David Artiss

A dodgy damp fix


Our main bedroom has a bay window and, mainly during the winter, mould grows on the interior wall. There’s some separation of the skirting boards from the wall and there are cracks in the wall – basically signs that damp is getting into the wall, possibly from the small flat roof about it.

So, I decided to get somebody in to check it and, hopefully, cure it. What happened was rather unexpected.

The company I contacted were damp ‘experts’ and, over the phone, told me it sounded like condensation, which I immediately found odd. Those symptoms and just one room? Anyway, they came out and looked at the wall but still stuck with their theory is was condensation. They got their damp meter out 1 and told me it would give a reading of green, amber or red and expected it to be green.

It was red, essentially blowing their theory out of the water. But it didn’t. They said it was red but “only the low end of red” and stuck with their condensation theory.

If you go to most builders they’ll install air bricks at £100 each.

Now, bearing in mind only one room has an issue, £100 didn’t seem too bad.

We offer a whole house solution. A small white box with a light on, it’s installed in the hallway and on the landing and this will blow air through the house, improving circulation and reducing condensation. It costs about £800.

The picture I saw of the ceiling-mounted the box reminded of the “the internet” from The IT Crowd.

There’s another price to this too, as it blows cold air from outside. Not the best thing to be doing over my Nest Thermostat – my energy costs are high enough as they are. Besides, we keep our downstairs door shut, the one that leads from the hall, so it wouldn’t benefit any of the rooms down there anyway.

But, let’s be honest, it’s not a condensation problem – that wall has a damp issue.

Now, I’d love to say it ended there. The ‘salesman’ then proceeded to tell me all about how great their solution was and the great feedback they had, particularly from the elderly. Indeed, one lady had apparently just recovered from Cancer and she believed it would have been worse if she hadn’t had their home ventilation system installed.

Now I’m not going to say it cures cancer, but with feedback like that…

I’ll be sending them along a copy of my new, 4 word book, “Correlation is not Causation”.

Needless to say, I’m not going with them but I’m flabbergasted at what some companies will try and sell, and the claims they’ll make. Now, where was that phone number for trading standards…

  1. it was one of those with the 2 prongs on the end that you’re supposed to stick in the wall. For some reason he didn’t put those on but held the meter to the wall. I’d therefore consider all results on the low side[]

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1 Comment

  1. Or you could simply purchase a fan heater (at a fraction of the cost) and keep a window slightly ajar.
    -Pete

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