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Cold, damp and full of mould

(36 Posts)
NumptyDumty Fri 02-Nov-12 14:24:43

Hey, hope this is okay to post here,

We're privately renting an old terraced house, there has been problems before regarding damp. The landlord then fixed the gutter and all seemed a bit better.

However now things have got cold again after such a lovely summer the damp has reappeared, in one room the wall is actually wet to the touch. Dispite keeping ontop of cleaning everything gets mouldy. Around the windows is a particularly bad area.

In the kitchen all of our cupboards along one wall stink of damp, I went to get our grill pan out the other day and it is covered in mould, It made me heave!

What I am wondering is should the landlord take any responsibility and actively try to resolve the situation or is it nothing to do with him?

If it is just down to us what can we do to make it better? We already leave the windows open for small periods, but it's so cold and I have a small baby so don't do it as much as we could.

Thanks in advance x

MamaMary Fri 02-Nov-12 14:29:09

No it's up to your landlord to solve this.

Damp is a serious health hazard. It sounds like the entire house needs a damp-proof course put in. We had it done to ours and it is a big job.

Cleaning and leaving windows open will not help much. sad

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 02-Nov-12 14:34:16

Agree, it's for your landlord to sort this and make it suitable for habitation

In the meantime, would a dehumidifier be possible?

NumptyDumty Fri 02-Nov-12 14:40:17

We have seen those dehumidifier eggs, but have read that there not very good?

We don't have the cash to spend on a fancy one unfortunately.

If the landlord was to blame the damp on the building how would I then go about it?

Basically my landlord is a tight ass who given the chance wouldn't do anything, I just need all the mumsnet knowledge I can get smile

PolterGoose Fri 02-Nov-12 18:06:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MamaMary Fri 02-Nov-12 18:25:33

The landlord owns the building, and it is his responsibility to sort it. To me, it sounds like a major damp problem that needs rooted out at the source.

In our case we had all our walls damp-proofed by stripping them back, ie taking off all the plaster, and injecting them with a chemical. The other option is to insert a live wire that somehow prevents the damp from reoccurring.

PolterGoose Fri 02-Nov-12 19:01:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GobHoblin Fri 02-Nov-12 22:41:11

I'm sorry but i think you just need to open the windows & doors more and air the place. If you are drying washing indoors, standard load, i think, gives off 2 litres of water? Babies will be fine with fresh air, trust me!
I work in a diy store, the amount of enquiries i have about anti mould paint/mould killer etc etc. Its increasing rapidly.
When i ask if its damp or condensation and how good they are about opening windows, without fail they always say, not very good! Homes need the air changed and moisture to evaporate to eliminate problems, especially now most houses are glazed and insulated so very well.

FreddieMercurysFrightfulBolero Fri 02-Nov-12 22:49:46

Rent somewhere else. Seriously. We had this in the first house we rented after DS was born and we were so miserable. And we spent a fortune on heating. It is bad for your and your babies health.

PigletJohn Fri 02-Nov-12 23:11:51

does anybody drape wet washing around the home or over radiators?
that is the main cause of condensation, damp and mould in UK homes.

does the bathroom have an extractor fan; does it work, and is it switched on during and after every bath and shower until the water vapour is gone? if not, that is the main cause of condensation, damp and mould in UK bathrooms.

Are the windows opened daily? If not, that is the main cause of condensation, damp and mould in UK bedrooms.

Those three are not under the landlords control, they are the responsibility of the occupier. However if there is water leaking from the roof or gutters, or leaking pipes especially out of sight under the floor, then he should deal with them.

bureni Fri 02-Nov-12 23:59:48

why do these post always pop up in the winter when the damage is being done? Rule of thumb, if possible dry your washing outdoors because it is the cause of much complaint and structural damage. Ventilation and the removal of moisture is the key factor, this is the cause of the problems 95% of the time.

NumptyDumty Sun 04-Nov-12 08:09:23

Thank you for the replies,

Yes we do dry our washing indoors, we are also doing alot because of baba! Unfortunatly now its cold and no sun things can be on the line all day and will still be as wet as when we put them out.

We don't have any extractor fans but the bathroom window does get opened during and after each shower.

The windows are open for currently an hour or two a day, should this be more?

What can I do about the kitchen cupboards, it is only some not all, we regularly (once every few months) bleach them out but the damp smell is back in no time.

freddie apart from the problems we love where we live, looking through other rented houses close by they are too small, too expensive or on 'that estate'. Fingers crossed that we manage to sort it!

