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mould and damp

(23 Posts)
AllOutOfNaiceHam Sun 09-Nov-14 10:59:59

I need some help with my bedroom.
We moved into our house 4 years ago, and moving is sadly not an option until we find something suitable for all of us that we can afford. So we are stuck here.
Our bedroom has a serious damp and mould problem as soon as it starts to cool down outside. We leave the Windows open during the day, but we still have mould growing on the ceiling, around and on the windows and behind anything that gets near a wall anywhere.
We have built in wardrobes that we can't close the doors to or put too much in because it starts to get mouldy, we can't put up shelves and put stuff on them because within a couple of day the mould rages along the walls behind it. So we are basically left with our bed 20cms from each wall in the corner, clothes heaped up on an armchair or in a heap in front of the wardrobes, empty shelves, one shelf standing well away from the wall because we discovered a whole new world of gross behind it.
The housing association had someone out to assess and they basically blamed us for not having enough ventilation, but I can't fucking stop breathing so we don't get mould on our bedroom ceiling. The room is a mess and it drives me insane, it doesn't feel like my safe place that my bedroom should be. Plus I worry about the mould and my children breathing it in.
We clean it regularly with mould and mildew spray, and painted the walls with barrier paint but it's just growing on top of it.
What can I do? I can't live like this.

PigletJohn Sun 09-Nov-14 11:17:24

Do you have wet washing in your home?

How long do you use the bathroom extractor after each bath and shower?

How long do you open the bedroom windows each morning?

Do the windows have trickle vents?

SilentAllTheseYears Sun 09-Nov-14 11:23:46

We have this problem. We open the windows whenever we run a bath or shower and shut the bathroom door. I do have some wet laundry drying in the house but that is only downstairs whereas the damp problem is only upstairs.
We can't afford to heat the house for more than 1/2 an hour a day. I've bought a dehumidifier which I'm running all day at the moment when we are in.

OhMyActualDays Sun 09-Nov-14 11:38:17

The dehumidifier had made an enormous difference in our house (we have patches of damp all over but worst in our bedroom). Weekly cleaning with mould spray, trying not to dry washing inside, always opening windows etc do help too.

caroldecker Sun 09-Nov-14 11:58:29

We had this caused by a leaking gutter soaking the outside walls, gutter fixed and no further problems. Do you have a leak in the roof or on the walls?

PigletJohn Sun 09-Nov-14 12:03:37

Water vapour is lighter than air, and rises (hence clouds) so wet washing downstairs will cause condensation upstairs.

SilentAllTheseYears Sun 09-Nov-14 18:54:05

Fair enough, I will try not to dry indoors but we don't have a tumble dryer so it's a bit awkward this time of year!

PigletJohn Sun 09-Nov-14 19:03:37

have you got an effective extractor in the bathroom?

agnesf Sun 09-Nov-14 19:07:12

I always find these threads rather perplexing as I have never had a tumbe dryer and always have dried our washing inside in winter hung all over radiators bannisters etc all over the house. Is it just something that happens in modern houses - we had a Victorian house and now live in a 70's house. Maybe they are more draughty.

I would have thought damp and mould was down to lack of heating and maybe damp soaking though walls.

agnesf Sun 09-Nov-14 19:08:12

Plus I hate bathroom extractors so always turn them off and just leave the window open for an hour or so if its very steamy.

AllOutOfNaiceHam Sun 09-Nov-14 19:10:58

We still mainly line dry outside when it is dry (luckily it has been), but we do have a heated alter on the landing.
I keep the bedroom windows open from when we get up until we get in from work at 6, bedroom door closed.
We have vents above the Windows that are always open but I have a feeling they don't actually vent anything because they don't make a hair of a difference by themselves. There is actually mould growing right next to them sad
We don't own a tumble dryer as we didn't have space for one until a few weeks ago, but we recently replaced our two under the counter fridge freezers with one big upright one so I am trying to talk my husband round to buying one (3 children = mountains of laundry)

We have the heating on a bit I'm the evenings and early morning but it isn't cold enough to have it on for longer yet, plus the HA won't let us get a thermostat fitted for the GCH.
Our skirting boards and front and back doors are rotting as well. I'm really starting to hate this situation, but then feel like I am really ungrateful because we have a HA house with garden in a nice area, that we can afford rather than struggling with private rent. I guess we just have to make the best of this until we can move.

specialsubject Sun 09-Nov-14 19:12:29

damp is a building fault - the OP needs to get the housing association to look into that.

condensation is a product of modern houses which are not properly heated and ventilated. Draughty houses may be be cold but they let the vapour out!

