations, I have just spoken to my previous tenant and she has confirmed there were no damp patches whatsoever in the house while she lived there.

She reminded me of the only moisture problem we had and that was when a guttering pipe cracked and continually spilt water onto a wall which was duly repaired and off we went.

I feel a printout of a condensation prevention note coming on.

Thanks to you all.

Edinburgh29
09-02-2009, 18:33 PM
I just wanted to publicly thank Edinburgh29 who has been advising me on my damp issue off forum.

He's been very helpful.

Thanks


Perhaps Edinburgh29 you could answer this question on the forum for the benefit of others. If a landlord has a damp issue what type of organisation should they consult about it in order to diagnose the cause and who should they avoid in order not to be ripped off. (I don't mean name company names).

You saw from my issue that it's a tricky problem and I have not been overly impressed with the "professional" advice I have previously been given.

It is so difficult to get any honest advice in the Damp industry, they rely on whats called " The doctor patent scam " seriously i have personally attended sales courses run by so called Damp and Timber specialist companies who teach there SALES MEN ( COMMISION BASED ) on how to con and swindle the un suspecting into parting with shed loads of dosh, for nothing more than old rope.

The tecnique is based on you thingking they are proffesional surveyors, so out they come with there suits on, all kinds of gadgets and machines that can be adjusted to show dampness, when in fact 99% of the time there is another problem other than rising damp.

There answer 99% of the time is to remove all your wallplaster, drill hundreds of holes , then pump toxic chemicals into the fabric of your property.

You agree because they say it needs done, in the same way the doctor tells you to take these pills, the doctor said it so it must be right.

I Left the industry years ago when they wheeled in the double glazing and photo copier sales men and gave them damp meters and sales targets.

Asides from running my property portfolio i also consult to a large surveying firm in Edinburgh dealing with damp issues, where these so called preservation outfits provide quotes for many many thousands of pounds for work that does not need done, i can honestly say that i have not been to one property where i have not caught them out, and i have nothing to loose because the surveyor firm pays me to sort out the works that do need done, so i have no vested interest in not finding problems, indeed it is actually the opposite.

I was actually at a property last November where an estimate for in excess of 20k was on the table, they had agreed for me to do this work, and pay me, not only did i not do the work, i got them completely off the hook, i could easily have done that job, but it sickens me to the back teeth what these companies are geting away with.

As to your question who can you contact for honest impartial advice on damp, well no one within the damp proofing industry would i trust, they even have there own qualifactions made up by the damp proofing industry, so if someone sticke the letter CSRT In your face just laugh, i read up a few books for a week whilst on holiday and passed that one.lol

My advice to anyone with damp issues, is get on the web, read up about damp and the causes ,there are only a few problems to look at, you actually self diagnosed the problem, and the specification you came up with was spot on, well done.

Condensation is 90% of the problems, high external ground levels also should be looked at, also look for broken gutters , downpipes, a burst underfloor pipe i have found on many occasions causing damp..

Look for cracked render, or faulty pointing that driving rain gets through, honestly its easy if you look hard enough you can identify the causes of 99% of dampness problems.

De humidifiers are fantastic i bought one that cost me over a grand, but boy the amount of problems that machine has fixed is unbeleivable, it can draw out 8 gallons of water in 24 hours priceless, you can hire them for cheap as well.

Quite often i will say to a client okay the wall is soaked, we have pointed up the wall outside, we will now dry the wall with a dehumidifier, if the damp comes back we will remove the plaster, if it does not job done.

I Have never had a call back yet doing it this way, so who do you contact ? you examine the problem and logically illuminate each possible problem one by one, till you find the problem and deal with it.

This saves you from the scam merchants who are out to robb you, watch out Damp Pirates are about, and they will pick your pocket, for a 30 year guarantee, and a glossy report.

And try and get them to honour the guarantee, and thats when they tell you the real problem, that they never fixed in the first place, but that wont be covered by the terms and conditions of there guarantee. lol.

mind the gap
09-02-2009, 19:08 PM
Really useful information and advice - many thanks.

bunny
09-02-2009, 19:13 PM
It is so difficult to get any honest advice in the Damp industry, My advice to anyone with damp issues, is get on the web, read up about damp and the causes ,there are only a few problems to look at, you actually self diagnosed the problem, and the specification you came up with was spot on, well done.

Condensation is 90% of the problems, high external ground levels also should be looked at, also look for broken gutters , downpipes, a burst underfloor pipe i have found on many occasions causing damp..

Look for cracked render, or faulty pointing that driving rain gets through, honestly its easy if you look hard enough you can identify the causes of 99% of dampness problems.

De humidifiers are fantastic

Thanks again Edinburgh. I am sure that is really useful advice for other people and forums are all about sharing.

I was wet behind the ears about damp issues having never previously owned old/older properties. However, now I manage a number of old properties I started having to deal with damp issues.

