Another post about Winter damp and condensation - sorry!

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    Another post about Winter damp and condensation - sorry!

    I realised very soon after moving in, that there would be likely be a problem (the house had been repainted upstairs but not in the inch space behind where the blinds were fitted - black mould, and the one wallpapered room had the paper peeling back around the windows where they had papered over the black mould).

    I must have read most of the posts (and links) on this subject, but..... do I really have to wipe and dry down the windows every day? Will this stop the walls around the window from getting worse? Is there no alternative?

    All the upstairs windows are left open on the trickle(?)catch - although not too happy about this as there are no locks. No washing is dried in the house - I have a tumble drier in the garage. Although not a terribly cold house, the heating is on to keep the house at an ambient temperature.

    I did notice that the black mould is also on the outside of the windows, plus nearly all of the windows in the house have broken down double glazing - the plus side is that I do not have to clean the windows, as you can't see out of them anyway

    #2
    Is the cause of the dampness condensation as a result of a non-structural issue, or do you think the condensation is caused as a result of structural failure?

    If the double glazing has failed and is causing the condensation then it could be argued that the Landlords failure to repair the windows is a causation of the condensation.
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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      #3
      Thanks MrJohnnyB, from what I had read up, I thought it was just a case of some houses suffer from this problem. It did not really occur to me that it might be because of the double glazing failing. The windows do get very wet, and condense around the edge of the windows (all around) there are black (and some red) mould patches around the inside of the window recess, but there is a definite damp water patch on the top corners of the walls around one window. Do you think it worthwhile me getting a window fitter in to have a look?

      Comment


        #4
        Check the gutters first. They shouldn't be overflowing down the walls outside.

        Are the ground floor rooms OK?

        Comment


          #5
          Condensation occurs where moisture condenses on a cold surface, there is some myth that all condensation falls to the tenant, in my opinion it doesn't. If the windows are no longer giving the insulation they require then undoubtedly they will make the situation worse.

          Also as Sad S says, water cascading down the front of the building will cause major issues, if it is a multi let property then the requirement to clear the gutters will fall on the landlord. Bricks are porous they breath and allow water through, if the surface of the brickwork is regularly damp then this will undoubtedly cause issues!
          [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Sad S
            The ground floor rooms are not nearly as bad as upstairs. Having looked outside, the top of the window is level with the eaves, so the inside wall goes up into the roof. I asked for the guttering to be cleared within a few weeks of moving in, as the neighbour had complained that it was pouring off onto their land, but this was at the front of the house and the worse damp is at the back. I am waiting to hear if the roofer also cleared the guttering at the back of the house.

            Comment


              #7
              It does sound like the glazing units have blown. One of my houses had windows like you describe and two of the windows actually had water in between the glass sheets. They looked like fish tanks!

              Ask your landlord if the windows guarantee is still running and could he use that to replace the units.

              I think the red mould is very toxic so bleach it off immediately. And look it up on the internet just to be sure.

              Comment


                #8
                Don't panic! I just looked up the mould is not definitely toxic.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by librarylady View Post
                  Hi Sad S
                  The ground floor rooms are not nearly as bad as upstairs. Having looked outside, the top of the window is level with the eaves, so the inside wall goes up into the roof. I asked for the guttering to be cleared within a few weeks of moving in, as the neighbour had complained that it was pouring off onto their land, but this was at the front of the house and the worse damp is at the back. I am waiting to hear if the roofer also cleared the guttering at the back of the house.
                  Before anything else, take the roofer's report on the condition of the roof and the rainwater goods. However, if the latter is responsible for the problem, it's relatively simple to fix.

                  (It's not clear when you moved in, nor whether it was you who asked the roofer to come round.)

                  Leaves will have come down in October and November, so gutters may have been clear when you moved in, but do need clearing now. Another problem is gutters coming apart at the joints, including where they join the downpipes.

                  I rather think that routine clearing of the gutters is the tenant's responsiblity. Fixing slipped tiles, cracked felt on flat roof, or rainwater goods coming apart should be done by landlord.

                  Good luck.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks for the advice Berlingogirl, I have cleaned the worst of the mould off and keep wiping it down each day or two as it comes back. The windows really are shocking, there is water dripping down inside them and tide marks from previous drips.

                    Sad S - I moved in the summer, just before we had horrendous rain. There was a leak in the bathroom airing cupboard (which ruined quite a bit of my stored bedding). I reported this, as when I moved the rest of my bedding and towels out of the cupboard, there was a direct route for the water to get to the electric switch for the shower pump. The roofer came and we chatted. He mentioned that he had done work before and knew the guttering needed to be cleared, and that he would do it while he patched the roof. I wouldn't think the guttering has become clogged during our tenancy, but have to say the back of the house is in a pretty grim state. From what I can gather, the LL does not do maintenance unless forced. I had a visit from a previous tenant (from 7 years ago) who said the windows were in the same state then.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      condensation in the window reveals is normally down to cold bridging - this is where the construction of the property does not correctly isolate the exterior brickwork from the interior.

                      Solid brick walls are hard to do - but the sash windows used to be sat completely inside the brickwork (behind exterior brick) - and when normally replaced they are set to the front of brick to give a window sill, creating a very cold area for condensate to form.

                      Cavity walls sometimes have a brick closed cavity, and even a insulated cavity closer needs the window siting over the cavity by around 35mm to stop cold bridging.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        the-smiths I'm not sure I understand that first sentence as the glass units are sealed units. I think OP means inbetween the panes of glass.

                        As I said my tenant had a 'fishtank' effect which was rectified by replacing the glazed unit.

                        I understand what you say about solid brick walls and DG set too far forward - I suffer from that, .... well my house does!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          the-smiths, thanks for the comments, I had to get someone to draw me a picture of what you meant about cold bridging

                          At the moment I am not sure if it is a problem with the fitting of the windows, the breaking down of the units, cold bridging or overflowing/broken guttering. I am still waiting to hear from the landlord (I was not given the roofers details), and do not expect a response anytime soon - I am still waiting for a response to my request to have a fire fitted in the lounge in time for Christmas!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sorry, cold bridging is around the window - and is dependent on where the window is set in the reveal.

                            Fishtank glass would only lead to condensation on the glass (due to loss of insulating properties), not affecting the reveals at all as the glass is isolated from the wall by the window frame.

                            If walls are wet then most likely it is gutter/leak - as that puts large amounts of water in very quickly, the other will just encourage condensation and mould growth that way.

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