Flat with leaking roof, and now mould problems.

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    Flat with leaking roof, and now mould problems.

    I am the leaseholder of a flat that is just over 2 years old.
    When I viewed the property in approximately Feb last year, I was told of a known issue with a leak in the kitchen, but that this would be fully rectified before my purchase went through.
    On move in day I could see that a repair had been done, but could also see further damage since then.
    After complaining on a weekly basis, and 3 'repairs', finally the 4th repair to the roof has worked (so far!)
    Now I'm looking for the internal problems to be sorted by the HA that own the freehold/the original builders who had the problem reported to them under the defect period.
    This includes rectifying cracks, a slight sag in my ceiling, and some mould that is coming through.
    I've been told that they will simply paint with a mould resistant paint and nothing more.
    I am not happy with this, as I've been told by the builder that the ceiling is 'double plasterboard', and I've been shown a picture from inside the loft of black mould over a 3 sqft area.
    This says to me that with the ceiling, plasterboard, felt etc etc in my roof/ceiling being wet for so long that the mould could be quite extensive.
    Can I insist on a more thorough fix to the problem, or at least a second opinion on the correct solution (an independent one maybe)?
    P.S. I am also worried about the health implications of the mould, as I know I am allergic to certain spores.

    #2
    Is this the same flat as in your other threads (non-LONG LEASEHOLD)? If so, which ones?
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      I am unsure as to what you are referring to Jeffrey, I purchased this flat last year and have never posted about it before.

      Comment


        #4
        No, that's OK- I just wanted to verify whether answers to your other threads would relate here too.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          While this may be comig from the outside either introducing water or reducing the temperature, which many be the cause or contributing to it, you have what appears to be a problem with interstitial condensation.

          Double boarding is a crude attempt to prevent moisture from the kitchen penetrating the void. It should be cured by improving the extract from the kitchen, even opening a window for the time being, and if that is still insufficient treating the void with insulation, adding a vapour barrier, sealed with tuck tape and acoustic sealant, or venting the void, before replastering. This prevents a cold area for the water vapour in the warm air to seek out. The exact mix depends on your property and they need a qualifed surveyor to view, but this is quite specilaised so it is not an area that every builder or your average HA surveyor fully understands how to resolve. Especially when being told not to spend money....

          Mould resistant paint will likely not do it.

          Use the formal complaints process, and insist on the area being opened up, and the local authority to enforce repair as mould, especially in a concealed area which cannot be treated without access, is a health hazard.
          Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

          Comment


            #6
            I can assure you that the ventilation in this flat is very good. Being on the top floor of the block, the flat is always warm, therefore even in the cold weather at the moment, a window is left open in the open plan lounge/kitchen/diner almost all day, and most of the night. The window and extractor are also used every time we cook to keep the temperature down.

            I have asked for the builder to put his solution in writing, so that I have something to contest when going through the formal complaints procedure.

            I would like to try any other means to get this resolved though, as I have been through this for months now, constant complaints and letter writing. The worry does take it's toll over time.

            Comment


              #7
              Then the issue is the vapour getting into the void. It needs to be sealed and insulated to prevent this.
              Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

              Comment


                #8
                The first thing to remember is that mould does not "come through", it forms on the surface of a damp thing under certain conditions. You say that there is mould on the other side of the ceiling plasterboard (in the roof space). It seems to me that this is likely to be as a result of the leak rather than condensation and you are probably correct in that it will be between the boards as well. You / they will need a surveyor with a damp meter to determine the moisture content of the plasterboard. If it is still wet they will have to either dry it out (which won't be easy if it is double boarded) or remove and replace it. Mould resistant paint is only appropriate where the ceiling is completely dry.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Tulula View Post
                  The first thing to remember is that mould does not "come through", it forms on the surface of a damp thing under certain conditions. You say that there is mould on the other side of the ceiling plasterboard (in the roof space). It seems to me that this is likely to be as a result of the leak rather than condensation and you are probably correct in that it will be between the boards as well. You / they will need a surveyor with a damp meter to determine the moisture content of the plasterboard. If it is still wet they will have to either dry it out (which won't be easy if it is double boarded) or remove and replace it. Mould resistant paint is only appropriate where the ceiling is completely dry.
                  Sorry T but with a void under such a flat roof with no insulation this is a very common problem. She has two mould issues, in the kitchen due to cold wet surfaces on the ceiling, and two mould in the void causes by warm moist air seeking out the coldest spot.

                  This may be made worse by water penetration, or high levels of moisture in the structure, and should be investigated. It is however most likely a case of intersticial condensation resolved with ventilation to the void, insulation and a vapour barrier under new plasterboard in the kitchen.

                  The colder weather and it's longevity highlights this sort of problem found more commonly in colder climes.
                  Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I am quite familiar with condensation, I disagree that the problem here can be written off quite so easily as being such.

                    Who said it was a flat roof?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Tulula View Post
                      I am quite familiar with condensation, I disagree that the problem here can be written off quite so easily as being such.

                      Who said it was a flat roof?
                      You may have misread the post. I was referring back the thread title, and as the Op has stated the mould affects a large area of the ceiling on the upper side.

                      I have not wrtten it off as not being a leak, I have allowed for it to be a leak and/or high moisture content in the structure, as well as a condensation issuse. In flat as well as pitched, a common problem is inadequate ventilation of these areas, which is also one reason why mould arising from an old leak, has not cleared away and dried out. Intersticial condensation is far from easy or writing it off. A simple leak would be very easy to address!
                      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yes, there was a leak in the roof for a period of over 12 months, I have spent a lot of time getting this fixed and still having problems. This is now the 3rd fix they say will work and I'm really hoping it stops the stream of water dripping from my ceiling when the weather is bad.
                        It is however, not a flat roof, apologies for not being clearer.
                        Currently, the ceiling does not feel wet but does feel cold to the touch compared to the rest of the ceiling.
                        There is White mould internally, and the picture I was shown has black mould inside the roofspace on the other side of the boards.
                        I have had this issue looked at by no less than three 'surveyors' from the HA, their contractors and the original builder. Each comes up with a different answer, and each takes forever to submit a report (or refuses in one case), and each 'repair' then takes months, only to fail a short time later. So I am running short of patience with all of them.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Well ok then it's time to call in the local authority, or your own qualified building surveyor see RICS.org, and take action via the housing disrepair protocol.

                          If you use the HA formal complaint procedure thay appoint an independant external consultant.

                          That said I was on site yesterday and one of my staff had arranged a roof repair. Roofer came to the site office to call in and say that he had completed it and to get the estate managers signature. Having seen him earlier I introduced myself, took the sheet the EM and the roofer back up and he rapidly accepted that what he had done was a "bodge" and not what was on the order sheet. He thought that 9 floors up no one would ever check....
                          Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks LHA the quick replies are much appreciated, I will go back through the HA Complaints procedure again.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I have returned home from work today to find that my ceiling is soaked once more, and water is running down the wall. So clearly the 'fix' that the builder/roofer implemented has failed.
                              I have entered yet another formal complaint to the HA.

                              Can anyone advise of an approximate cost to myself in order to obtain an independent survey of the issue?

                              Also, I feel at this stage is it reasonable to request a modest amount of compensation from the HA for the sheer amount of time that I have had to spend chasing up their incompetence. Not to mention the cost of my phone bill when I have to ring them as much as 15 times a week, and the time off work every time they send another person round to 'take a look'. Am I within my rights to do this, and is it a reasonable request?

                              Comment

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