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Mould / Damp Issue In Bedroom

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The house that we rent has a damp / mould issue in the master bedroom. It is caused by poor damp proofing on the outside wall (it's a bungalow so the bedroom is at ground level), and exacerbated by the fact that the room gets very little natural light or air movement.

In previous years, it has only been a problem at the end of the long wet summers, and has gone away after a couple of weeks of central heating. This year it seems markedly worse for some reason, and it is really starting to affect me quite badly. It causes me to have very itchy eyes and blocked sinuses, which is a nightmare at the moment as I'm working from home.

Previously we have removed all the furniture and washed the walls down on warm days, although this was only done recently and doesn't seem to have made much difference this time around. Does anyone have any ideas how to go about reducing the problem? I know the solution is to get the damp problem fixed or to move house, but I'm after something that will bring some more immediate relief.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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If you're suggesting I try to stop it raining, that is a little beyond my abilities :)

If it's just rain that causes the damp then move.

Single skinned property? Move.

Does it need repointing?

If it's a gutter overflowing or a drainpipe leaking then ask the LL to get it sorted.

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Are you sure it is a damp issue and not a condensation issue? Warm air, hitting a cold north facing wall perhaps. The optimum temperature for condensing air is around 60 degrees. If that were the case, ventilation or a dehumidifier might help.

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Are you sure it is a damp issue and not a condensation issue? Warm air, hitting a cold north facing wall perhaps. The optimum temperature for condensing air is around 60 degrees. If that were the case, ventilation or a dehumidifier might help.

That's much more the sort of thing I was looking for, thank you :)

I don't think it is condensation, as the windows don't seem to be affected. But it would be worth trying a dehumidifier to see if it helps.

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Go and take a photo of the outside bit of affected wall.

I'm not a structural engineer, but I wouldn't have thought rain would be the cause of internal damp unless you have a guttering problem or a cracked tile etc

EDIT: You need to get it sorted really, mould can be a health hazard.

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I'm not a structural engineer, but I wouldn't have thought rain would be the cause of internal damp unless you have a guttering problem or a cracked tile etc

EDIT: You need to get it sorted really, mould can be a health hazard.

Let's eliminate everything we can.

It did actually take a snow melting day before we noticed we had a very minor gutter issue. The rain makes it hard to see where the problem is, and short of putting a hosepipe on the roof to show the gutters work it's tricky if it's not obvious.

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The outside wall is not on our property, although the landlord did actually check it and could see nothing wrong with the guttering etc (I trust him, he's more of a friend than a LL).

I will have another look when I can get round there, but in the meantime I think I'll try a dehumidifier or an air purifier. I'm really after something that I can use to quickly alleviate the worst of the symptoms because I don't want to have to take anti-histamines just so I can see where Im going :(

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The outside wall is not on our property, although the landlord did actually check it and could see nothing wrong with the guttering etc (I trust him, he's more of a friend than a LL).

I will have another look when I can get round there, but in the meantime I think I'll try a dehumidifier or an air purifier. I'm really after something that I can use to quickly alleviate the worst of the symptoms because I don't want to have to take anti-histamines just so I can see where Im going :(

The construction of the bungalow might give a clue. A pre 1960 double brick wall is liable to be cold and provide a contrast with the room temperature and cause condensation. Less likely if it were a modern block internal skin as they are more thermally efficient.

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We have a damp bedroom (north facing ground floor room in an old stone house) and we use a dehumidifier to keep it under control. We got the biggest most powerful machine we could sensibly afford and it just sits there purring away every now and again. Watch out because a lot of consumer machines are low-spec so work hard and noisily for not much effect.

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I've just had quite an enlightening conversation with the people who sell this thing

The only downside is that it has two UV light outlets on it which I doubt make it suitable for a bedroom. So I am going to see them tomorrow to see what other alternatives they have available. Quite honestly I'm not worried what it costs - my health is worth whatever it takes.

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You can get anti-mould bathroom/kitchen paint which is pretty good. Humans, and pets, pump out a surprising amount of water vapour which can condense against cold walls/ceilings - especially in sleeping areas.

Ventilation will also help. I try and get a few windows open for a hour each day. Similarly, if your bathroom gets steamed up after baths/showers - make sure it's ventilated/extractor fan but close the door so the steam doesn't get in the rest of the house.

I had massive problems with this (and allergies) in my last house as it was cold as anything and nearly all of windows couldn't be opened.

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I've had problems with this.

It's caused either by damp (rising, penetrating or falling) or condensation.

Check the walls, inside and out. If there is any water ingress or stains at the top, that's falling damp and caused by a leaky roof or guttering.

If there's discolouration, flaking etc on the bottom of the all, about a foot high, that's rising damp, caused by a breached damp proof course (or a non-existent one, in pre-1914 or so buildings).

