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Old 10-25-2009, 02:48 PM   #1
lara1234
 
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Damp walls


Hello,
I am buying an old Victorian house and the Surveyor mentioned that it had some dampness in the solid brick walls and advised getting another survey from a damp control specialist.
The specialist said that it was rising damp due to the damp course being old and would require chemical injection, and all the walls replastering.
Does this sound right?
Thank you.
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:47 AM   #2
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Damp walls


If you live where all the rain has come this summer, everything is damp, or waterlogged. But if the gutter/downspout system is not working right, getting water away from the foundation. Fixing that could solve the problem. And there were never any considerations giving for damp conditions in those old foundations. Sounds like snake oil salesman to me.
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:39 AM   #3
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Damp walls


expect a ' damp control specialist ' what's we call ' waterproofing ' 'cepts its really not - we just ' manage ' it,,, i'd think bentonite ' rather'n ' chemical grouting ' but that may just because we're separated by a common language place a 2.0 x 2.0 alum foil patch on the wall AND floor,,, ck it 24hrs later - if the wtr's under, its vapor from whichever surface.

just how much has it been raining in old foggy town, anyway ? ? ?
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:03 AM   #4
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Damp walls


Rising damp can also be treated chemically (often with silicones) or physically by putting a waterproof membrane along the perimeter of the damps walls about 6" above ground level. IMO, the best is the membrane although probably more expensive. I would ask around for quotations on both methods...

Is this a relatively new problem? If so, it may be serious but if it's in a Victorian home one can only wonder how long it's been like that. Is it moving? And if there's plaster over it, there's no point in replastering unless the damp has been controlled.
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:27 AM   #5
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Damp walls


Surveyors doing an HSV will often find a few damp patches on old houses and recommend another survey by a specialist to cover themselves.
The 'specialist' is often a salesman with a damp meter and nothing else. By getting a few readings above your skirting boards they usually say something like 'sign the contract for a chemical damp course and re-plaster with sand/cement and added salt retarder today and get a good discount'.
A friend of mine is a damp surveyor for the Building Research Establishment, and often does independent surveys including second opinions. He takes a van load of equipment out with him. He told me that 90% of rising damp cases were actually caused by either penetrating damp or condensation. Of the true rising damp cases very few were a failed DPC. Most were something else like the ground levels being too high, or leaking pipes in the screed.
If you need a meter to find the damp spots, and there is no mould or damage to decorations and dampness in the skirting boards the I wouldn't spend thousands on work not required.
BTW damp meters used by most surveyors are really designed to measure the moisture content of timber, not masonry.
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:13 AM   #6
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Ah, well then, if the 'specialist' wasn't, then there the whole issue of ethics/qualifications etc that enter into the picture...get more qualified quotes in that case and investigate the investigator.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:10 AM   #7
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Damp walls


Thanks to everyone that posted, all the comments have been really helpfull.
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