Whether you are a homeowner or a tenant, this problem that effects houses old and new is a pain. But what I always say about property is that whatever the problem there is a solution.
So why do so many properties be they owned or rented have a damp, mould or condensation problem? Well there are lots of reasons for these problems to occur.
In simple terms, water getting into the fabric of the building is a big contributor. This can be easy to fix as classic problems are a leaking roof, guttering which is broken and so when it rains water pours down the walls or things like blocked or collapsed drains can end up causing damp in walls.
When you have rising damp this can be more difficult to fix. Firstly you have to have it diagnosed properly. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make. They call in a builder or plumber they know and these guys shouldn’t be going anywhere near the job at all. They aren’t surveyors and rarely identify the problem properly, nor do they apply the correct fixes.
If for example, you have a rising damp problem, this could be due to all sorts of things. It could be a problem with vegetation around the house, it could be the damp proof course has failed, all of which needs to be diagnosed properly. Sorting out vegetation is easy.
A new damp proof course not only costs thousands (but well done is worth every penny) you also have to have all the plaster stripped off up to a good metre and then once the damp proof course is fitted, you’ll need to make sure that the wall has six months to ‘dry out’ and then re-plaster. Often when re-plastering you will need to add in special solution to deal with things like salt that gets into the walls with the damp. If you don’t the plaster will bubble up – I know this from bitter experience!
Watch our latest video from the Greater London Authority. Yes it’s for the London Rental Standard ie landlords, but whether you are a landlord, tenant or homeowner, this is an incredibly useful few minutes to know more about this horrible issue that affects our homes – and our health.
Many landlords I talk to do think that if it’s condensation causing problems, then that’s the tenants fault and to some extent yes it is, so as the video suggests opening windows and drying clothes outside can help. But in the midst of winter, this advice isn’t particularly practical.
Even if it is condensation caused by tenants, as the video and advice suggests, you are still responsible to sort it, especially if it’s an elderly, sick person or a family with young kids as the mould and damp can make them very poorly. Companies such as Envirovent are the best to contact over these situations as they will help you find a solution which works.
And don’t forget we work with one of the top damp solving experts who can identify and fix the problem for you, and if you are a landlord, be warned, not solving it properly can cost you dearly!