We were called to evaluate the extent of the water damage to a residential property, to identify the root causes of damp and to recommend the most suitable remediation measure. We needed to make sure that the dampness wasn’t damaging the indoor air quality. In order to identify what the source of the dampness was, we opted to conduct a damp inspection. Although our investigation was extensive, there were a number of areas we couldn’t access without causing significant damage the building. To be on the safe side, we advised the owners about the possibility of dampness being present in these “no access” areas.
Getting to the Root of the Problem: A Damp Inspection
After conducting a damp inspection we found a number of problem areas. One of these was the common area to some of the ground floor flats. The common area was a prime target for dampness, as it had no means of ventilation and the air content revealed high humidity levels in comparison to other areas of the property. The ceiling showed signs of elevated moisture across the surface and ceiling. In the internal corner of the room next to one of the flats showed slightly elevated moisture across the floor. However, the wall cavity was free from fungal contamination. We couldn’t find any signs of leaks within the area. This was strange given that the occupier of the ground floor flat stated that in the past the internal corner of the room was wet, however at the time of the inspection the corner only shows marginally elevated moisture in comparison to other areas of the room.
Improving the Indoor Air Quality
The internal corridor is affected by high humidity and uniformly elevated moisture. However, the room was not affected by an active service leak, rising damp or penetrative damp via the back wall. We found it likely that there was water present in the wall cavity in other areas of the building, which is connected to this room and accumulates due to lack of ventilation. It is also possible that the room was affected by an infrequent and intermittent leak in the corner of the room but it was hard to tell. Due to the fact that the area is fully enclosed and there is no ventilation, it is recommended to install an automatic humidity controlled ventilation fan in the corridor to aid drying. In order to ensure an ideal long term solution, we recommended that the owners reevaluate the state of the building two months after the installation of a new extractor fan.