Damp or condensation!

Found 18th Dec 2007
Not exactly a rivetting conversation-starter I know but thought I might try and tap into HUKD's collective experience and knowledge!

Bedroom wall which faces outside has developed in the last couple of weeks the following:

- Black and green blotches along the top and along the bottom near the ceiling and floor respectively.
- Wall very cold and feels damp.
- Has a few 'bubbles' under the think wallpaper.
- Seems particularly blotchy and cold around window, and bottom of window has water puddle.
- And worst of all, the room is soooooooooooo cooooooooooooold! Put central heating and a little portable heater on full blast for hours on end and still unbearably cold in there.

What does this sound like to people? I thought damp but my landlord's 'uncle' has apparently checked it all out and tested it but says its just condensation which he said is common in old terraced houses and I need to air the room more.

Only this wall and only this room and apparently no problem last winter. Been very rainy and cold lately.

Cheers! Andy
Community Updates
sounds like bad condensation to me. i once lived in an old terrace house studio flat and the condensation was terrible. we used to have to put rolled up tea towels at the bottom of the windows and wring them out every couple of hours.
it sounds as if this condensation of yours may have caused damage to the surrounding walls. i would get it checked out by a pro so you cant be blamed for the damage.
hope this helps
happy christmas:santa:
Can you check to see if there is any problems with the roof? If there is a hole water will be running down the wall and ceiling and the draught might be why its so cold....?
once you have found out what the problem is best bet is to get a dehumidifier(choose a good one not a cheap option e.g.Ebac) and run it in the room for a couple of days
either a leak from above or water condensing/not evaporating away as it's so cold. Get some good heating in there and some good ventilation. make sure there are no leaks from above. Don't expect it to properly dry out for a good few weeks tho!
water is probably running down inside the wall.its probably roof leak or gutter overflowing..it will only get worse.best to get it checked asap before it gets totally out of hand.
If it is a water leak you will notice 'wave marks' on the walls. The locations of the problem areas you describe definately point towards condensation (condensation always attracts itself to the coldest areas). The windows are also a giveaway and the water is more than likely from condensation.

Is the heating OK in the rest of the house? Sounds as if the rad in the room is undersized.
If possible, please post some pictures or PM the pictures to me. May get a better idea on the causes of the problems.
I'd also say it sounds like bad condensation causing damp, for now air the room whenever possible and like suggested use a good dehumidifier. A leak either roofing or guttering would be more concentrated on one particular area, whereas this is more widespread on the one wall suggesting condensation, because its an outside wall it is naturally colder so attracts more condensation. Make sure also there is no furniture against that wall so as it can breathe. Be careful that curtains are no longer than neccessary too as they will get damp and possibly become mouldy. I had similar problem in a previous rented old terrace property to such an extent that it was only the wallpaper holding the plaster to the wall when the landlord came to check it out as soon as he moved one piece of wallpaper to check the whole wall started crumbling. If its a good landlord its in their interest to sort out any problems like this as the longer something is left the more costly it becomes, luckily I had a good landlord, but if you live in the Chesterfield/Alfreton area beware of a landord with the initials D R as he leaves problems like this which I cannot understand as he is a builder so has his own team, but lets things get too bad and cost more in the long run.
I would initially check your gutter to see if it has a blockage. Seems strange that it has only started happening. Lots of roof leaks take time to work their way through to a point where it shows.
Thanks for all the replies guys, really appreciated, rep left to all.:thumbsup:

Shall get some photos online later to see if that pinpoints it.

Errr what would the relevant profession for checking this out?:oops:

Thanks for all the replies guys, really appreciated, rep left to … Thanks for all the replies guys, really appreciated, rep left to all.:thumbsup:Shall get some photos online later to see if that pinpoints it.Errr what would the relevant profession for checking this out?:oops:

Any decent bwpda.co.uk/ accredited damp proof company can tell you if it is damp or condensation. We have a superb one in the souteast called Swiftcure, but they only cover the south east (as far as I am aware). They will more than likely use a Protimeter in the first instance (dampness meter), which can tell you if moisture is present on the surface of the wall.

Post the pictures on, and it will give me a fair idea. Usually patches of mould growth (in the areas you mention) do indicate condensation.

Ensure that when you are bathing/showering you shut the door and open the window in the bathroom/kitchen. Try to leave windows open (even if its just a small amount. Some UPVc windows have trickle vents at the top of the window, ensure these are open.

Three things cause condensation and they are:

Lack of ventilation

Extra humidity in the air (caused by bathing, cooking, drying clothes inside, not venting tumble driers outside etc)

A lack of heating

If you have all three of these, you will have problems. If these problems are addressed, it will clear up. I would try to stick to these, make sure the walls/celilings are dry and clean off with a mild bleach solution. If you want to redecorate, use anti-fungal emulsion to help stop any re-growth.

Hope this helps!
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