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Damp Wall

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Thisoldbird | 22:01 Thu 26th Oct 2023 | Home & Garden
6 Answers

I live on the ground floor in a leasehold apartment. 

Part of an outside wall has a long damp patch. It starts about ¼way down the wall to the floor. Its probably about 12 inches at its widest but varies on the way down.. On the outside there is nothing but the brick work until you reach the guttering.  I'm thinking its probably a leaking joint on the guttering that is causing the damp to ingress through the bricks and now to the plaster.  It looks like water has been thrown at it..

The room was painted about 6 weeks ago. I had thought the darker area was shadow..but as its come through the new paint in a matter of weeks, even darker than it was previously it has to be damp. Not the horrid black speckled mould damp, yet. 

I've contacted the estate management twice and sent reply. Today I phoned to be "assured" someone would get back to me. 

Last winter I developed Broncitis that was persistent even with 4 or 5 courses of Antibiotics.  My breathing isnt good since. I've been prescribed inhalers.  

Would anyone know, does this scenario sound pheasable please. 

I've never had to deal with anything like this before. 

A family member seems to think it's a building insurance issue. She suggests if the internal wall is caused by an external issue the building insurance should cover that too. Building insurance is covered by our service charge.

I had visions of me footing a bill to get the inside replastered. Like many I'm finding it hard to manage my finances. 

Sorry to ramble, I am worried.







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Are you sure that it is not a stain.  Have you touched it to see if it is wet or feels damp.  If it does not feel damp then you could try a sealer over the stain and a bit bigger than the stain is then give it a couple of coats of the paint you did the rest with.  Normal emulsion will not cover a stain it will just keep coming through but if you seal it first then it may cover it.  If it then comes back later on at a place outside of where you put the sealer then you would know there is a problem elsewhere.  Worth a try first.

If it is damp, rising or penetrating, then the leaseholder is liable for the external repair but not necessarily for the internal repairs - that depends entirely on the conditions of your lease, so read that carefully.

Whilst bronchitis can be aggravated by damp and mould it is unlikely to be a factor where the damp patch relatively small and there is no mould.  I take it the wallpaper is still in place, not peeling off.

If it is penetrating damp then a repair to the external wall should solve the problem and the inside will dry out naturally without needing to be replastered.  You haven't said that the wall feels damp or that you are experiencing condensation.  You might be left with a darker patch that simply needs painting over.

Phone the management company again and insist on a date for inspection.  

So many possibilities as to the cause. I would only suspect a gutter leak if there was no 'overhang' and the guttering is tight to the building. From what you describe, I would first try to rule out a roof problem. Slipped slates way up the roof somewhere will result in water running down the felt under the slates and landing on the top of the wall. (Roof felt is often rotted or missing where it should actually run into the gutter.)

The Management Company should instruct a roofer to inspect. Any work should be covered by the Buildings Insurance.

Or... Condensation on a cold wall is quite often the problem.

Contact 'Environmental Health' at your local Council Office. They should support your concerns, and may well lean on the Management Company on your behalf. Be persistent though. They'll inevitably plead poverty and lack of manpower.

Write (or email) the Company and let them know EH is now involved.  It may shake things up a little.


Question Author

Thanks for the replies. 

I have someone from the maintainance team coming out very soon. 

There is no way it's a stain. I live alone am extremely fussy to the point of OCD. I've lived here 16 yrs. The little estate is in good repair....its emulsion not paper. Just feels cold to the touch as does the rest if the wall.

The upstairs apartment has a bay window hanging over my downstairs wall.  It's one of those things that need to be seen to understand I guess. 


Thanks again..I'll update when I get an answer. 

I hope it is soon sorted, you don't need the worry 

Question Author

Thank you Barry1010

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