Old house with damp - what are the best options for solving damp issues?


Postby Charlie7000 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:45 am

Hello. I am going round in circles with options for work that needs doing on an old house we are buying. It has stone walls about 2.5 feet thick, is about 200 years old, quite small, detached. Outside it looks very nice with whitewash but surveyor says render is concrete and has to come off. Downstairs it is very damp and smells mouldy when the heating is on. We have been told it needs new floors downstairs (one is thin concrete, one is wood).

So the plan is, to get rid of the damp - remove concrete render and re-render with lime (it is in a conservation area). Replace ground floors with concrete and a dpm (no room for insulation), re-roof, re-wire. That takes most of the budge and not sure what to do with inside walls. Surveyor says some kind of tanking, as floor levels are below outside ground level, especially at the back as set into a hill, although there is a drain/channel of some kind at the back. Concrete at the front and sides which is shared/right of way so prob not possible to lower this.

Lime plastering isn't possible due to budget, so we were thinking - a) just go with surveyor's recommendation to tank (but have read this doesn't work for long) and replaster. b) just knock the plaster off the walls and have bare stone walls or paint them with distempter or limewash. c) try and put drains all round (if budget allows) and just replaster. There is an open fire and should be plenty of ventilation, but it has been empty for three years with roof leaking. Loads more to do but really just looking for the best solution to dry the house out and prevent damp being trapped in the walls.

So thoughts were - if we do the render outside and outside wall is breathable, maybe tanking inside would work. Or likewise if just had bare stone walls inside and render was done outside and was breathable, maybe that would work. I know bare stone can be a bit dark, hence possibility of painting with limewash or distemper.

Any thoughts gratefully received. It's because of the ground levels we are a bit stuck (and the lack of budget!)

One old house expert said just knock the render off and lime plaster inside - but even if planning allowed that we reckon walls would be too bad to just be pointed, and he still wasn't sure with regard to the floor levels. Another one said, leave the render on and just lime plaster inside. Urgh!!! Someone else said - just partially re-render (ie knock off the loose bits and leave the rest, which I like the idea of but labour wise could end up more expensive in the long run). Just wish it had never been rendered!!
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Postby welsh brickie » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:07 pm

there are various things you could do, like hack off the render outside and have it sandblasted to the original stonework and repoint,or
do the same internally, or tank it with aquaprufe paint and plaster with limelight
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