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I recently bought a cheap two bed terraced house in at an auction. It is near Liverpool city centre and next to a major hospital and other new developments so the houses in the area have been going up quickly. The houses rent very quickly too. Unfortunately I found out the house has a lot of issues with damp. The tenant has been living in the house for a long time and prevents it by keeping windows open, even in winter! The front windows are double glazed and only two are not. I am quite new to the property business and so I don't know much on how to prevent damp. I am happy spending a decent amount on cash to help with the issue in the long term but I don't know much about it. Any advice would be appreciated.

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28 minutes ago, steveburns said:

I recently bought a cheap two bed terraced house in at an auction. It is near Liverpool city centre and next to a major hospital and other new developments so the houses in the area have been going up quickly. The houses rent very quickly too. Unfortunately I found out the house has a lot of issues with damp. The tenant has been living in the house for a long time and prevents it by keeping windows open, even in winter! The front windows are double glazed and only two are not. I am quite new to the property business and so I don't know much on how to prevent damp. I am happy spending a decent amount on cash to help with the issue in the long term but I don't know much about it. Any advice would be appreciated.

Hi Steve,

You need to explain where the damp is occurring and I can certainly advise you the best I can. 

If it’s confirmed as rising damp I would get a dpc damp membrane installed, in my personal opinion they are far better than the injections people do nowadays. If it is not rising damp and it is for example excess moisture, black mould and so on I would highly recommend a positive pressure unit. If you are a competent DIYer you can pick up a great one off the net, but if not I have heard from close friend a company called enviorvent are useful. 

There is also a lot more things it could be including a small leak in the roof, guttering or even coming through poor pointing on your brick work.

Please keep in touch and us up to date, if you have got any pictures post them so I can look.

Best wishes

Jase

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You need to understand the cause of damp, as money spent on damp proofing will not resolve condensation (noting the open windows, it’s likely not condensation), and vice versa etc. It’s difficult to advise without seeing the problem, area affected, and construction; but the main culprits are rising (DPM/DPC), penetrating, leaking services, roofs, and condensation.  

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Hi Jase

Many thanks for your reply.

The tenant has lived in the property for 11 years so knows how to prevent it and it currently doesn't have any big areas affected. However if she doesn't keep the windows open the damp starts again quickly. I can ask where the most severely affected areas are when they do occur. Is there any specific professional you can call to assess damp?

 

 

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16 minutes ago, steveburns said:

Hi Jase

Many thanks for your reply.

The tenant has lived in the property for 11 years so knows how to prevent it and it currently doesn't have any big areas affected. However if she doesn't keep the windows open the damp starts again quickly. I can ask where the most severely affected areas are when they do occur. Is there any specific professional you can call to assess damp?

 

 

Steve, doesn’t sound like rising damp with what you have just explained, as most of the time rising damp is alway there! 

I would get a no obligation quote from environment for a PPU. I recommend this because they test the walls and will not install if it’s rising damp because they give you a 100% guarantee that you will see significant improvement. 

Best wishes either way and get it fixed as I wouldn’t like to leave with the windows open all the time, seems a loyal tenant, keep them happy :).

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I would approach a local surveyor / arch tech and pay for 1-2 hours inspection; as opposed to a ‘damp specialist’, and I would avoid a contractor unless you have a relationship. But that’s only my view, 

If you want to go specialist, Peter Cox are one of the better ones, Timberwise are ok if you keep them on track. 

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There is already some very good advice here.

I would reiterate the advice about taking care with a damp contractor who wants to sell you a damp course. I bought a house with a damp issue. The previous owner had an injection course done which did not solve the problem. We discovered there was no lintel above the window. Putting one in prevented the window form moving and solved the damp - it was coming in around the frame!

If your tenant can 'manage' the issue they should be able to help you identify the problem. Look at gutters, downpipes, windows, chimney pots for signs of ingress. Look at how the house is heated - letting it get very cold then very warm will create damp as the water moves in & out of the air. Have ventilation bricks been covered over? Does the double glazing need tricks vents? Does the brick work need repointing?

Only when you establish the cause can you remedy the problem. In the meantime get your tenant some Killrock damp traps to help take the moisture out of the air - maybe they can keep the windows closed this winter!

Good luck!

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