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The Dampstore are experts in anti-condensation methods and processes, we stock dehumidifiers and a range of anti-mould products. Please call our office on 01-8745055 or click below to see more...


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Moulding Apartment Life

"A press release from the Sunday Tribune"

My clothes are always ruined. I can't keep a pair of shoes in the cupboard without mould covering them within days. My bed is always damp and there's mould all over the walls.

"Niamh, a young marketing executive acquired her apartment home in Dublin 8 just under two years ago. Since then, she has encountered extreme difficulties with damp. The building firm has since run into legal problems and claim that her problem isn't their problem, Niamh says they have been no help whatsoever.

Richard, an accountant, rented a Quayside ground floor studio apartment in Dublin 1 for 12 months. "Straight away., I noticed the air seemed musty. Before long the sheets on my bed were damp and my clothes were getting destroyed. There was one small window in the apartment and because it was on the ground floor, it had to be kept closed during the day. "When I complained to the builder, he installed an industrial dehumidifier which took in 14 buckets of water in the first few days. This relieved the problem somewhat before the builder discovered that one of the walls had not been properly damp proofed. The wardrobes had to be taken out, the plaster removed and a proper damp course laid.

"In that 12 months, I had more colds and flus. A friend of mine had a third floor apartment nearby and also experienced damp problems. I billed the developer for ruined clothes and the cost of running the dehumidifier but never got a penny. It would certainly put me off buying an apartment.

" Michelle, a public relations executive with her own business, recently rnoved into a two bedroom ground floor apartment north of 0'Connell Street in Dublin.

"Damp was only one of the problems we had to contend with apart from bursting pipes, ill fitting doors and cracks in the walls. We have had the heating on since July and the weather hasn't even got cold yet.

"The beds are wet and my clothes, particularly my shoes, have been destroyed. I have had chest infections in the summer months. I am dreading what it will be like when winter kicks in."

Liam Harris who heads up the Damp Store Ltd, one of Ireland's largest building treatment firms, has had many years experience treating damp in buildings countrywide.

He deals regularly with apartment dwellers and owners and estimates that around 30% of new apartments suffer from damp in some form or other. He sells hundreds of dehumidifier units each year and estimates that half are bought by apartment owners. However, Harris believes that 90% of damp problems are not caused by construction faults but rather by the tenants themselves.

"Most of these apartments are constructed to a reasonably high standard with proper damp proof courses installed. In most cases it is the tenant and his or her lifestyle which creates the problem. I can guarantee that in most cases if you take two apartments, one with damp and one without, and swop the tenants, you will see the damp problem transferring itself as well.

Damp is caused by poor circulation of air. Apartment dwellers typically leave their windows closed all day and all night and come home in the evening to turn on the heating, the washing machine, cook and take a shower. Combine this with the greatly improved standards of insulation currently in use and a damp problem inevitably prevails.

"North facing apartments and ground floor units are most affected by damp related problems. Installation of a dehumidifier can help deal with the problem, but there's no substitute for simply leaving the windows open for set periods of time, each day.
"Irish people are not as used to apartment living as others and can automatically blame the builders rather than examine other causes of the problem."

So while the builders can be let off the hook in most cases, the problem of damp is likely to prevail in many cases given the lifestyle may occupiers lead being absent all day and not having the option to leave windows open for security reasons.

Based at St James Hospital, Dr Luke Clancy is one of Irelands leading medical experts on lung and chest related problems. While he does not claim to have knowledge of the problems relating specifically to apartments, he beliefs living in damp conditions does cause some health problems, particularly for those already suffering from allergies or breathing difficulties.

"There is evidence to suggest that living in damp conditions can cause the spread of chills and colds, spores from damp induced fungus can cause allergic reactions and generally old people and children are more sensitive.

"Bad ventilation can also cause the spread of droplet infections (spread by sneezing and coughing) Although there are varying opinions on how much illness fungus spores can cause."

Although for the most part, builders don't appear to be to blame for damp problems in apartments whether they like it or not most sufferers unwittingly hold them responsible.

For this reason, they should ensure tenants and occupiers are well informed about potential problems and should ensure maximum ventilation in their units.

providing Dehumidifier units as standard in all apartments may also be worthwhile if only for the image of their proffesiona and apartment living overall.

Mould growth on wall and ceilings can be removed with the aid of MGC Mould Treatment and these products can also prevent re-occurance of the mould growth.

Excessive condensation problems can be reduced and controlled with the aid of Dehumidifiers which reduce the relative humidity levels and prevent condensation build-up.

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