Damp in house: Looking for advice

Hi all,

We purchased our first house last year, and overall we are very happy with it. We did feel a bit rushed with the purchase but we did somehow manage to get a surveyor in just before exchanging contracts. Generally, the house was in good order (built circa 1904) but within a few months we started noticing some damp issues. The only mention of damp on our mid-range report was about the potential of rising damp. Having been here just over the year, the rising damp looks purely cosmetic and hasn't budged since.

However, we repainted our chimney breast for the log burner in our dining room with a lighter colour after a few months. When it started raining heavily, we started to notice black damp patches on the chimney breast, and the heavier the rain the more patches that appeared. This makes me think it's more than condensation. Using a damp sensor I purchased, the sensor comes back at around 29-30% which I think is the limit of the sensor! When the weather dries out, the patches do disappear. Given the rain we've had recently though, it's making me worry again.

I just wondered, has anyone experienced this before? Did you manage to rectify it? What might the causes be? Last year I must have had about 6 damp 'specialists' around, but they were unable to provide anything other than 'what it might be' and I'd need to fork out for scaffolding to have a proper inspection. I do appreciate finding the culprit is the hardest part.

Does anyone have any advice please?

Thank you in advance :)

Jon

Replies

  • Novice_investor101Novice_investor101 Forumite
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    Sounds like rain water is getting down the chimney when it rains somehow. Have you enquired with a roofer to check the chimney, rather than "damp specialist (ie salesmen)? you may well have to fork out for scaffolding to get it sorted if it is the chimney anyway
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    RoughNeck wrote: »
    However, we repainted our chimney breast for the log burner in our dining room with a lighter colour after a few months. When it started raining heavily, we started to notice black damp patches on the chimney breast, and the heavier the rain the more patches that appeared. This makes me think it's more than condensation.


    Is there a liner for the log burner, and do you have a cowl fitted ?
    If there isn't a cowl, rain, birds, and other unwanted crud can get in from the top. If you do have a cowl, then it could be the flaunching needs attention.
    Her courage will change the world.

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  • edited 29 September 2019 at 8:14PM
    SuicidemachineSuicidemachine Forumite
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    edited 29 September 2019 at 8:14PM
    The exact same thing happened to me. Had my house replastered and repainted professionally in March/April 2018 (cant remember exact date),

    2 days later walked into living room to find massive damp patches on one of the chimney breasts in the living room. Couldn't believe it. Got a roofer out, chimney had virtually collapsed in on itself letting water in.

    Got the chimney rebuilt and waterproofed. Let chimney breast dry out, painted over damp with damp seal paint and then applied another coat of colour used and all fine, no problems since.
  • RelievedSheffRelievedSheff Forumite
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    Sounds very much like water ingress from the chimney.

    Get a roofer up there ASAP to get it repaired before it causes more damage.
  • RoughNeckRoughNeck Forumite
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    Thank you all for the very quick response, very grateful! I have a carpenter friend who has repointed another chimney on the house (he didn't realise I wanted him to check the log burner flue too!). He is due to go back up and have another look soon, just when is the question. I'm glad you are all quite consistent with your responses though as I think it might well be some old/loose roofing tiles/felt or maybe the flue collar. From what I know, the log burner is lined (although I haven't had it cleaned/checked yet) and the flue does have a cowl - albeit a slightly tall one where I think birds and rain can get through.

    I'm going to try and collar my friend asap, to see if I can get the ball rolling! Thanks again for your responses. Once sorted, I will let you know how I got on.

    Thanks,

    Jon
  • Definitely sounds like water ingress from above ie a chimney. Just get onto it ASAP and you won't end up with a large bill like having a chimney rebuilt :D
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