Damp Advice Please for House Built in 1885


Postby ashm » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:38 am

Hello,

First time poster here but long time lurker. We have finally made an offer on a house that has been accepted. The property has been repossessed so we are moving quickly to a completion and exchange.

The house was built in 1885.

The home survey has been completed and they reported the damp but it did not restrict the lending.

The damp is downstairs only on all walls facing externally and internally. Someone has stolen the lead bay window roof from the front window. But from speaking with neighbours damp did exist when the previous owners lived there.

I have spoken with quite a few of the neighbors and know the reason why the house was repossessed and have established it is nothing sinister to do with the property. The house has had various alterations over the years and i intend to do a full refurbishment over the coming years.

My fears are getting a 'damp specialist' out whom gives wrong advice and i spent money that really isnt needed. I have a budget to put the house right and it needs the damp sorting, a rewire and bathroom etc.

Please have a look at the pics and any opinions good and bad welcome!

Many thanks.

Ash.

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ashm
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Postby Constans » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:10 pm

Hi, my comments are based on being a fellow homeowner of a similarly vintaged property, and not an expert. My advice would be as follows:

- Get some damp specialists in to give you some quotes. Get a minimum of 4 and see what the consensus is. Quotes are free, but some will try to drum up work and others will be straight with you, like all service providers! Listen to what they say, ask questions, use what one says to challenge another.

- You need to work out whether the damp is penetrative, rising, falling or condensive. Sometimes it is easy to tell, but mostly hard. The internal walls with damp are the most concerning to me - it could have been from condensation from furnature against the walls, although this is unlikely. Usually it forms around single-skin external walls because they get cold and condense out the moisture from the warmer air. So not sure where that is coming from.

If the external walls' damp are due to condensation from previously placed furniture, then that's not an issue, just avoid placing furniture near any external walls. If the wall is partially subterranean, or there is a crack (either in the wall or around a frame), then it could be penetrative, and sealing the crack, silicone injection and replastering the walls with Vandex are different solutions. There are other solutions using a second skin, but if you have wooden floors these are not suitable.

Like I said, not an expert, but had lots of experts look at mine, and did some reading up on it. Overall, if you have a single-skin Victorian house its best to educate yourself on damp. Since you've got quite a lot in various places I'd definitely get the experts in to quote (just be critical!).
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Postby Perry525 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:03 pm

This looks like a classic case of rising damp.
Walk round the house on the outside and see if there is a damp proof course.
If there, it will be just level with the bottom of the front and back door frames.
It may be a double row of Welsh slate, or a black line of bitumen, or it may be a chemical dpc shown by a horizontal line of holes.
While looking, check that there is nothing touching the walls, that comes higher than 6 inches, than the line round the house, below the bottom of the doors.
Of course the dpc may be bridged on the inside, a lot of builders use the crawl space to dump rubbish.
If the house has been rendered the render itself may bridge the dpc. Or the internal plaster may be the problem.
After checking the above and no problem has been found, check, the walls for cracked render, missing cement grout, leaking gutters, leaking down pipes. Any other leaking pipes.
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