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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After some rainy days we had in Dubai recently the walls in our ground floor have gotten damp just above the floor level. The paint is peeling off and you can feel the moisture by placing your hand on the darker patches.

It appears the villa is not properly insulated from the ground and the moisture is ascending from the wet ground below (capillary effect).

Have you experienced such issues in you house? Should I be worried about fungus? Should I demand my landlord or developer (Nakheel) to do something (at least fix the paint job - it's a brand new villa)?

I know Dubai doesn't get much rain so the walls getting wet is probably a rare event.

Thanks!
 

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I live in an apartment but I have seen many cases of very poor water protection here. Fixing the paint will help, until the next rain shower.
I think we had probably around 8 rainy days in the last 12 months, so it probably won't last long :p

Edit: or you do what the next poster says :)
 

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After some rainy days we had in Dubai recently the walls in our ground floor have gotten damp just above the floor level. The paint is peeling off and you can feel the moisture by placing your hand on the darker patches.

It appears the villa is not properly insulated from the ground and the moisture is ascending from the wet ground below (capillary effect).

Have you experienced such issues in you house? Should I be worried about fungus? Should I demand my landlord or developer (Nakheel) to do something (at least fix the paint job - it's a brand new villa)?

I know Dubai doesn't get much rain so the walls getting wet is probably a rare event.

Thanks!
It is called rising damp and comes about because there is no damp-proof membrane between the wall and the ground (it a common problem in older houses here in Spain as well. The damp will usually be confined to the lower 2-3 feet of the wall. One solution (that we use) is to cut back the plaster and seal the wall with a moisture repellent coating then re-plaster. We use PVA (poly vynil acetate) which is also used as a wood glue. The normal brand is Unibond and you can just paint it on and let it dry; it forms a water resistant coating even underwater.
 

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I think it might be a good idea to get some heavy duty fans to dry the moisture before it turns into mold because at that point will be a huge problem and health hazard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your comments.

I was sort of hoping somebody would answer: "this happens to us in Dubai about once a year but it drys out quickly and mold has not been an issue"

I will now raise it up with the landlord, see if he is willing to do something about it. If this situation repeats itself we might get the fans and apply the coating to the walls.

Juha
 

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Hi. If it's occurring on an internal wall or several of them then it's more problematic. Most probably linked to a seasonal rise in the local water table. However, if it's on the inside of an external wall it may be that you can do something with the drainage in the immediate vicinity. Also if the water is moving laterally into the wall it might be possible to apply some waterproofing to the wall beneath the ground. Is the water pooling near the wall when it rains? Have you got an auto sprinkler that is keeping the area too wet?
 

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i would give the Landlord a mountain of grief over this.
That way, it might just penetrate through to his sub-conscious...
He should fix it for you
He should claim from the developer
you said it was a new villa

good luck with both...
 
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Very common issue with Dubai's Villa's, and very difficult (maybe impossible) to fix; its inherent in the design. I have the same issue in our house, and never been able to get rid of it. Best it to attack the place with some paint once its dried up.
 

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As baldilocks said, the reason for this is the lack of proper waterproofing. As an architect, I am pretty certain that any real solution to the problem would require a lot of work and I cannot imagine your landlord or developer fixing it. Other solutions like a fresh coat of paint of a thin layer of waterproofing before repainting would probably work since there is little rain in Dubai.

As the water dries up, your wall will become free of moisture, but it will continue to look bad, though mould should not be a problem. It will require a fresh coat of paint, but unless you want to do that every time it rains, I would either get some waterproofing on the wall or learn to live with it.

(Disclaimer: I am new to Dubai, so this response is not based on experience, but technical understanding)
 

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If I were you the tenant, I would raise this issue with my landlord immediately especially if I plan to stay put for the next few years (and pray that the rent would not rise as quickly as the rising damp ;) ) for both ecstatic and possible health reasons and being blamed and charge for a paint job (or whatever they come up with) when I move out.

If I were the landlord, I would want my tenant to inform me so that I can raise this issue with the developer since it is a new villa and may still be under warranty. Perhaps a good coat of waterproofing will do the trick, so it's best to have someone take a look and do something about it then just ignore (of course trying to get the developer to do anything is another story).

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the insights everybody.

The problem is appearing in about one third of the ground floor walls, both outer and inside walls.

I engaged my landlord and the developer about the issue. The developer sent some workers with very poor English skills to check the situation. They said the same thing happened in many of the villas in the area. They proceeded to peel some paint off around the areas affected and put a thin layer of some sort of coating on top and said they would come and paint on top after it's dry.

Today the coating was dry, but I could see some mold still pushing through the coating. I got the worker's boss on site after about 5 calls. I told him this is not enough and he agreed that it needs to be done again, for larger area and using a thicker layer of coating. They should start this tomorrow.

I'm still a little skeptical about how good the result will be. I hope we don't have to move because of this. Luckily Dubai has very little rain...
 

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Juha, glad to hear you are able to get the ball rolling so quickly. Unfortunately it is the "rainy season" now, otherwise, I would imagine it best for the walls to dry up completely before they start painting stuff over it unless they are injecting urethane. A thought just popped up......you may want to take a look at your DEWA meter, to ascertain there is no active water leakage somewhere too.

Cheers!
 

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Soggy Walls

I live with this problem throughout my villa on a daily basis. It continues to worsen and the damage is more than a quarter way up all walls, even internal ones. The LL says there is nothing that can be done and I should just repaint it if I don't like it! :confused: I think the recent rains have made it worse. I have just put really wide heavy duty clear sticky tape all over the damaged areas to stop the flaking etc from messing up my floors.
 
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