Also, will having central heating make the problem better or worse, providing there is no wet washing on the radiators? My theory was it might dry things out, but after everything you have said makes me think it would add to the problem?

noisytoys Sun 04-Nov-12 09:17:04

It could put a dehumidifier by the clothes that are drying it will suck the water out of the clothes

NumptyDumty Sun 04-Nov-12 09:39:48

Are the little egg ones alright to use? I suppose anything is better than nothing right?

PigletJohn Sun 04-Nov-12 09:46:41

If you consider that a load of washing canhold two litres of water, if you picture adding that to the inside of a house from a garden sprayer or watering can, an egg-sized moisture absorber is not going to make much difference.

There might be some additional source of moisture such as a leak under the floor but it will not stand out while the home is being filled with moisture from the laundry.

nancy75 Sun 04-Nov-12 10:02:33

If it's condensation you need a proper dehumidifier, one of those egg things it useless. Can you dry some of the washing at a launderette? Having the heating on will make it better, the house needs to be well heated and ventilated, condensation is caused when warn moist air hits cold walls.
When cleaning the mould get anti fungicidal wash, bleach doesn't kill it.

mirai Sun 04-Nov-12 10:08:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IvanaHumpalotCountDracula Sun 04-Nov-12 10:18:35

There was an interesting piece about this on radio 4 the other day. Basically the architect/surveyor (can't remember which) said that most mould is caused by drying washing indoors and not opening our windows enough.

He referenced this to dust mites and asthma. Basically, we all have the mites but if you have increased humidity in your house you will have a lot more dust mites and an increased risk to asthma/respiratory problems (because of the mite droppings and mold spores).

Also, he also said we are too used to living in hot stuffy houses. They can gauge the amount of dust mites in our houses by the level of carbon dioxide in the house - the 'stuffiness'.

Yes I am sad and love listening to radio 4!

If you can afford it get a spin dryer - you will be amazed how much water they get out post washing machine and a gazebo (if you have a garden), to dry your washing under.

gordonpym Sun 04-Nov-12 10:20:32

By spraying pure bleach on the surface you can avoid mould. Put bleach in a spray, wear old clothes, cover hair, protect face and eyes and spray it on the walls and inside cupboard. Leave windows open for 4-5 hours until it's dry. It works. It's not the ideal solution, which would of course be reduce the damp, but that's what is usually done in sailing boats, and I tried it years ago in a beach house, and it worked. Easy and quick.

InNeedOfAPennyForTheGuysBrandy Sun 04-Nov-12 10:35:46

I've got the same problem, I have 2 cupboards in my kitchen I can't use due to things getting mouldy in there, it's in every single room of my flat and I don't have washing hanging about I have a tumble dryer.

My landlord has put in wall vents in kitchen and bathroom, I have bedroom and kitchen windows open all day, living room gets opened for a hour or so but it's right by a bus stop. I have storage heaters not gch but only have the living room on. All of that doesn't do fuck all the paint in dc bedroom has started sliding off the walls and stinks of damp (where it would make you heave) every morning. My bedroom is mouldy everything in it gets mouldy at some point despite regular bleaching and dettol mould spray. I have built in cupboards in hall that are not on a outside wall and there so mouldy and damp smelling you can't keep anything you couldn't wipe clean in there.

It's fucking horrible OP move.

NumptyDumty Sun 04-Nov-12 11:02:15

Wow! When put like that it is an awful lot of water!

We have a tumble dryer that's effectively outside, it hasn't been getting much use, I can start using that again to start off the drying process!

Nancy I thought bleach killed everything, thanks for the heads up smile

Oh my brandy that sounds so much worse than our situation, hope you and DC are okay! I will try all of your advice but also keep my eyes peeled for other properties

PolterGoose Sun 04-Nov-12 11:22:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletJohn Sun 04-Nov-12 11:26:06

An typical modern tumble drier uses about 60p worth of electricity to dry a full 7kg load of cotton, and correspondingly less for lighter or synthetic loads holding less water. Make sure it vents the steam outside the house and it can't blow back in.

I know that for some, the cost is a problem, but if you can manage it, I am sure it make a big difference. If there are any other sources of moisture (usually steamy showers or water leaks) you should then be able to identify them so they can be dealt with.

NumptyDumty Sun 04-Nov-12 11:30:14

Goose, taking my doors off is a fab idea!! At least for the time being until baba is on the move smile

NumptyDumty Sun 04-Nov-12 11:31:32

What kind of timescale would it take to identify John?

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