Do you think this is damp / mould?

#21
Looks more like chronic damp from the shower or whatever is on the other side of the wall.......
Can you be my plumber?

Firs plumber said it was the shower - tightened various nuts.

The leak got worse.

New plumber said it was because the shower unit wasn't sealed properly into the wall.

The leak got worse.

An exploratory hole was cut in the plasterboard in the hallway - to discover a breezeblock wall.

The leak got worse.

Liquified plasterboard is now leaking into the bath as the walls sprout mould like a portrait of Susan Boyle.

At last the plumber agrees what I told him in the first place, that the shower unit is leaking behind the wall. To resolve it means a week's work at least, removal of bath and walls, complete renovation of bathroom and hall, and next door airing cupboard etc etc.

Thank **** it's a rental property, I foresee a hotel stay coming up.

I ******* hate plumbers.
 
#22
House surveys are primarily a visual survey so, by definition, anything under floor boards or behind bath panels will not be seen. Given the age, the property should have a DPC (but check the survey) so that's good news. Purely based on the photos [which is highly risky!] I would endorse @pimpernel 's concern re. the ceiling - it looks more like damp than the wall, which seems to be mould. Hopefully as you say the house will be a good 'un but get that checked - ideally if you have the cash by a damp proofing company who can produce a report for you pronto. If there is a slight issue, the report could help in making a case for £ off.

Short survey about surveyors: I managed a Victorian site. The company paid for an external fabric survey. A surveyor spent a day completing a visual inspection. All good, he reported. The following day [literally] the front door portico fell off. Lesson learned there - a survey is useful but is not a guarentee.

Good luck with the purchase! :)
Who will then try to sell you the "remedy" or recommend "someone" that they know who can, mine told me that the DPC was breached and that we had rising damp, but the roof was ok.................................. That was a bit surprising seeing as we had no DPC due to age of the house, the roof leaked like a sieve, the mains water pipe was leaking and the sub floor air-vents were half buried due to the garden being built up
 
#23
Who will then try to sell you the "remedy" or recommend "someone" that they know who can, mine told me that the DPC was breached and that we had rising damp, but the roof was ok.................................. That was a bit surprising seeing as we had no DPC due to age of the house, the roof leaked like a sieve, the mains water pipe was leaking and the sub floor air-vents were half buried due to the garden being built up
Good point. The level of caution needed with all of this sort of stuff is a given. Get the quote and just, at this stage, use it for leverage.
 
#24
Can you be my plumber?

Firs plumber said it was the shower - tightened various nuts.

The leak got worse.

New plumber said it was because the shower unit wasn't sealed properly into the wall.

The leak got worse.

An exploratory hole was cut in the plasterboard in the hallway - to discover a breezeblock wall.

The leak got worse.

Liquified plasterboard is now leaking into the bath as the walls sprout mould like a portrait of Susan Boyle.

At last the plumber agrees what I told him in the first place, that the shower unit is leaking behind the wall. To resolve it means a week's work at least, removal of bath and walls, complete renovation of bathroom and hall, and next door airing cupboard etc etc.

Thank **** it's a rental property, I foresee a hotel stay coming up.

I ******* hate plumbers.
The problem with many British properties is that they were not built with a shower in mind in the first place. Rather than having moisture resistant plaster board they just have the usual stuff and that eventually suffers once a shower is fitted, even if the wall is tiled.
 
#25
1950, brick.

I've just found out in the last half hour that the property spends three quarters of the year unoccupied - the owners are in Spain. So that may explain any mould or damp if there's limited heat in the house and no activity.

It's a cracking wee number - I've ordered a damp meter and will go back for a third viewing and probe a bit, just to make sure.

Whole boiler system will need upgraded too, it's an old Ideal Mexico boiler and hot water tank that looks as old as the house is.

Plus roof will need done.

Plus garden needs landscaped - i.e big ******* boulders bigger than me need to be either lifted or somehow pushed onto the nearby council grass.

However it just confirmed to me how corrupt and shit home report surveyors are. It was clearly obvious, and they 'never' saw it, so it doesn't feature on the report. Dodgy ******* bastards.

