I just realised something this morning: This topic is not just about me and whether i get help or not. It is also about what others have had to go through suffering in the damp and cold in their homes. When i was 6 years old i remember an old lady called Miss Caine who was ill. The neighbours got together and put a new roof on her home altered her stairs so she could get up and down them and painted her windows and never charged her anything. This lady passed away about 6 weeks after - but it made a difference to her life.
My mother died when i was a child and the same neighbours did everything to make sure we were ok.
Forwarding through time the Isle of Man became a tax haven and it's people changed.
Today people regard large expensive cars and materialistic things and wealth as more important than the wellbeing of others.
Even if i won the lottery or someone gave me the money to damp proof my home it does not alter the fact that these prices are around 4 times dearer than in the UK to damp proof homes and that people suffer and die because they cannot afford these prices.
As i write there will be someone out there who is alone and suffering and who may not be able to communicate as i do, especially the elderly. EXAMPLES:
Case 1. I knew a pensioner who died in Hospital because of Pneumonia whilst i held his hand - which is as illness caused by dampness in homes.
Case 2. Friends of an old lady told me two years back that "their friend was living in a damp and cold house and that she was admitted to Hospital with a chest infection" and that a builder wanted about £2750 (Approx) to renew her guttering on her home" The builder said "It was expensive due to the home being close to a main road and having to follow Health and Safety" Another builder or friend replaced her guttering for £250.
This was not the only thing wrong with her home - It was just a part of it. How can the elderly be expected to pay prices like that for just renewing her guttering - This is either greed for money or Health and Safety gone mad or a combination of both. I don't know if this lady is still alive?
Case 3. A pensioner said to me "I'm Scared" so i asked her "what was wrong" She said " Many pensioners are going to die this winter unable to heat their homes" so i asked her "What makes you say this?" She replied "I am living in a damp cold house with mould in the upstairs rooms" i asked her "What was wrong with your home?" she replied "Her roof was leaking and that she could not afford to repair it" i asked her "How do you heat your home?" she replied "With a Portable gas fire" i said "For God's sake don't use those as they put out about 1 Gallon of water vapour per bottle and will add to causing moulds" I explained to her about Humidity and Temperature by relating to her that it is better to sit in a home with a temperature of 11C at 20% humidity that 11C at 90% humidity. I told her "If you can't afford to heat your home use a 1 bar electric fire and run a dehumidifier and pointed out that a Dehumidifier is usually 220W and anj Electric fire is 1Kw and that the two run together will cost her about 18P to 19P per hour and that this will help to dry her home out" I also told her "Don't got to bed leaving the Dehumidifier or fire on"
In all of these cases including my own since my family passed away - I see that the once caring community has also passed away.
You even have drainage companies on this Island charging £125 per hour to unblock drains and charging the same to take drain Survey photographs.
This gets charged even if they are at your home for 15 minutes.
I researched this and found that a firm in London charges £25 per hour plus free drainage survey pictures to inspect drainage systems for breakages plus 5% discount to pensioners. In Birmingham they charge £65 regardless of how long it takes to unblock a drain plus free survey photographs. This was the case in March 2010.
When i was a church and we used to go to people's homes - i saw bills for plastering a small kitchen wall for £1300 and i heard a case where a person that moved from here to Rochdale got all four bedroom walls plastered and a ceiling put in for £250. I was amazed at this price myself - i would have genuinly expected that to be more - but it was true.
I could fill this forum with cases like this: This is why our Island has earned the name "Rip off Island"
Here is what i had to endure over four years, including the loss of my family.
Because of the estimate i received from that damp proofing company above who knew all about this.
I am now entering my fifth year and the reason i wrote all this is because i wanted to speak out for these people who cannot communicate their stories and don't want anyone else to suffer - especially the elderly. It is time for everyone to start helping people and for those overcharging to understand this! as it comes at the expense of the wellbeing and health of others. These prices are not a fair price for a fair job - they are apalling at around 5 times that of the UK for labour charges.
I spent four years trying to solve how damp was getting into my home by running hose pipe tests against the windows and wall and driveway of my home - but have never been able to determine how damp gets in - only that after the windows were renewed it reduced it.
I put boards across the window - mastic and cement on any crack in the drive i could see - black damp proof tape around the perimeter and much more.
The most depressing days on my life were when my father died and on the eve of his funeral i was on my hands and knees with a hair dryer and dehumidifier drying out the ground - similar when my Brother was taken to hospital - i left the dehumidifier on and when i got to the Hospital he was pronounced dead.
I was plunged from having a family to having no one and i now know what it must be like for the elderly having lost their loved ones faced with the likes of this. Dampness and Cold kills people.
That damp proofing man came into my home - he never even bothered to measure the walls - never investigated as to how water was getting into my home - went away and wrote back with a quote for almost £7K.
He quoted for the removal of skirting board that did not exist - wanting to rip out my sink that does not even have damp behind it and other. He would not provide a breakdown of his prices for labour and materials - which is why i had to do the investigation myself to include Isle of Man prices for materials and materials was not the problem. He is charging me over £6K for labour charges.
I pointed this out to him and he blocked my emails rather than explain this!
