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Buying a House that has damp - Is this from the concrete flr

Postby Ellie7 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:52 pm

Hi Everyone, i'm Ellie new to DIY Doctor.

My questions if some of you can help as it would be greatly appreciated.

I'm in the process of buying a victorian house that needs complete renovation. Had surveyor round who said their was damp amongst other things on ground floor and first floor. Got damp companies in for quotes but none of them stated the cause of the damp. I am now very worried as I am due to exchange in the next week or so. My main worry is that after reading the surveyor's report again and again it states that the ground floor has been completely replaced with concrete. Some questions:

1) Why would the ground floor be replaced with concrete?


2) Could the concrete floor be causing the damp? as all interior walls to the ground floor apparently all have damp so need to be hacked off no wall left untouched and a dpc injected.

Being so close to exchange I do not want to fall flat on my face with a hefty bill once I purchase if I have to have the concrete floor taken out and a new one put in??? (could this be the case) as I am already paying out for quite a lot of other unexpected things that turnt up on the surveyors report and wanted to be fair on the sellers so said I would take the hit for the additional costs.

Any help would be brilliant from you all
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Postby stoneyboy » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:06 pm

The house probably had suspended floors, ventilated underneath to minimise damp not only in the floor structure but also in the surrounding walls. When a floor becomes rotten or dry rot forms in the floor structure, concrete is wrongly used as a replacement.
Victorian houses are generally liable to dampness because of their construction - solid walls and possibly no effective dpc. Owners make things worse by fitting airtight windows and sealing up fireplaces.
There is a good chance that the concrete floors are making the damp problems worse. Even once you have had a dpc injected into the walls it is likely that damp will persist in the skirting board area.
Unless you have a large renovation fund or can get a definitive answer as to the causes of the dampness I would suggest you avoid this property.
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Postby collectors » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:42 pm

Most Victorian houses normally would only have concrete floors in the hall, & kitchen areas. If you have concrete in other areas? it is quite likely their has been a problem before.
Damp on upper floors is 9 time out of 10 down to gutters or roof problems. Would need more info for a better guess.
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Postby welsh brickie » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:45 am

it may have just had a screed on top of the victorian tiles instead of stating it is a concrete floor.And does not have a damp proof membrame stopping the damp.You can tell this by removing the skirting board.
If it is damp Instead of replacing the whole floor you can save time and money by have Hot Ashphalt poured on the floor that will stop any damp.
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Postby Ellie7 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:16 am

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your replies.

I have visited the property again last Thursday as my nerves were taking over. I phoned a company linked to DIY doctor the day after I posted this post as it was taking a while for this post to show and for me to see your replies.

This company gave me a few pointers about the damp issues for me to take forward and for me to clarify if their actually is damp because I have been told I need a DPC to the first floor as well so bedrooms, hallways and bathroom and two companies have told me this. I went an viewed the property again using this advice. Pulled back the carpets checked for damp patches and a wet floor. Checked all the walls for any wetness, tide marks, salts any rotten skirting or corroding skirting and to my amazement they are all bone dry with no sign of damp and skirting all very healthy. The property has been vacant for a while and does not have central heating so I have been advised that it has more than likely been condensation causng the damp meteres to give out a sign of damp or possibly and the wall paper possibly giving out electro currents singals.

I am very certain that this property has no damp at all now accept for in the kitchen area which is to the back of the house and I am very shocked that two companies have given me this advice and a very hefty quote as well.

I am very greatfull for everyone's input as this has saved me 1000's of £'s and has given me enough knowledge to know if I am being ripped off.

Thanks again everyone!!! will more than likely speak soon as I will have more questions no doubt once I start to carry out all other projects ;o
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