Damp

#1
I live in a basement flat and its damp how do i dry it out ?
 
#2
Get hold of a dehumidifier, either hire or buy one, they take the moisture out of the air so it gives the surrounding walls chance to dry out.
 
R

rogermellie

Guest
#3
Hi,
Well the first thing to do is find out where the damp is coming from. Are the gutters blocked? Is the damp coming from the floor up? There are loads of remedies for damp , some cheap some not so. Do you ever have any windows/ doors open to let fresh air in ie is the flat "sweating"? I used to live in a basement flat and that used to get really damp , my remedy was to leave a a window open and invest in a dehumidifier and ran that over night. It did help but my landlord wasnt to keen on "tanking" it so i eventually left.
There are lots off remedies but its best to try and locate the cause first.


Kind regards,


R M
 
#4
rogermellie;3503578Hi said:
its best to try and locate the cause first[/B].]

R M
Spot on. My mum lives on a steep hill, so her living room is in line with the basement next door and she suffered from damp something awful until we tracked it down to the fact that the neighbours back wall was "hollow" concrete building blocks that were just filling up with rain and the water had to escape somewhere.

Try and track down the source as treating the symptom is only ever going to be a short term and ultimately expensive option
 
#5
Pile all your furniture in the middle of the room, empty 25 litres of unleaded over it and torch it. The resulting heat should dry it out nicely.

Drying it out is only the small bit.... stopping the cause is where the money will lie, a basement flat may in the worst case need either resin injecting or tanking to prevent it coming back. It'll be cheaper to torch it and move.
 
#6
Hi,
...my remedy was to leave a a window open and invest in a dehumidifier and ran that over night.
Only do this if you're very keen on bumping up your electricity supplier's profits. Dehumidifiers need to be run with doors and windows sealed. Leave a door or window open and you'll be trying to dry out the planet.

If it's a damp problem (i.e. you haven't just been flooded), as others have said, you must repair the defect first. Running a dehumidifier without sorting the problem will just suck the damp in faster.

If the damp has suddenly appeared and you haven't been subject to ground movement and nobody has altered the adjacent ground, chances are that your damp proofing is still intact. Dampness could then be caused by something that someone in a higher flat has done - leaking pipe, for instance. Or perhaps there's a leaky down pipe that's cascading water onto a wall. It's often caused by someone raising the ground level so that the water comes over the original tanking, or maybe a ground level drain is blocked so more water filters next to your wall than usual.

Once you've sorted the problem (or better still, once your insurers have solved the problem), then bring in the dehumidifiers and take a six week holiday while they make some sort of impression (You'll need to get somebody to empty them on a regular basis). Damp plaster can take several months to dry out properly. Don't be tempted to use heat while dehumidifying (nor go overboard on the number of dehumidifiers), drying out too fast can cause stuff to shrink and warp (floorboards, window & door frames, plaster, artex, etc), requiring you to replace them all. About the only safe way of speeding up the process is to use an electric fan to circulate the air so that all areas dry out at the same rate.
 
R

rogermellie

Guest
#7
Puttees,
You are quite right, fingers working quicker than the brain.
I should have said that i shut the window overnight, no point trying to dehumidifying the planet !!

Kind regards,

R M
 
#8
Do you have air bricks or old cast iron vents outside under the level of the floor boards? if so if you can lift the floor boards and squezze under them clear all the shite away from them will help circulate the air underneath and should help stop the damp
 
#9
Another common cause of damp is renovation of old properties. If your flat originally had a coal fire and draughty timber-framed, single glazed windows, it's only natural that you'd want to fit a nice clean gas fire and some super uPVC double-glazed windows.

Unfortunately, gas fires produce a lot of moisture and double-glazed windows restrict ventilation... You'd then need to introduce mechanical ventilation. It's doubtful that a basement flat would get enough breeze to make air bricks a viable alternative.
 