Check the pointing or stucco/pebbledash outside, is it broken or breached? Are there any bushes, trees, junk etc causing water to bridge into the building? If so that's penetrating damp.

NB don't start peeling off wallpaper - if you have damp you're liable to have blown plaster as well - be careful.

If any of the above apply, then get someone in to treat it, but get several quotes for different types of treatment.

If none of the above apply, it's probably condensation. This is common in older houses with single ply walls, or where there is cold bridging such as with steel framed windows or pipework. (Cold bridging is when something cold, usually metal like a pipe, conducts lower temperatures from outside into the house, causing condensation; like bringing a cold beer out of the fridge). It can also be caused by high humidity in the home from cooking, kettles, showers etc and poor ventilation. Try to eliminate all sources of cold bridging and excess humidity and ventilate properly - keep air circulating through the home even in winter. Move furniture etc away from outside walls to prevent build up of damp behind it.

Easiest thing to do is get a dehumidifier - a good one works wonders. I had condensation from a single-ply, north facing wall in my flat which acted as a huge condenser and rotted the wallpaper and plaster off. A builder gave me the all clear from damp, so I bought a dehumidifier and ran it for about three hours in the evening, and the problem disappeared. It also makes the room feel warmer because the air is dryer.

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1. Good air circulation should help.

2. An air dehumidifier should help.

3. There is a product that you can paint on prepared affected walls to help stop water seeping through.

4. You can buy anti fungal cleaner, also bleach is good to help stop fungus growing.

5. Check all outside pipes and guttering to see water isn't leaking and dripping down outside walls.

6. If you can keep heating on low in rooms with high humidity for a little time in the day.

7. If you do have rising damp/penetrating damp, the best way is to strip plaster to about 1 to 2 meters from the ground, treat and re-plaster.

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We had penetrating damp issues arising from a poorly constructed flat porch roof that came with the house we bought so had a new 'pointy' one installed. Unfortunately having been neglected by the previous owners (landlord) the bricks are now shot through and heavy rain can still be a problem though this is kept in check by a dehumidifier (compressor type).

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Well, I've just got back from the shop and returned with one of the things I linked to earlier. The lights are a bit of an issue but we found a way to get around that. If it's even 50% as good as they claim, then I'll be a very happy man, and if not, it'll be going back.

The more posts I read on this the more I think it may be condensation after all. I've also bought some sprays to help us get rid od any mould that we can see, so I will let you know how I get on.

The new machine is currently screwed to the wall and looking very spaces age in the dark. It's a 10/10 for looking the business anyway :)

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Well, I've just got back from the shop and returned with one of the things I linked to earlier. The lights are a bit of an issue but we found a way to get around that. If it's even 50% as good as they claim, then I'll be a very happy man, and if not, it'll be going back.

The more posts I read on this the more I think it may be condensation after all. I've also bought some sprays to help us get rid od any mould that we can see, so I will let you know how I get on.

The new machine is currently screwed to the wall and looking very spaces age in the dark. It's a 10/10 for looking the business anyway :)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that doesn't dehumidify, does it? I used something similar for a while, which did lessen the 'musty' smell in my flat but didn't stop the damp. A dehumidifier removed the damp and left the air smelling reasonably fresh as well.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but that doesn't dehumidify, does it? I used something similar for a while, which did lessen the 'musty' smell in my flat but didn't stop the damp. A dehumidifier removed the damp and left the air smelling reasonably fresh as well.

I was wondering about that. Surely kill the condensation and the mould wont be there to kill.

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Yes, you're right - I have a small dehumidifier that is also going in the room now. But this thing is awesome. I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised but am truly delighted with it. The smell began disappearing after just a few hours, and today we have literally stripped the room, wiped everything down with some fungal sprays, and now hopefully those things in combination will at least work as a temporary solution.

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Don't think anyone has mentioned the floor as yet.

Is it concrete with proper membrane down?

Or is it suspended on wooden floorboards? does it have airbricks on at least two walls if this is the case.

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You can get anti-mould bathroom/kitchen paint which is pretty good. Humans, and pets, pump out a surprising amount of water vapour which can condense against cold walls/ceilings - especially in sleeping areas.

Ventilation will also help. I try and get a few windows open for a hour each day. Similarly, if your bathroom gets steamed up after baths/showers - make sure it's ventilated/extractor fan but close the door so the steam doesn't get in the rest of the house.

I had massive problems with this (and allergies) in my last house as it was cold as anything and nearly all of windows couldn't be opened.

I used Dulux bathroom/kitchen paint years ago and believe me it held back an immense amount of mould from a leaky shack roof.

Water tends to find it's way to the lowest coldest part of a house, it did at my old place anyway.

Ventilation is often overlooked, and water vapour from humans/pets as you say. Leaving the sprouts boiling in a saucepan with no lid on would cause excess water over time.

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