However as I've asked, they're obliged to go back and examine it too.

We'll probably put the offer in - we've been given the price that's right, so will come in 5k lower and then wiggle it up on content rather than house price if needs be.

Standby for the disaster report next month. :D
Get an x-spurt in to whom you will say, "Oh yes mate, I am buying the place and want to know how much it will cost to fix this"? Let him give you a price and you tell the seller you want that - plus a bit for your trouble - knocked off the price if you buy it.
 
#26
Have you ever thought about just living in a nice wee cave somewhere, where cold and damp aren't a problem, they're just what you have as standard? I keep reading these posts of yours expecting to find you've stumbled into buying Dracula's spare Scottish castle and he hasn't moved out yet, so you want to know what's the best wood to make a stake out of.
There's a thought. It's a perfect project for Hamish to practice his newly acquired DIY C&G skillz on. Not too much of a damp problem at the moment either as the ventilation is excellent.

 
#27
I'd suggest the only way to fix it is to burn it down and claim on the insurance but it even isn't yours yet...

I'd burn it down now anyway. It'll save you further torment in future.
 
#28
Who will then try to sell you the "remedy" or recommend "someone" that they know who can, mine told me that the DPC was breached and that we had rising damp, but the roof was ok.................................. That was a bit surprising seeing as we had no DPC due to age of the house, the roof leaked like a sieve, the mains water pipe was leaking and the sub floor air-vents were half buried due to the garden being built up
Very common problem, we've just bought a house fortunately a m8 is a damp/rot specialist plus builder. He went in and did a full house survey for us after the homebuyer. Very comprehensive report with humidity/relative humidity etc....recommendations....open the brick vents they'd cemented shut and open a few windows for a while when cooking open a window/use pan lids and stop drying clothes inside the house.....viola all traces of damp gone.
 
#29
Walk away, you don't need the grief, costs, and disruption, moving house can be traumatic, and having to spend vast amounts on what could be a major renovation job, is not worth the aggravation. The fact that you posted here, on Arrse, and not got an expert in, smacks of desperation.
 
#33
..................and make sure it's a quote, not an estimate.
Estimate: I've 'ad a gander at your gaff on Google earth, an' I reckon, with a following wind, me and me mates could do you a real good job for about 10 big ones. (It might be a bit more when we've 'ad a proper look at it though.)

Quote: I have examined your requirements and the property at some length, and have pleasure in attaching a detailed specification and costing for the project.
 
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#35
MrBane, post: 9325329, member: 14095"]1950, brick.

I've just found out in the last half hour that the property spends three quarters of the year unoccupied - the owners are in Spain. So that may explain any mould or damp if there's limited heat in the house and no activity.

It's a cracking wee number - I've ordered a damp meter and will go back for a third viewing and probe a bit, just to make sure.
Just be aware that there's:

Damp from surface condensation which in a properly heated and insulated house will likely disappear.
Damp from surface condensation which in a poorly heated and insulated house may get worse.
Damp from a leak which won't disappear unless the leak is fixed.
Rising damp which neds treating.

What I'm trying to illustrate is that a damp meter is a great tool, but all it tells you is that a surface is damp. It doesn't tell you what caused it.
 
#38
Can you be my plumber?

Firs plumber said it was the shower - tightened various nuts.

The leak got worse.

New plumber said it was because the shower unit wasn't sealed properly into the wall.

The leak got worse.

An exploratory hole was cut in the plasterboard in the hallway - to discover a breezeblock wall.

The leak got worse.

Liquified plasterboard is now leaking into the bath as the walls sprout mould like a portrait of Susan Boyle.

At last the plumber agrees what I told him in the first place, that the shower unit is leaking behind the wall. To resolve it means a week's work at least, removal of bath and walls, complete renovation of bathroom and hall, and next door airing cupboard etc etc.

Thank **** it's a rental property, I foresee a hotel stay coming up.

I ******* hate plumbers.

There's 2 kinds of plumbers.......

