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jmurray01

Cause for concern?

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Following on from my previous thread about my neighbour's houses, I have a slight issue with my own... :ohmy:

Opened the built-in wardrobe door to find this in the top corner!

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The bedroom on the other end of the house (terraced) has the same marks on the corner also.

Should I just paint over it and ignore it or is it worth investigating?  The house is owned so maybe covered under insurance if it is a serious issue? 

To be honest I did notice it a year ago but it wasn't as bad then so I turned a blind eye, but now it is looking slightly more serious...

I haven't gone into the loft to look yet but I think they cemented around the bottom at one point (where skirting boards would go if converted to a room) so could just be lack of ventilation?  The neighbour next door said he had a major issue of damp in what would be adjacent to that where water actually started dripping but they "sealed" that :confused:

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looks like water ingress. Is there any water pipes in the wall or up in the loft? Is there a cracked or broken slate on the roof above the area? Looks like it's coming from the corner under the ceiling, you ought to get up in the loft and see if you can trace it back, in both properties.

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28 minutes ago, Milkman said:

looks like water ingress. Is there any water pipes in the wall or up in the loft? Is there a cracked or broken slate on the roof above the area? Looks like it's coming from the corner under the ceiling, you ought to get up in the loft and see if you can trace it back, in both properties.

Problem is the people my grandparents rented the house to before removed the floor boards from the loft (don't ask why!) so I'd have to balance myself on the joists hence my hesitancy to go up there but I probably need to as you say.  There aren't any water pipes there I know that for sure and from the exterior the slates are all fine so I'm thinking just moisture given it has only worsened slightly over 12 months and it is the same as the opposite side of the house but at the other side (also no water pipes).

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Have you had cavity wall insulation done? If so it can transfer the damp from out to in I did and I had no end of problems .you’ll have to get in the loft it could be that the loft insulation is packed to tight in the corner not allowing it to breathe from under the slates/soffit My loft went moldy as well it’s not always a good idea sealing everything up 

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Is there any central heating in either property? It could be that humid moist air is rising to that point, condensing on the wall and going mouldy or, the air circulating in the houses can't ventilate. if you called in a damp expert they would probably be able to tell you what's going on.

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Given that it is the same on both sides and assuming that the houses are not stepped or staggered then that mould growth is likely to be caused by a combination of lack of air movement combined with poorly insulated walls, the heating system and poor detailing at the Eaves/Party Wall and Gutter detail.

It would be a good idea to at least open the Loft hatch and shine a torch to check that the Rafter and Ceiling Tie ends have not started to rot if it is safe for you to do so. 

You can get paint that covers stains but it is expensive. I would wash it with a weak bleach solution and try ordinary emulsion first.

Your photo in the other thread may have been the councils' attempt to solve a similar problem on your neighbours houses with ventilation. If you manage to get a better photo of the pipes I will have another look.

 

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44 minutes ago, Tizer said:

Given that it is the same on both sides and assuming that the houses are not stepped or staggered then that mould growth is likely to be caused by a combination of lack of air movement combined with poorly insulated walls, the heating system and poor detailing at the Eaves/Party Wall and Gutter detail.

It would be a good idea to at least open the Loft hatch and shine a torch to check that the Rafter and Ceiling Tie ends have not started to rot if it is safe for you to do so. 

You can get paint that covers stains but it is expensive. I would wash it with a weak bleach solution and try ordinary emulsion first.

Your photo in the other thread may have been the councils' attempt to solve a similar problem on your neighbours houses with ventilation. If you manage to get a better photo of the pipes I will have another look.

 

That's the thing my neighbour's house is stepped down slightly as these are terraced houses on a hill.  Maybe just a coincidence then or it could still be an issue where the walls/roofs meet. 

I'll try and get a better picture of the pipes on the other houses but that's a good point that could have been their solution to poor ventilation, but mine and my neighbour's were probably bought from the council before they did it to ours!

Will also check up in the loft best I can.

Thanks for your help so far!

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My guess would be water ingress from the roof or surrounding piping. Regular condensation won't cause that, unless you are creating steam in your room non-stop or something

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This is the other room I was talking about (at the back of the house on the corner where it meets the other neighbour's property).

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36 minutes ago, jmurray01 said:

That's the thing my neighbour's house is stepped down slightly as these are terraced houses on a hill.  Maybe just a coincidence then or it could still be an issue where the walls/roofs meet. 

I would put money on it being a leak that point where their roof meets your wall. 
 

Get some boards to put down in the loft (loft boards are cheap) even temporarily so that you can investigate properly. I would imagine you will find that when it’s raining the brickworks is slick with water very gradually working it’s way down. It may even be so slight that it’s difficult to see, but you will feel somewhere with your hand that it’s wet. 
 

Address the source of the water, and then clean the mould off the wall as best you can. Then seal the plasterboard with a solution of PVA glue and water painted on liberally and then you can paint it over. However only do that once you’ve found and dealt with the source of the water!

I had this in my first house where the flashings around the chimney breast were leaky. Water ran down the chimney brickwork which had been plastered over and came through the walls.
 

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It could 'just' be leaking guttering? Definitely needs looking at sooner rather than later I would say. Any local builders/odd job man that you know? I would think you could class it as an emergency if needed 😉

 

You could also get a couple of those moisture catcher type things to help, failing that keep the wardrobe door open and open the window on bonny days 😎

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Because of the step it probably was/is due to a leak and the house at the lower end will be worse because the bit of the wall that you can see from the outside is their inside wall. The detailing at the party wall/eaves/verge may have been what has let it wet your side of the wall.

There may be a cement/sand fillet at the roof/party wall junction instead of a lead flashing and this may be what your neighbour had fixed.

Once masonry becomes very wet it can take ages to fully dry out and in the meantime airborne moisture will dew out on it before anywhere else because wet materials have a poorer insulation values, hence the mould.  

If you can't get it looked at then you will know if there still is a leak from there or somewhere else when it starts raining like it does in a normal year again.

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