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Damp Ceiling/Wall in Bedroom
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# 1
justontime
Old 22-10-2008, 4:57 PM
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Default Damp Ceiling/Wall in Bedroom

We live in a 1950's semi detached house and have not had a damp problem until recently. I noticed a a damp mark on the ceiling and top of the wall in the corner of my bedroom. It is the front wall close to where my house adjoins my neighbour's house, it is not close to a window. I had some books on shelves on that wall, I have removed everything and allowed the wall to dry out, there is now nothing obstructing the air flow in that area, but it is clear there is still damp coming from somewhere to the top of the wall/ceiling edge. There is nothing in the loft that could be causing it, so I assume it must be the roof. We had the roof checked and repaired about a year ago. Today I thought I could hear a bird walking directly above my ceiling, so clearly it must have got in somehow. Where do I start, should I get the roofer back or do I need someone to check the brickwork first? I would welcome any advice as I am on a tight budget and I really need to get this sorted quickly before it causes any more damage.
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# 2
Suzy M
Old 22-10-2008, 7:54 PM
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Have you checked your guttering? Any flashing where the two properties join? Or possibly just a slipped slate, which could also cause the gutter to overflow?

Quick way to check is to use some binoculars.
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# 3
justontime
Old 22-10-2008, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy M View Post
Have you checked your guttering? Any flashing where the two properties join? Or possibly just a slipped slate, which could also cause the gutter to overflow?

Quick way to check is to use some binoculars.
Thanks for the suggestion. There is no problem where the two properties join. The roof man checked everything about a year ago. I can't see anything that looks our of place with the guttering or roof. I am not sure how the bird would have got into the space above the ceiling (I am not going mad, my husband also heard the bird walking around). Who would I get to check the guttering? Would it need scaffolding? I am really not sure where to start with this problem.
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# 4
Airwolf1
Old 22-10-2008, 11:37 PM
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Can you see bit of grass etc sticking out of the gutter? Does it need cleaning? You (or hubby!) needs to stick your head in the loft (when it is daylight) and look for evidence of light coming through from anywhere. Also check the condition of the underfelt, is it snagged anywhere? Can you see any chipped/cracked/slipped tiles/slates anywhere on the roof (check with a pair of binoculars) from an external inspection of it? Can driving rain be getting in from anywhere? If you go in the loft, check the rafters (the timbers coming down from top to bottom of roof - any evidence of dampness on them, or where water or damp can run down them? Is the loft ventilated to allow clean airflow?
My suggestion and/or advice is my own and it is up to you if you follow it, please check the advice given before acting on it.
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# 5
justontime
Old 23-10-2008, 12:30 AM
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Thanks for your advice. There is no grass or debris sticking up or showing in the guttering (they were cleaned last year). There are no slipped or damaged tiles on the roof. I have been in the loft, it is ventilated, I can't feel any damp and I cant see any torn felt. There is no evidence of birds getting into the loft, it feels as if the bird is walking between the loft and my ceiling but I don't know how it is getting in. My husband can't help with checking the loft etc as he has a disability.
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# 6
flissh
Old 23-10-2008, 5:31 AM
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Are you sure it is a bird you can hear? Could it be a squirrel or a rodent? How about asking your neighbour if they also have a problem on the same wall. Look at your guttering when it is raining, you might be able to tell if there is a blockage then.
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# 7
justontime
Old 23-10-2008, 9:37 AM
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Thank you for your suggestions. I am fairly sure it is a bird from the sound of the walking. I have never seen a squirrel in the vicinity of my home, we have no evidence of rats/mice and we don't have bats. My neighbour is elderly and deaf but she says she can't hear a bird and she has no damp problem. When it rains there is nothing obviously different about that bit of guttering, it doesn't overflow and I can't see any obvious leak.
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# 8
Airwolf1
Old 23-10-2008, 2:42 PM
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It could be where the tiles meet the gutter, if the curved bit of the tiles aren't filled in, birds may be getting in there. Driving rain could also get in here (possibly!).

Birds were nesting at the father-in-laws in the manner I said above, getting in inbetween the tile and gutter.
My suggestion and/or advice is my own and it is up to you if you follow it, please check the advice given before acting on it.
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# 9
justontime
Old 23-10-2008, 4:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airwolf1 View Post
It could be where the tiles meet the gutter, if the curved bit of the tiles aren't filled in, birds may be getting in there. Driving rain could also get in here (possibly!).

