There can be many causes of damp walls, ranging from condensation to serious structural issues. You can make a basic assessment yourself as to what the cause of the damp is by doing some simple checks to your property.
Condensation is likely to be evident if you have black mould on the walls, usually visible around the windows or on the corners of the walls near the windows. Mould might be present in the bathroom or kitchen where there is moisture. Tenants have a legal obligation to ensure that their home is well ventilated. Drying clothes on radiators can cause a build up of moisture in the air, resulting in condensation. If you suspect the damp is being caused by condensation, check that the air vents are working correctly. If you are satisfied that you ventilate the property well, the condensation might be being caused by a structural issue which your landlord is obliged to repair.
Rising Damp should be suspected if there is damp visible on the bottom of the walls or on the floors. A tell tale sign is if the wallpaper is peeling off the walls. Rising damp often occurs on the walls of ground floor flats and the damp often appears to rise gradually. If you suspect rising damp, the damp proof course may have failed in which case your landlord has an implied legal repairing obligation to fix it. If you suspect rising damp, make sure that you report it to your landlord.
Penetrating damp is usually caused by localised water penetrating the walls. The cause can often be leaks or blocked gutters. Check the gutters and also the state of the external brickwork to the property. Look for damage or deterioration in the brickwork. If you suspect a problem, make sure it is reported to your landlord.
If you are a tenant and you are concerned that damp is effecting your family, speak to Stephanie Miers in confidence to discuss your options about how you can work towards getting your property repaired.