Damp.

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  • Damp.
  • greeble
    Member

    Run…. Run for the hills

    hora
    Member

    You know when a girl says no to you?

    Well imagine your sanity has just politely and firmly moved your hand away from your wallet and said no.

    There are plenty more places to do up that are structurally good but cosmetically tired out there. I’d focus on one of those.

    johndoh
    Member

    Depends – look for clues as to what might cause the damp – broken pointing, damp-bridged outside (things propped up against walls), leaking gutters etc. If you can spot potential causes the solutions *may* be easy.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    as above. If there’s an obvious cause then the fix may be easy.

    It’ll still be messy with replastering and fitting new skirting (which won’t be cheap in those sizes).

    Get a builder (not a damp specialist) to have a look.

    packer
    Member

    Get a specialist damp person in to do a report on the place.
    Don’t go for one of the free services that all the damp companies offer, they are only trying to sell you stuff. Find an independent company who only do surveys and don’t actually have any other services to sell, that way you can be sure of an unbiased opinion.
    Will cost you about £150 or so, which is nothing when buying a house.

    For what it’s worth my house was far far worse than your pics, and did not cost that much to sort out. But of course it depends on what the route of your problems is… hence the need for a professional investigation.

    Cheers, some good advice there.

    I’m erring on the side of running away, but I figure it might be worth looking into further if we can do so without spending a heap of money.

    Buying a house is even harder than buying a bike!

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    2nd pic down looks like condensation where there was a fridge or something that wasn’t venitlated well under the counter.

    Rest look to be near windows so may well be penetrating/leak type damp than rising’.

    One thing – if the skirting is that damp I’d look to see which way the floor beams underneath are runnign – if they terminate in the same wall then they mat well be rotten at the ends and need replacing too.

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
    Subscriber

    Is the 3rd pic a close up of the same area in the 2nd pic? Regardless those 2 are next to doors/ windows so that’s a potential source of penetrating damp.

    The 2nd pic looks like it’s not a ground floor but a 1st floor+ window? If all the issues are on 1st floor or above then finding the source is a lot easier than on the ground floor.

    richc
    Member

    skirting takes a long time to go like that, so the wall behind it is more than likely sodden, so any wood in contact with that will be ****.

    Best case you are looking at finding the source of damp (leaking gutters?, outside higher than inside) leaking pipes in walls, and if its an old house cement render and/or sandtex etc and fixing it.

    Then you are going to need to chip the whole lot off and tanking with a cement render, and replastering.

    My other concern would be if the walls are that wet, then more than likely the flooring joist ends are **** to. (if you stand in the corner and bounce, do the floor move?)

    Personally, I would think about how cheap it is, and how much cash you have to spend on doing it up as its going to be very rotten around those walls and it isn’t cheap to do it up. Also if you get a builders quote, add 50% it to because a lot of them hope for the best when giving advice but when it actually comes to pricing the actual price is a load more.

    However if its an old house with cement render, I would walk away, regardless of the price. As I’ve been there, and its huge money to put right (depending on the house size budget 12 to 18K).

    This is speaking from personal experience…….

    – It’s all downstairs. First, fourth and fifth photos (yeah, I could have done the order better!) are all in the extension out the back, which *may* have concrete floors. The others are at the front of the house.

    – It’s an oldish house, I’d guess late 1800s.

    – Didn’t notice any floor bounce, including near the damp, but that’s obviously not conclusive!

    It’s not *that* cheap, but it’s been on the market for a good while so we were thinking of maybe putting in a low offer and budgeting for fixing it up. It sounds like we’re probably just gonna be opening ourselves up to a world of pain, and we’d be better off going for somewhere a little bit smaller / without a garden that’s not a wreck!

    Annoyingly we looked at another that we could pretty much move straight into with no real problems at all (one tiny spot of damp the owner actually pointed out!) but it has no room for bike storage and is opposite a chinese takeaway.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    That’s not 8 months worth of damp, it’s been there longer.

    Could be leaking gutters, poor pointing – anything obvious outside?

    We’re looking at buying a house. We’ve found one that would be perfect – in our budget, good size, perfect spot and it even has a nice garden. Went back for a second look last weekend, and whilst it needs a bit of work (someone’s stopped doing it up halfway through, which makes me a little suspicious – but that’s another story) we don’t mind that, seeing it as a blankish canvas.

    The problem is, there are a few troubling spots of damp. It’s been empty for 8 months, so this isn’t entirely surprising, but there are a few bits of black mould on the walls, and a couple of spots where the plaster is completely flaked away, as well as a bit where the skirting board is pretty rotted looking.