Birds were nesting at the father-in-laws in the manner I said above, getting in inbetween the tile and gutter.
Last year we had to have scaffolding to deal with a slipped tile on the roof and I asked the roofer to deal with whatever other stuff needed maintenance at the same time. He did the stuff under the edge of the tiles that looks like cement (sorry I don't know what you call that bit) all the way around the house. I went out with a pair of binoculars to have a good look today (and got some funny looks!), it all looks in good condition and I can't see any problem with the cement filler stuff. There is a tile on my neighbour's roof that seems to be sticking up a bit, it is about a foot away from my house. Even if a bird could get under there there must be some other explanation for the damp. I will go back to the loft on Saturday and have a really good look, there must be something I missed. By the way the slipped tile was on the other side of the roof so I that didn't cause the damp.
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# 10
latecomer
Old 23-10-2008, 5:40 PM
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One thing to remember is that water can travel quite a distance. We have a problem with a damp wall and I believe its coming from the chinmey which is about 6 feet away and there is no damp in the wall in between the points.
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# 11
Suzy M
Old 23-10-2008, 9:42 PM
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Also remember gutters should be checked every year. You don't need any specialist equipment just a long ladder and no fear of heights.
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# 12
slummymummyof3
Old 23-10-2008, 10:05 PM
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Perhaps bats? Beware as you cannot remove them as they are protected.

I would think it is more likely that your guttering is blocked with leaves - especially at this time of year. Guttering is fairly easy to check and clear out any debris (providing you have access to a ladder that is.)
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# 13
benood
Old 23-10-2008, 10:15 PM
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It still sounds like it might be condensation - would that bit of wall be cold/north facing? There are a few tricks to test for condensation - sticking tin foil to the wall is one from memory - water on room side = condensation water on wall side= damp

Search some other threads for ideas.
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# 14
Airwolf1
Old 23-10-2008, 10:46 PM
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Does the room have heating? If not, it could be condensation indeed, but as mentioned, it could be moisture running down the rafters in the loft. Once in the loft, trace the point where its showing back up towards the roof pitch and look for any evidence of moisture etc.
My suggestion and/or advice is my own and it is up to you if you follow it, please check the advice given before acting on it.
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# 15
justontime
Old 23-10-2008, 10:59 PM
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Thanks for all the advice. I am certain it is not condensation, it is well heated and well ventilated and I have lived there for 17 years with no condensation problem. I am almost certain it is not bats, I am sure it is a bird/birds getting in Even if I had a ladder I couldn't go up that high, so I will have to get someone in.

Can anyone tell me about the working at height regulations please, can it be done with a ladder or would it need a platform/scaffolding? If I can't find anything in the loft when I look again on Saturday I think I will have to get the roofer back to check it out.
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# 16
webwalker
Old 24-10-2008, 1:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justontime View Post
Thanks for all the advice. I am certain it is not condensation, it is well heated and well ventilated and I have lived there for 17 years with no condensation problem. I am almost certain it is not bats, I am sure it is a bird/birds getting in Even if I had a ladder I couldn't go up that high, so I will have to get someone in.

Can anyone tell me about the working at height regulations please, can it be done with a ladder or would it need a platform/scaffolding? If I can't find anything in the loft when I look again on Saturday I think I will have to get the roofer back to check it out.
It can be inspected from a ladder but a ladder is not a working platform and anything above 2 metres should be scaffolded if any work is to be carried out..
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# 17
illzlee
Old 24-10-2008, 9:57 PM
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do you have a tank feeding your cold water supply? remote possibility of a leak travelling down the ceiling joist.....although unlikely, you have disproven everything else!
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# 18
justontime
Old 25-10-2008, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
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do you have a tank feeding your cold water supply? remote possibility of a leak travelling down the ceiling joist.....although unlikely, you have disproven everything else!
Yes but it is in the diagionally opposite corner of the loft so it is as far as it could possibly be from the damp ceiling. I have traced pipes from the tank but there is nothing anywhere near the damp ceiling. I think I may be spending a long time in the loft tomorrow, trying to make sense of this!
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# 19
Airwolf1
Old 25-10-2008, 2:03 AM
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Just don't forget water can travel, so trace it back from the damp area if possible.
My suggestion and/or advice is my own and it is up to you if you follow it, please check the advice given before acting on it.
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