I've dried washing out doors today. Only in the morning admittedly!

AllOutOfNaiceHam Sun 09-Nov-14 19:12:57

The bathroom extractor sounds like a plane taking off. . Maybe I need to run it more. I never really thought of that as I've never lived in a house that had one before (i've never lived in a damp house before either..)

PigletJohn Sun 09-Nov-14 19:19:26

Perhaps it is worn out. A replacement is not very expensive. Better ones have ball-bearing motors which are quieter and last longer.

If you have an effective bathroom extractor, you can put your wet washing on a line over the bath, or shut the bathroom door and window. The suction from the fan will prevent water vapour drifting round the house. A typical bathroom fan runs for 50 hours or more on 14p worth of electricity.

SilentAllTheseYears Mon 10-Nov-14 02:03:01

Piglet, only the window.

PigletJohn Mon 10-Nov-14 10:20:16


An effective extractor is very good for taking the water vapour out, and the suction prevents it drifting round the house. Running cost is typically 14pence worth of electricity per 50 hours use.

PigletJohn Mon 10-Nov-14 10:21:18

sorry, I said that already

MoreSnowPlease Mon 10-Nov-14 11:47:41

We had this in our last flat, the bathroom was constantly wet even though we had the (new) extractor on all the time and opened the window when having showers. The walls had what looked like rising damp in the living room on all outside walls and some inside walks, the carpets stank of mould amd landlord came to inspect and after lifting carpet up wiyhin a week (after treating with mould spray ) there was fluffy green and white mould growing out of the skirting and carpet. My son was hospitalised with wheezing and we just got out. There was literally nothing we could do to stop it. We had windows opeb for jours every day, I left back and front doors open regularly to create through draft, ran heating in evenings, had dehumidifier etc..... no washing dryimg on radiators. Just disgusting, op I would just look to move asap and surely if it's HA they can help?

PigletJohn Mon 10-Nov-14 12:15:03

wet floor like that was probably a plumbing leak sad

MoreSnowPlease Mon 10-Nov-14 17:08:54

piglet I knew it was something other than condensation. ...the landlords response though was it was our lifestyle he actually said "it will be all the showers and cooking" hmm

WillIEverBeASizeTen Wed 12-Nov-14 00:18:25

pigletjohn what would you recommend as an effective bathroom extractor? I've been looking for a decent one but overwhelmed with all the jargonsad

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 12-Nov-14 08:55:59

I haven't got an extractor fan in the bathroom but have recently bought a karcher window vac to suck up all the water after baths and showers. I cannot believe hire much water gets sucked up, the reservoir is practically full each time. I keep the bathroom window locked on the night catch so there's a permanent draught.

Tbh it sounds like you need to heat the house a bit more.

PigletJohn Wed 12-Nov-14 12:41:44


If you have space above the ceiling, or perhaps an airing cupboard, you can put a ducted inline fan there. They are rather large and unsightly, but about three times as powerful as a typical wall fan, and quieter, and will do the best job. Leave the door and window shut when running an extractor, and the suction will prevent steam drifting round your home.

Failing that, a wall fan that always comes on with the light switch, and has a 20 minute timed overrun. Being less powerful, it will take longer to clear the humidity, so running it more will probably do the job. A typical extractor runs for 50 hours on 14p worth of electricity. Cheap ones may get noisy with age, but on the market now are quiet ones with ball-bearing motors that are also likely to last longer. I saw a very quiet one advertised the other day, by a reputable maker. I have not seen it in action though. It is relatively expensive.

It seems to me that the market has in the last few years been moving towards better quality bathroom extractors.

You often hear people grumbling that fans are noisy and refusing to turn them on. Look at a fan like a car tyre. It will eventually wear out and need replacement. A cheap one may not be very good. Lots of builders fans cost less than £10 and are rubbish.

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