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Mould in rooms - double brick house

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  1. #1
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    Default Mould in rooms - double brick house

    Hi all need some advice,

    We have an old 1940's double brick home. It has two bedrooms on the West side of the house that keep getting mould along the skirting board and up the wall whenever anything like a wardrobe or bed is put up against it.

    Unfortunately there is no way of getting underneath the house to inspect however the bricks on that wall do have a green tinge on them and the mortar looks crumbly and old.

    I also noticed that the previous owner has installed some plastic sheeting underneath a rock bed that runs right up against the house. So i'm wondering if that could also be a contributor. The soil underneath the plastic is wet/damp.

    The internal brick wall which appears to have a mortar like layer over it is damp/cold to touch.

    Each morning there is a lot of condensation on each window.

    Wondering if there is anything I can do to DIY a fix or if we need to get someone in to look at it.

    I was thinking that the intent of the plastic might have been to keep the soil dry but as there is moisture underneath i'm thinking that it is now preventing the soil from drying out.

    Any help, suggestions would be appreciated.
    Tyler.
    Melbourne Vic.

    mvimg_20200719_110915.jpgmvimg_20200719_110921.jpgmvimg_20200719_110938.jpgmvimg_20200719_110959.jpg

  2. #2
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    My guess is that the plastic sheet is there to stop weeds growing through the pebbles, nothing more.

    I am no expert, but I can't see the damp course in your photos. Could it be that the soil has been built up above the height of the damp course? That would let moisture from the soil get into the bricks above the damp course level and cause problems like you have.
    Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it necessary, it is true, does it improve on the silence? - Baba

  3. #3
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    I would be starting with a close inspection of the roof and gutters. Make sure there is no water ingress occurring there then running down wall. Cracked tiles, missing mortar, rust holes.

    After that pulling enough dirt back to establish what height the foundation is.

  4. #4
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    How old is the house?
    Some of the older houses had a small trap door in the floor so you could get under the house for maintenance.
    Usually carpeted/ linoed over tho.
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

  5. #5
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    Ideally install an aggie drain all the way along the side of the house to get the water away, but looking at pic 1 you probably don't have much fall for the water to drain to the street, so you may have to install a pit with submersible pump.

  6. #6
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    There looks like there would be 12 - 18 inches of clearance under the floor, you need to find out what the condition is like underneath.
    If it is damp under there then ventilation is the first step.

  7. #7
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Is that the south side of the house ?

    If so it will always be cold and damp, if you have condensation on the windows the only thing you can do is dry it up every day, so it doesn't end up at humidity in the room.
    Think of a bathroom. when the fan is not working well, the humidity will eventually cause mould to appear especially in the winter.

    Try putting some of those damp rid containers in the room, and dry up the condensation each morning.
    Are the windows Aluminium ?, as the condensation will run down the glass and drain out automatically, but a lot of it will turn to dampness in the room before it runs off the glass.

    Try every morning using a window washer type squeegee to clean to window inside, this will force most of the water off immediately, some condensation might appear.
    Doing this in combination with damp rid might solve the problem, the real issue is you need natural airflow in to move the humidity out of the room, and in winter it's usually too cold to open the windows.

    There are roof / room ventilators you can install, these have a simple vent on the ceiling which vents through a tube to the outside of the roof, this will suck most of the humidity out, but like a bathroom for it to work effectively you need to have a window open or some other source of air to enter the room so it can draw air u through the room.

    Something like this will do the job.

    https://www.bunnings.com.au/csr-brad...t-sky_p0811145
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for the reply guys, I'm new to the forum and lost my post.

    I am yet to dig down and find the foundation but i will try that this weekend.

    It does not look like the soil has been built up in the area as its the same height as the neighbours yard and the fence.

    I might pull up the plastic as once the moisture has gotten under it i'm not sure that it is drying out.

    Unfortunately there is no way to get under the house. No external or internal doors/trapdoors to get under so hard to inspect.

    The backyard drops quite quickly once away from the house and it does slope down towards the backyard so an Aggie drain could work. Are they put up right up against the house foundation?

    Internally i have been repeatedly wiping away the mould with bleach and vinegar. But the biggest difference so far has been wiping the windows down each morning. After a few days of that there is almost no moisture on the windows in the morning at all. Before doing this those moisture buckets were filling up very fast.

    Is it advised to get in someone to inspect? If so what trade/profession is it. If anyone knows of anyone in Melbourne Heidelberg area that would be great. Or is this something that can be DIY'ed?

    So far I'm thinking of:
    - Scraping back some dirt from the side of the house to find the damp course and ensuring the dirt level is below that.
    - Removing the plastic along the side to allow the soil to dry out.
    - Possible aggie drain along the side
    - Continuing to remove condensation and moisture from inside the house

  9. #9
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    Unfortunately there is no way to get under the house. No external or internal doors/trapdoors to get under so hard to inspect.
    If you own the house put one in to assess the situation and for future maintenance if needed.
    If its a rental put the problem back to the landlord.

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