I worry about the elderly being charged the likes of this.
Here are my latest entries Dampness coming into my home: Starting Christmas day 2011
25th December 2011: I emailed the Damp Proof Company at the start of this topic to beg him to help me to stop dampness coming into my home as no one will help me in overfour years - He replied "Happy new year" i will try to sort something out in the new year" in the email he asked me "I need to know how much money you have"? - See 4th January 2012 below.
1st January 2012: From last night and before: Ground below Window near TV continues to dry slowly in day even at 23.20.
2nd January 2012 During day and at 23.25 much drier below window near TV
4th January 2012: The damp proof man (Who gave the estimate above) called at my home about 11.25 to look at dampness, after promising to help me after i had emailed him on Christmas day 2011 to beg him to help me and was on my knees in tears. I was thinking about these prices - wondering why after four years no one helps - reflecting on the deaths of my family - feeling a lone - whilst everyone else is with their families opening Christmas Presents and wishing each other a happy new year.
In an Email i received after Christmas Day : He wished me a happy New Year - not to worry and said "He would help me in new year"
He came today and said "It only needs tanking from the inside"
He came down today with a view to reducing these costs
He got out of his car and knocked on my front door.
Here is a transcript of his visit:
He looked out of my living room window and said "What is that water running out from my hosepipe" At this stage i didn't know so i went outside to see!
He had backed his large 4x4 car into my outside tap - knocking the tap of its mounting turning the water on!
So as not to offend him - i just switched it off and said nothing about it.
After promising to help me he stuck a damp meter in the wall and claimed it "Read 99", and stated that "The works should be done from the inside only" then showed me a photograph of his trip abroad and walked out of my front door after tapping the bathroom wall and commenting "Oh it's solid"
Outside i said to him: "What am i supposed to do am i supposed to do it myself"? he replied "i can google it" knowing full well, "i don't know what materials i need? nor how much materials i would need? and that i have no equipment and no training and that i am not a builder" (It was later i researched these prices in case i was wrong)
I emailed him as i was disappointed that he offered me no help.
12th January 2012 : Damp on floor beneath window near tv - Left Corner.
13th January 2012: Quite Damp under Bath - Ran Hairdryer 21.00 to Midnight drying out under the bath Dehumidifier 21.00 to after midnight. Pipes wet. Front under bath patchy damp - Far right Damp - Channel Damp. Living Room corner by TV damp.
21st January 2012 : A Builder from my ex Church group called - He borrowed the report from the damp proofing company to see if he could help me by asking a builder friend the following Monday or Tuesday - I have not heard anything.
22nd January 2012: Over the last few days including today i ran the Dehumidifier and Hairdryer because of damp in the corner of my living room.
Wiped dripping pipes under bath with a cloth - some damp in brick cupboard in living room in corner.
25th January 2012 : Over the last two days in corners of living room beneath window near TV dried using a hairdryer and dehumidifier and damp in brick cupboard and at back of settee. Ran Dehumidifier to midnight - signs of damp returning left corner.
27th January 2012: Over last couple of days and nights it remained dryer in the corners beneath window near TV, however put central heating on and dehumidifier at 19.45 - seems a bit damper in corners. switched central heating off at 23.10 still running dehumidifier. put hairdryer on 23.10 to 23.25 in corners - they were not very damp.
28th January 2012: Remained mainly dry in corners of living room beneath window near TV.
30th January 2012: Dampness returned in left corner below window near TV - Gradually during day and night - reason unknown though ran central heating radiators - change in room temperature maybe drawing out dampness. (Unknown)
31st January 2012: Damp returned left corner by window near TV in day and night. Dried with Hairdryer 00.15 to 00.35 wednesday - ran dehumidifier 00.15 to 01.15 Wednesday. Theory change in Temperature maybe drawing out moisture after putting on Central Heating - Unknown.
1st February 2012: Damp areas under bath - wiped pipes with cloth, ran hairdryer under bath 15.05 to 16.57 Dehumidifier 15.07 to (Forgot to log the time)
3rd February 2012: It has not rained since 29th January 2012 and after drying under bath see 1/02/2012 - i looked under bath 23.55 and observed that there are relatively faint damp patches. I wiped bath pipes with cloth to get rid of condensation - not bad under bath. Living room corner slight damp - same as yesterday.
4th February 2012: Rain all day. No further dampness came in - in fact seemed drier - Bath the same as yesterday just slight.
5th February 2012: From rains on 4th February 2012, No increase of damp anywhere - quite good.
6th February 2012: no change - though a little damper left corner of window near TV - Ran Dehumidifier 20.05 to 22.01 Hairdryer 20.05 to 20.17.
7th February 2012: Dampness in corner below window near TV - Slight - No change - Back of Settee - Good - Slight Damp under Bath near tunnel.line of damp extreme right - wiped moisture off pipes.
Ran central heating damper in corner by TV window left - Hairdryer 22,32 to 22.46 Dehumidifier 22.32 to (Forgot to log time)
8th February 2012: After running Central Heating a bit damp in corner in living room dried using hairdryer 21.15.
