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Drying wet wall from leaking chimney

Postby graceLdooley » Sun Oct 17, 2021 12:52 pm

Hi all. My issue isn’t technically damp - it’s water ingress from a leaky chimney, but wasn’t sure where else to post!

Quick summary; we bought our house October ‘20 and realised a few months later our chimney was leaking. The stack had been painted with a grey sealant stuff and either side of the chimney breast wallpapered (sneaky IMO); this didn’t get picked up during the survey and us being FTB we were none the wiser. Anyway, long story short the stack has now been taken down below the roof line and slated over, so hopefully our problems won’t get any worse.

However. We are now left with wet walls and plaster either side of the chimney breast - the water wasn’t gushing in, but it’s tracking down the walls, and is extremely visible now we’ve removed the paper. Speaking of which, due to the water the paper/paste has left behind a nasty stickiness on the wall.

What do you folks recommend? Can I wash the wall (sugar soap?) and get a dehumidifier in to dry it out, before I repaint? The paint has also flaked off in places, can I gently rub that down before I repaint? Any other suggestions welcome, am a complete amateur!
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Simply Build It

Postby stoneyboy » Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:34 pm

Hi graceldooley
Your first move is to dry out the wall, since it is/was a chimney there will be a lot of brickwork to dry out and this will probably take till next summer.
The sticky wall will be wallpaper paste, there is little point in using sugar soap, suggest you try a steamer or just repeatedly wash with hot water.
To make it look tidier you could apply a thin coat of acrylic emulsion so the wall can dry through it but you will probably get horrible soot stains appearing.
A dehumidifier will help but you’re possibly better opening the window on dry days.
Regards S
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