Concrete floor with damp patches in hold Victorian house


Postby bevhousehastings » Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:50 pm

Hi
We've just bought an old Victorian house, and when we lifted up the kitchen lino discovered damp on the concrete kitchen floor. We've had a damp specialist out who says this has caused rising damp on all our kitchen walls, which needs treating with a damp course and re-plastering. He also says although the ideal solution would be to completely take up the floor, a medium solution might be to put porus tiles down, not seal them and clean them frequently. This is the option we plan to go for, but some advice, on how to level the floor, can we with it being bit damp?, what to lay tiles with, and how long this might work for would be so appreciated.
Many thanks
Bev
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Postby VickieHouseOwner » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:09 am

[quote="bevhousehastings"]Hi
We've just bought an old Victorian house, and when we lifted up the kitchen lino discovered damp on the concrete kitchen floor. We've had a damp specialist out who says this has caused rising damp on all our kitchen walls, which needs treating with a damp course and re-plastering. He also says although the ideal solution would be to completely take up the floor, a medium solution might be to put porus tiles down, not seal them and clean them frequently. This is the option we plan to go for, but some advice, on how to level the floor, can we with it being bit damp?, what to lay tiles with, and how long this might work for would be so appreciated.
Many thanks
Bev[/quote]

Firstly, you need to bear in mind that your 'damp specialist' is probably in the business of selling damp proof products, none of which will work in a Victorian house. Our house had a silicone DPC put in a few years ago, and it never worked. Four grand down the swanee, plus a load of ugly holes drilled into the walls. What would have worked, however, would have been taking the concrete floor up, maybe putting in a soakaway if the damp is really bad, and replacing it with limecrete. If you have enough headspace you could raise the floor and use floorboards over joists instead. Whatever was originally there will work far better than modern concrete. Also, poured concrete floors expand, so they have to be laid with expansion joints otherwise the floor will push the walls out.

Replaster by all means, but if you can use lime plaster and paint with linewash this will allow the walls to 'breathe' instead of trapping damp in them.

Other things to look out for include: cement render on the outside of the walls, outside walls repointed with cement mortar (both of which tend to seal damp into the wall), ground level outside less than two brick courses below the DPC, blocked drains, broken or perforated downpipes.

Rising damp is nowhere near as common as the damp proof 'experts' would have you believe, and the fact that you are on a site such as this suggests that you are researching what you have. There is a lot of information on the 'net about this subject, and it appears to me sometimes that forum members here and elsewhere know far more about it than the 'experts' do. Good luck.
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Postby Perry525 » Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:10 pm

When the house was built it would have been designed to be damp and that was not considered at the time to be a bad thing. The house would have been full of thousands of small cracks and wind suction would have taken care of the damp. The floor would have been laid directly on the bare earth. A natural stone floor and open weave mats would have coped quite splendidly with the rising damp. You would have had a seemingly dry cold house.
Now in order to save on heating costs we are required to seal everything up and to have mechanical ventilation.
If you have a typical high Victorian ceiling you can lay a dpc and concrete over with expansion provision and a finish to suit. Alternatively,
You can dig up the floor and insert a dpc. You can insulate both below the floor slab and round the edges to allow for expansion to make a dryer warmer floor.
The damp will continue in the walls if there is no dpc. Especially if there are exposed walls outside to soak up the rain that will then settle within the walls.
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Postby erikasha » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:03 am

thanks Perry for such info. :)



Concrete Floor Care
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