9th February 2012: Condensation on pipes under bath in Afternoon - wiped using a cloth - Dampness under bath unchanged. dry at back of settee as of 19.10.
Seemed a little damper in corner of floor by window near TV. Ran Hairdryer 2102 to 21.13 Dehumidifier 21.02 to 22.30 - wasn't too bad.
10th February 2012: from 08.17 window near tv floor left corner - maybe slightly damper - not sure. some slight dampening developed in day. ran hairdryer 20.00 to 20.06 and dehumidifier 20.00 to 21.30.
11th February 2012: At 14.05 wiped some moisture off pipes under bath- Damp patch to extreme back near middle. a bit worse near channel and to extreme right, Back of Settee some slight blob patches but not much. window near TV not bad unchanged.
15th February 2012: Over the last Three days in left corner floor in living room near TV significantly worsened. Ran hairdryer 20.40 to 21.05 Dehumidifier 20.40 to 21.15 also just damp to corner of fireplace near left corner despite there being no rain.
17th February 2012: Under the Bath - left corner, extreme right somewhat damp. Middle area extreme back of bath worse - wiped some dampness off pipes - back of settee some damp blobs. Window near TV floor left corner - Damp in corner to pillar of fireplace Ran dehumidifier 14.55 to 15.40 hairdryer 15.10 to 19.30.
Came back. Dried it again.
Damp returned quite bad left corner 21.30 worse by midnight. Ran central heating at night. Back of Settee damp blobs - Brick cupboard damp patch front right
Ran Dehumidifier Midnight to 03.00 and Hairdryer Midnight to 00.40. Dampness returning 03.40.
18th February 2012: Damp quite worse again beneath window near TV. Both left and right side. Also damp returned right corner front of brick cupboard in living room. as of and before 10.40 hrs. Ran Dehumidifier 12.13 to 14.07 Hairdryer 12.13 to 12.31.
It is now 17.24 - dampness in left corner is returning.
19th February 2012 As of and before 12.09 corner in living room on floor left is showing signs of drying out itself.
Under bath Channel to left is damp - Middle back expanded damp - Far right damp to faint damp - overall worse - wiped pipes with cloth.
Ran Hairdryer under bath 12.55 to 14.30 Dehumidifier in bathroom 12.55 to.
Went outside with mastic gun by bathroom window - put white mastic blobs on drive to fill in any small holes or minute cracks to see if this is why water is coming in.
It is now 15.50 hrs and the Dehumidifier is still running - Under the bath Damp to centre back is gradually coming back. Splat like damp marks returning to Channel left. Faint damp returning to extreme right - Dry conditions outside house.
20th February 2012: Under Bath as of 11.35 after drying out yesterday Slight damp in large area tunnel left damp patch formed near to center. Slight damp large area to right. Living room corner Window near TV floor drier from 07.30 to 17.20 after 9 hours and 40 minutes of continuous rain. No increase in damp or under bath. Ran hairdryer living room corner 20.30 to 20.43 dehumidifier 20.30 to midnight. At 20.45 i noticed a patch of damp to left pilar of fireplace.
21st February 2012: On floor by TV near window (L Shaped Dampness in the right corner) (Damp in corner left to near pilar of fireplace and corner) Faint line of damp to centre. Ran Dehumidifier 16.18 to 17.30 Ran Hairdryer 16.18 to 16.45. Back of settee slight blobs of damp on floor. (Right corner of brick cupboard front more damper than previous days about the size and width of a combe) Under Bath wiped moisture from pipes with a cloth. Far right more damp - Centre back slightly damper - Left area and under tunnel dampness expanded and into tunnel.
22nd February 2012: The window near TV Damp in left corner to fireplace pilar. Damp patch at back of Settee at 18.35. Dampness intensified deeper by night around left corner and right corner of floor below living room window. Almost linked together. Back of Settee worse.
23rd February 2012: Back of Settee - worse. left and right corners beneath window dampness almost linked together. Damp patch front right of brick cupboard in living room - worsed i have seen from blustery rains of previous days. I have noticed dampness on ledge of chimney brest in livingroom fireplace - never noticed this before.
24th February 2012: Damp at back of settee much worse. Both corners on floor beneath living room windows
25th February 2012: As i am writing this: Under bath damp in all three areas. I have put lagging on mains water pipe and near to centre of bath to see if this stops damp going onto these pipes. Ran hairdryer under bath 14.25 to 16.10 Dehumidifier 14.25 still running as i write.
There is already signs that damp is returning to centre back of bath and left tunnel even with dehumidifier running at 16.35
What you have just read is a small sample of my notes from October 2007 to February 2012 and combined with the above, this is a hell of a price to pay all because Damp proofing Companies on this Island are around 4 times dearer than the UK and as to the posting above "Why don't you sell your house etc" Why should i sell my home? that is not addressing the core problem of damp proofing companies overcharging. You should all be asking yourselves "What happened to people helping each other?" Why four times dearer? In my case i was prepared to work at it as best i could - i was not wanting something for nothing - But no one would help me? - They just want their large sums of money - That goes against what i was brought up to believe in and was not the Isle of Man i knew as a child and worse - Many of these tradesmen are Manx.