DIY Doctor

Help/Advice about damp chimney breast in loft void

Postby annmrtn » Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:48 pm

Hello, My Victorian cottage has had the chimney breast removed to the first and second floors, but it remains in the loft void and is damp with the damp spreading to adjacent timbers. After an independent damp survey I had extensive work done to try to remedy this. New chimney pots with cowls fitted, chimney breast blocked off at bottom on new steel gallows with air brick fitted and air brick fitted in wall of loft to improve ventilation. Chimney stack has been re-pointed and new lead flashing/back gutter. ( Also general lead flashing to roof replaced, new roof valley, some slipped tiles sorted out).
It dries up in the summer but gets damp again every autumn and winter. The stack is shared with a neighbour who has had their chimney top reflaunched to try to solve it. Roofer has suggested they have cowls fitted to their two flues (unused chimney but they have a gas fire on ground floor using one flue).
Am in being unrealistic expecting a dry loft void (specifically chimney stack) in an old house? (As a friend has suggested). Is the structure of the roof in danger if I can't solve this (I've treated the timbers with probar timber preservative). I don't know what else to try - any advice or suggestions please.
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Postby stoneyboy » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:37 pm

Hi annmrtn,
If all your pots (including your neighbours) are protected from direct rain entry and the haunching is sound and flashings are in place, treating the exposed brickwork with silicone fluid may be beneficial.
If you have timbers buried in the damp wall you should do something to preserve them.
Regards S
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Postby annmrtn » Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:35 pm

Thanks . This sounds like good advice. All the best - Anne
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