#10
I've got a dehumidfyer but it dosen't stop the damp. the damp seems to be coming though the walls.
 
#11
1. Identify the problem.
2. Fix the problem.
3. Start using dehumidifiers.

In that order.

As I mentioned earlier, using dehumidifiers before you've fixed the problem will achieve nothing but sucking the damp through. Increased electricity bills for no gain.

Tell us the whole story. Have you just moved in? Has it been damp for a long time? Has it suddenly got damp? Have other tenants had water-related problems (pipe leaks, window leaks, roof leaks etc)? Has somebody been digging around the house? Have any drains been blocked? Have you or other tenants done any renovations? Have you been flooded? Have you blocked any air bricks? Have you installed a jacuzzi/sauna/hot tub/shower? Have you changed your electric cooker for a gas one? Do you live near a river? Do you live in a low-lying area? Have there been any construction developments nearby?

There's a whole host of potential causes, ranging from simple leakage to a developer diverting the natural underground drainage.
 
#12
Ok i think its rising damp. i have repainted the outside walls, and i need to repoint another. most of the flat is dry lined i dont have gas so its not that.
 
#13
...and you painted the outside walls with a breathable paint, having first removed any paint that was already present?

Or did you just get some paint that was a nice colour? Or perhaps a nice waterproof paint that would stop the rain seeping through the walls (not that it did, but you thought that it'd be a good idea, just in case)?

If you live in an old house, the walls probably have a function of pushing moisture from your flat outwards. By painting them, you may have trapped the moisture inside your flat.
 
#14
to add...

If your walls are dry lined, moisture could be forming on the original wall then dripping to the floor where it starts to affect the bottom of the dry-lining. This would give the appearance of rising damp, but it wouldn't be.
 
#15
There's a very simple tenet with regard to old houses. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
#16
Go to a builders merchant/ DIY shed, you can get a damp meter for about 15 quid, it's got 2 spikes that you jab into the wall, and they either light up or make a noise, it's the easiest way to track it down.
 
#17
Ive only painted a 2 foot band from the ground up and its breathable and i removed the old paint first. ive lived here for about 3 years and its always been the same and its about time i sorted it.
 
#18
Go to a builders merchant/ DIY shed, you can get a damp meter for about 15 quid, it's got 2 spikes that you jab into the wall, and they either light up or make a noise, it's the easiest way to track it down.
That'll be a waste of £15. If the walls are dry-lined, whether the moisture is coming from the wall or the floor, it will only show at the bottom of the dry-lining. Besides, the moisture meters are dodgy at best when used on any material other than wood (that's what they were originally designed for) and even then are only intended to assist in checking the seasoning of the wood. You can't compare readings taken on plasterboard with those taken on plaster, on brick, on timber, etc because they all have different values of conductivity. You could use one to assess the rate of drying out once you've fixed the problem by taking readings in the same place over time, but they're not much cop at locating the problem.

In the absence of any other information, I'd hazard a guess that the cause of the dampness is that the walls have been made vapour-impermeable and that the dry-lining has prevented ventilation of the original walls. It may be an idea to install some vents top and bottom in the plasterboard to encourage some air movement behind that would allow the original wall to breathe. That and check wheher the paint used on the outside walls is breathable and applied correctly - coating thickness becomes important, not too thick, not too thin.
 
#19
Ive only painted a 2 foot band from the ground up and its breathable and i removed the old paint first. ive lived here for about 3 years and its always been the same and its about time i sorted it.
It's good that you've used breathable paint. It's bad that you moved into a flat with an existing damp problem because you won't know the history of it. It could have been like that for decades and could even be down to something that went wrong when the house was constructed. What is the ground beside your outside walls? Tarmac? Paving? Soil? Does it look like it would have been the original stuff (and at the original level) that would have been there when the house was built?
 
#20
The back of the flat has been block paved so is seems that ill have to pull up some of the blocks and treat the wall lower down.
 

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