1 Will crash in whatever is cheapest, leaving all sorts of booby traps buried for the next poor bugger, knowing they will never be asked back.

2 Will try to sort out all the crap over time, and expect to be called back, as they have built up a trusting relationship with the customer.


I always expected to be called back for future work, so in spite of being more work initially, I'd only fit things that wouldn't let me down/ be easily fixed at a later date.

SHOWERS.

Only bury the minimum of pipe in the wall, don't fit anything except copper and solder fittings....... fix and stop end the pipes, so you can inspect them before plastering and tiling.

Never, ever, use those stick type showers, with nuts buried in the wall....... or the build in units.

Only use exposed showers where the only nut is outside the tiles eg......

https://www.screwfix.com/p/bristan-sonique-rear-fed-exposed-chrome-thermostatic-mixer-shower/8351g

Fitted quite a few, no issues.
 
#39
Walk away, you don't need the grief, costs, and disruption, moving house can be traumatic, and having to spend vast amounts on what could be a major renovation job, is not worth the aggravation. The fact that you posted here, on Arrse, and not got an expert in, smacks of desperation.
That would depend on if you're buying it as a major renovation job in the first place
 
#40
There's 2 kinds of plumbers.......

1 Will crash in whatever is cheapest, leaving all sorts of booby traps buried for the next poor bugger, knowing they will never be asked back.

2 Will try to sort out all the crap over time, and expect to be called back, as they have built up a trusting relationship with the customer.


I always expected to be called back for future work, so in spite of being more work initially, I'd only fit things that wouldn't let me down/ be easily fixed at a later date.

SHOWERS.

Only bury the minimum of pipe in the wall, don't fit anything except copper and solder fittings....... fix and stop end the pipes, so you can inspect them before plastering and tiling.

Never, ever, use those stick type showers, with nuts buried in the wall....... or the build in units.

Only use exposed showers where the only nut is outside the tiles eg......

https://www.screwfix.com/p/bristan-sonique-rear-fed-exposed-chrome-thermostatic-mixer-shower/8351g

Fitted quite a few, no issues.
When I qualified I used to hate getting call's from long lost acquaintances, "listen, we've just bought a new house and there is a problem with the ................". Not being a cnut I would go and look and help, invariably it was a bag of bollox left after a quick fix by an ambitious diy'er, or a quick buck plumber.

I also used to get acquaintances, or mate's of acquaintances, calling with the, "we had a plumber doing some work on the house and he hasn't come back". Invariably he had done the first part of a big job, trousered a stage payment and had no intention of going back for whatever reason.

People can get very emotional when you tell them that the 500 quid they have spent has been wasted on nothing of any use and in order to do a proper job up to WRAS you will need to start again. As @vinniethemanxcat say's only use good quality fittings and fixtures, you are kidding yourself if you think cheaper is just as good. Also never hire a plumber who cannot give you a cost breakdown of the money he wants to pick out of your pocket, same with all other trades. Find out what the going rate is per hour/per day locally, then when they quote just simply ask them how long it is going to take them, then ask them how much that is going to cost then ask what materials they are going to use - it's not rocket science, you can use a Screwfix catalogue to determine a rough materials costing. Add local labour costs to materials and see if the quote you have received is near enough to make it interesting. If not move on and get another quote.

I helped my mate do up his red brick end of terrace in an up and coming part of Leeds, it was that old it had no damp-proof course. A condition of his mortgage was that he had the work done to remediate the problem - it had to be approved and certificated. Two firms came to quote:

Firm 1: The bloke turned up in a new Mercedes, suit and tie, gold Rolex, gold rings, looking like a pikey who had won the lottery. He did all the measuring and calculations laying it all on about how technical and complicated it was. He wanted 8K.

Firm 2: The bloke turned up in his work van, smart and presentable, measured up, did the calculations. He wanted 3.5 grand.

They were both approved, or whatever it is, and could both issue the certificate and the guarantee to satisfy the bank. Guess which one my mate went with. I have no doubt that if the second bloke was charging 8k he would be wearing a gold Rolex and driving a Merc too.
 
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