    Should we just walk away? Is it gonna end up being a mammoth project or is it likely to be an easy(ish) fix?

    tl;dr – should I buy a house with the pics below. Sorry about the photo quality, I left the Mrs with the camera 😉


    IMG_0677 by Will Slater, on Flickr


    IMG_0672 by Will Slater, on Flickr


    IMG_0647 by Will Slater, on Flickr


    IMG_0646 by Will Slater, on Flickr


    IMG_0642 by Will Slater, on Flickr

    Couldn’t see anything outside no, but we’ve only had flying visits to the house.

    On a completely unrelated note, do estate agents really expect people to make their mind up about spending tens of thousands of pounds on a 15 minute visit?

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    On a completely unrelated note, do estate agents really expect people to make their mind up about spending tens of thousands of pounds on a 15 minute visit?

    yes, but then they only care about their commission….

    trail_rat
    Member

    they do – but you dont have to.

    just stand firm with them they soon back down.

    i personally would run a mile from that – and im keen to take on most things.

    thats a floors up walls off job just to sort the damage(properly) – after you find the cause. based on the state of those skirtings – ive got interior finishing wood and softwood doors ive left outside for 18 months in the rain that dont look like that !

    Rockhopper
    Member

    Damp around windows and doors in the new extension – lack of insulated cavity closers perhaps or poor detailing around the lintol above the door (cavity tray with no or blocked weep holes or maybe even no tray)?

    richc
    Member

    yes, but then they only care about their commission….

    You missed out, and they are dicks….

    One thing which might also help get an idea of the sale history of the house is download the propertybee plugin as that logs when it was put onto the market and any changes to description/price which can help you figure out some more background.

    skirting takes years to get that bad, some in my house was that bad and you could pull it off the walls by hand, only plus side is if its that wet you are unlikely to have dry rot.

    johndoh
    Member

    On a completely unrelated note, do estate agents really expect people to make their mind up about spending tens of thousands of pounds on a 15 minute visit?

    I couldn’t care what hey think – we had ours show us around 3 times (each visit of around 30 to 45 mins). We even had them back after we had exchanged because we wanted to look at some more stuff. Make ’em earn the money 🙂

    robfury
    Member

    We bought a house six months ago. Survey through up a damp problem so we got a damp specialist survey who said we needed 15k of work. We used it to nogiate the price down. After we got the keys me and my builder looked into it. There was no damp really just a leaking washing machine and a French drain needed digging in the front garden.

    I d budget to re plaster and new skirting boards. Check floor joists for damp and rotting. If you like the house us it to get the price lowered.

    richc
    Member

    – It’s an oldish house, I’d guess late 1800s.

    Is the outside of the house Brick or render? If its render, and its sand and cement (pick a bit off and grind it between your fingers if it crumbs thats good, it if like rock its sand and cement) then leave it.

    Same for it its painted in sandtex as that’s major money to fix, and if you don’t do it, then you will always have a damp house

    mr plow
    Member

    I bought a house that is cripled with damp problems earlier this year. Leave well alone, every expert has a different opinion and it is very stressful. Ours had no obvious tell tales on viewing and was surveyed as A1 condition.

    It’s rendered with that pebbledashy type stuff, then painted over. I’m happy to walk away to be honest, but the Mrs is very keen… I’m trying to talk her out of it as I can see it being a money pit!

    richc
    Member

    is the paint rubbery? and looks like it will peel off in scabs or has blisters of paint with splits in it?

    If so it sounds like sandtex which is a **** nightmare, if its a 1800 house the mortar with be lime based, and will have degraded due to not being able to get rid of the water, so you would be looking at tens of thousands to put right.

    House I bought had exactly the same issues, and when we chipped of the chunks of sand and cement and blown lime render with sandtex on it the whole place started to collapse as the lime mortar was ****, I had 8 acro’s + strongboys holding the place up at one point while we chipped off repaired the mortar and then moved on, plus every lintel, and joist end was rotten due to still in wet walls for decades.

    Vern0n
    Member

    There are plenty more places to do up that are structurally good but cosmetically tired out there. I’d focus on one of those.

    This

    Don’t walk away, run!

    ianpv
    Member

    Second the recommendations to get an independent damp survey that you pay for, NOT from a company who want to do an injected DPC/hack and replaster job.

    Our house was cheap and had damp problems, it had also sat empty for a few months. If you want a late 1800s house then this sort of thing can crop up. It may cost less than you think to repair when you work out the cause(s). We needed new joists, a french drain, an external wall rerendered, a fair bit of replastering, some lead work done etc. etc. if you know the cause, it can be fixed. But our house, after negotiation, was 60K cheaper than the other half of the semi next door, so we went in with our eyes open…

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