Damp patches on top floor - no idea who to call
Damp can be a major issue in the home. Find answers to questions or post your own here.

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Southlondoner17
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Damp patches on top floor - no idea who to call

by Southlondoner17 » Sun Jun 23, 2024 3:26 pm

Please help, I have no idea what to do. We bought a 1st&2nd floor flat of a converted Edwardian house last September. There were no visible issues although the survey did pick up a slightly high damp reading on some walls which we were told by surveyors might be down to the seal between the chimney stack and roof and would cost 2k to sort so we didn't think much of it as seemed like an easy enough fix. Since moving in we started noticing damp patches, which had got bigger and bigger and started to spread across multiple areas. We had a very wet few months weather wise but it was very wet and dripping weird orange/yellow drops some mornings in the winter. We got a roofer in who sealed up the chimney and relayed some new felt as he said the previous one was looking torn and badly fitted. We have seen no improvement since and if anything, it has gotten worse.

The damp patches are on the wall next to the old/unused chimney breast (it's on the top floor right below the roof and the wall is an external one). We have also recently noticed a big orangey brown patch where it used to be all white paint (see 2nd picture) just below the roofline. Also a newer damp patch has appeared since too on the same wall but further along into the hallway.

We don't know who to call to troubleshoot. We tried calling a damp specialist and he said it sounds like an external issue and would be better off calling a roofer. But we have already had that done so what else could it be? There is no vent on the chimney which I'm pretty sure is blocked up but I can't really tell. Could it be that? We are not 'handy' people and know very little about this stuff so happy to pay someone to come and assess and tell us what needs to be done but we don't know what sort of tradesperson does this. Googling also mentioned something about rendering but again, no idea what that means and what sort of professional to come and look.

Downstairs/ground floor flat say they haven't got any damp patches so it really just seems to be one side of the top floor that's the issue.

It's been a lot dryer in the mornings since the summer but Im sure the problem will return when it gets colder and wetter again.

Any advice would be gratefully accepted.
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stoneyboy
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Re: Damp patches on top floor - no idea who to call

by stoneyboy » Mon Jun 24, 2024 11:47 pm

Hi soufhlondoner17,
It must be very frustrating for you to have bought a reasonable looking property only to discover there are inherent issues.
If you paid for a full survey then you must approach them with your issues. If it was a homebuyers survey you are unlikely to get helpful response.
Because the stains are brown it is most likely that rain is getting into the chimney, washing down and dissolving soot and this is percolating through your internal walls. You will have to find a builder who can advise you as to whether the chimney can be weatherproofed but in many cases where a chimney is unused it best to take it down to below roof level and form a new roof section over the hole. Find a builder through personal recommendations and ask to speak to previous clients.
Regards S

Southlondoner17
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Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2024 2:48 pm

Re: Damp patches on top floor - no idea who to call

by Southlondoner17 » Tue Jun 25, 2024 9:38 pm

Thank you for the advice, Stoneyboy. I appreciate you taking the time to respond, we suspected the chimney so it's good to know that's a valid potential reason for it

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