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Damp walls, wet floors - how find the source

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by GillObrien, 13 May 2021.

  1. GillObrien

    GillObrien

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    Hi everyone

    I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on finding the source of water/damp in our house. The house is rented so it is very difficult to manage the situation as we can't see the problem, except in videos.

    Background
    The house is a 1897 terrace with solid walls in the usual L shaped design, downstairs bathroom and an extension on the back from 1979 that fills the side return and is the whole width of the back.
    The bathroom was refitted last year (badly) and water has been running under the shower door onto the floor.
    There is a patio at the back that has no drainage, so in heavy rain water stands on the patio against the back wall of the extension. We lived there 7 years and this never caused a problem.
    We had some of the walls chemically treated for damp when we bought the house in 2004. Until now there have been no further problems.

    Problem
    The tenant reported damp towards the end of last year on the kitchen wall, which is where it backs onto the bathroom. It was small and we assumed that it was due to the water running from the shower. There was mould in the equivalent place in the bathroom that supported this. The builder supposedly fixed it.
    The leaking continued and a different plumber went and fixed a few things. In theory there is no more water leaking in the bathroom.

    In March the tenant reported extensive damp on several walls. We sent a damp specialist and he measured the problem. He indicated that there was rising damp on several walls, including two walls that were treated in 2004. Plus the wall adjoining the bathroom. The floors were wet under the laminate flooring and the tenant says water comes up through the floor.

    We couldn't do the work because we couldn't find the source of the water on the floor. So we waited for it to dry out, assuming the wet on the floors was coming from the bathroom. This week the damp specialist went back and reported the damp is much worse and the floors are still wet.

    Question
    How do we figure out why the floors are so wet? It is really only in the back part of the extension (the full width part that backs onto the patio)?
    Can we do the damp treatment on the walls whilst the floors are still wet?
    Wouldn't our neighbours also have damp as it is a party wall?
    How has this degenerated so quickly, even on walls that are in theory damp proofed? The walls are saturated and crumbling up to 1m in height.

    We feel completely stuck as, whilst we can't dry the floors out, we can't get anything done.

    I put some photos of the bathroom and the damp on the wall adjoining the bathroom, as it was in January. I can't imagine that this is enough water to cause the extensive damp now in existence, which effectively affects the whole of one room and half of the other.

    Any advice appreciated on how to find out what is going on.

    Gill
    DAmp 1.JPG

    DAmp 2.JPG
     
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  3. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Exterior photo are more useful, what the state of the roof and gutters?
     
  4. GillObrien

    GillObrien

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    Sadly I don't have any exterior photos. The roof is good, the gutters are only on the back wall and as far as I know are fine. There is no damp on that wall, which is also the wall adjoining the patio.

    I don't know how to go forward. Woukd it be sensible to get someone to take up the floors and remove units from the walls to see what is there? The floors are concrete underneath.
     
  5. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Why can't you take some then???

    Andy
     
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  7. GillObrien

    GillObrien

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    Because the house is rented and in England and I live in France. And the tenant is not cooperative. I would need a very long lens ;)
     
  8. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    It could be appropriate to employ a local surveyor to take on the management of the job. Most of the battle with that approach would probably actually be finding a good/reliable one.
     
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  9. foxhole

    foxhole

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    The damage shown in photos could all be down to sloppy use of the bathroom. Needs survey as suggested. Definitely not a damp company ( who will find damp in the Sahara).
     
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  10. Bosswhite

    Bosswhite

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    Looks more like a bad Condensation Problem to me , Has the occupier got children that like to splash about in the Bath /Shower
     
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