MPA are employed by Metropolitan and Optivo to investigate damp. Here is what they’ve found so far.
MPA have been undertaking invasive testing, which goes into the core of masonry walls to establish the cause of damp and mould. To date, dozens of core samples have been taken from property walls, which have been calcium carbide tested (mixing sample in a pressure vessel with calcium carbide, which extracts every molecule of moisture from the sample and converts the moisture into acetylene gas. The produces a gas pressure which is directly proportionate to the moisture extracted) which is an important test in determining internal or external causation.
Without this test, it is difficult to make a distinguishing conclusion on whether problems are to do with the fabric, structure and exterior, which the landlords are responsible for. MPA are looking for defects to the building, which can impinge on the quiet enjoyment of the property. MPA confirmed they have no fear of advising of building defects, which have included defects connected to inoperable extractor fans, internal water leaks on plumbing services for which the landlord is responsible in tenanted properties and instances of flat roof problems (which is being drilled into more intently).
MPA confirmed that the design of the building could be an issue. For example, end of block flats, which have solid walls with no cavities to fill, have a higher external wall surface area which would have a propensity for a greater degree of heat loss due to the design of the building and the location of the individual flat to the elements. This can also be the case with flats against communal stairwells, lift shafts and so on. Apart from fixing defects, the details of which will be contained in the reports submitted to the landlords, there will be also be recommendations regarding improvements to the building to improve the thermal resistivity of the building envelope to mitigate damp and mould, and improve heat retention, necessary in colder flats where heat loss may be an issue.
Issues will affect leaseholders and tenants as they are both within the same structure and it is important to have a mixture of leasehold and tenanted properties with problems as that will help MPA come to a safe and professional conclusion at the end of surveying. MPA are still active in doing surveys on the estate, 4 surveys are being completed today. Each survey is a through undertaking, which takes between 2 – 3 hours, and they are there to get to the cause and the source of the issue.
The surveys should complete by the end of April and we should get an action plan by June.
If you’re affected by damp and haven’t had a survey please request one.