When you buy a very old house you expect it to through up problems, even when you view a house 3 or 4 times before you buy it you can still miss what would normally be staring you in the face if the house had been unoccupied. To cut a long story very short the previous owners obviously didn't like fresh air, they preferred very hot stuffy rooms, closed doors, closed windows and open fire places boarded up ~ of course after years of not letting a house "breathe" what do you get??? Damp and condensation. Its very hard when you're viewing a house to see behind cabinets, under carpets, inside wardrobes. We knew that the house would require a lot of work but the "damp" issue was something else. Funny thing was it didn't even smell damp.
It's only when you get in the house on moving day that it hits you in the face. You see walls that had been previously covered up sporting a nice shade of black spore mould. By the way if you get any of this vile stuff just wipe with a solution of watered down bleach, it kills the spores on contact.
Over the last 9 months my hubby and I have re-pointed the brickwork outside, cleared the guttering, opened up the fireplace and had the chimney top capped, had the roof inspected for damage, changed the heating system and generally aired the house as much as we can.
Last night, as it was sooooo cold, I closed the bedroom window, we normally leave it open about half an inch, this morning the walls were literally running with water. Lovely eh? I have now had to hoist my curtains up before they get damaged.
This is what you get when previous owners suffocate houses for years on end, trouble is it stays in the brickwork and comes out to remind you that houses are "alive" and need lots of love and attention.