I think many people confuse damp where there is a more structural problem and condensation.

Because I was in charge of the purse strings and managing large budgets where the money belonged to someone else I felt I had a huge responsibility. I was given the trust to spend it but spend it wisely. I treat other people's houses (and money) as I would treat my own.

Every man and his dog wanted to give me advice and remedies for "curing" the different problems I have encountered. However, I wasn't going to chuck good money after bad at the problem.

So, yes, the internet became my friend. I can't tell you how many hours I have spent researching and reading about damp and condensation, the causes, the remedies etc. I have stood outside houses in the pouring rain trying to "see" what is going on and to see if this gives me a clue. :eek: I've monitored the effect of weather conditions on the interior to see if it's weather related.

Thank you for your compliment. I am no damp expert but yes, much is common sense once you know what to look for. I have learnt so much in a short space of time but this one has troubled me/driven me bonkers to be honest. However, you have confirmed that my thoughts on the remedy are not hairbrained and for that I thank you as I feel at peace now!

I have "upset" another tenant as they felt I was dilly dallying. Possibly I was to an extent but not through not wanting to sort the issue but through wanting to sort it properly and I was not happy with the specialist report and their remedy. So I've gone my own way which you seem to think it the right way and I will follow it through with the other property. Only time will tell if it has worked as it was only done last week.

Thank you once again.

Mrs Jones
09-02-2009, 20:14 PM
I too would like to thank Edinburgh29 for this extrememly useful information and also to Bunny for the information he supplied to me via PM.
Ta very muchly:D

Edinburgh29
10-02-2009, 07:50 AM
Thanks again Edinburgh. I am sure that is really useful advice for other people and forums are all about sharing.

I was wet behind the ears about damp issues having never previously owned old/older properties. However, now I manage a number of old properties I started having to deal with damp issues.

I think many people confuse damp where there is a more structural problem and condensation.

Because I was in charge of the purse strings and managing large budgets where the money belonged to someone else I felt I had a huge responsibility. I was given the trust to spend it but spend it wisely. I treat other people's houses (and money) as I would treat my own.

Every man and his dog wanted to give me advice and remedies for "curing" the different problems I have encountered. However, I wasn't going to chuck good money after bad at the problem.

So, yes, the internet became my friend. I can't tell you how many hours I have spent researching and reading about damp and condensation, the causes, the remedies etc. I have stood outside houses in the pouring rain trying to "see" what is going on and to see if this gives me a clue. :eek: I've monitored the effect of weather conditions on the interior to see if it's weather related.

Thank you for your compliment. I am no damp expert but yes, much is common sense once you know what to look for. I have learnt so much in a short space of time but this one has troubled me/driven me bonkers to be honest. However, you have confirmed that my thoughts on the remedy are not hairbrained and for that I thank you as I feel at peace now!

I have "upset" another tenant as they felt I was dilly dallying. Possibly I was to an extent but not through not wanting to sort the issue but through wanting to sort it properly and I was not happy with the specialist report and their remedy. So I've gone my own way which you seem to think it the right way and I will follow it through with the other property. Only time will tell if it has worked as it was only done last week.

Thank you once again.

Your specification is 100 % the right one, i have used this method on numeroius properties where the problem was severe, and never had a call back.
I am amazed you figured it out without training, the only possibly addition to your specification would be to add insulation in front of the cdm membrane, and behind the plasterboard, ie in between the timber framing, this will warm the wall, also make sure you use foil backed plasterboard, apart from that you were 95% there.

Edinburgh29
10-02-2009, 08:11 AM
I just wanted to publicly thank Edinburgh29 who has been advising me on my damp issue off forum.

He's been very helpful.

Thanks


Perhaps Edinburgh29 you could answer this question on the forum for the benefit of others. If a landlord has a damp issue what type of organisation should they consult about it in order to diagnose the cause and who should they avoid in order not to be ripped off. (I don't mean name company names).

You saw from my issue that it's a tricky problem and I have not been overly impressed with the "professional" advice I have previously been given.

One last point on Damp and Timber specialist companies, i met a client a good few years ago now, who had a damp problem, it turned out he worked as a sales manager for a double glazing company ( he told me this later so when i first met him i did not know this )
Anyway this guy un beknown to me had called out every damp and timber specialist company in the yellow pages, 36 reports and estimates he got on the problem.
I never knew this fact till he called me back for a meeting, he showed me all the different reports and estimates, which varied from 200 pounds to 20 thousand pounds.
He went ahead with my quote, we done the work and i still keep in touch with him.
This just shows you not one of the other 35 quotes correctly diagnosed the problem, some of the works they were specifying were outragous, and cost a fortune.
So as a property owner and Landlord dont be caught out, logically look at the problem and im pretty sure you will conclude what the problem is, and fix it at the most cost effective way.