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Damp Meter - cheap , just to monitor

Discussion in 'Building' started by ETAF, 25 Feb 2018.

  1. ETAF

    ETAF

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    Location:
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    Hi
    I'm looking for a cheap damp meter - seen a few on amazon from about £14

    I have some damp at the front of a bungalow - in 2 bedrooms
    No Mould or anything on the walls - just can smell it and very cold
    We had someone look quickly - took some damp readings went away and quoted £3500 just to do some provisional work -

    Its a 1932 house - rendered wall
    BUT a brick wall was added outside about 30 years ago and created a cavity and then wall insulated and also a damp course can be seen on the new wall
    The wall actually goes all around the bungalow - as i have taken some bricks out and inspected.

    Also across the front there is a small tiled sloping roof - about 8 tiles deep to the gable end

    There was no gutter - so the water just dripped down the front of the gable end of the building down the small roof and down the front of the bungalow

    I have now added a gutter across the front.
    ALSO
    the front soakaway and gutter pipes from the side of the bungalow were blocked - so at the front side, water was backing up around the downpipe, which was out of the underground pipe, and the facia was all rotten in that area, so the front corner of the bunglow was wet at ground level.
    that has also been resolved now

    The front has a small concrete apron from the brick wall and then changes after about 6" into paving bricks with sand.
    So water coming down the front would soak into the ground just in front of the wall

    This is my recently deceased mother-in-laws house and shes was here for 22 years , we had mentioned the damp smell in the house, but she did not want anything done
    We are now in the process of buying and living in it ourselves.

    My thinking is - with all these issues , its possible this damp may now dry out.

    if i got a cheap damp meter and tested the walls in both rooms and marked the values up the wall on a plan, and monitored , then hopefully over next few months , I can see if its reducing and slowly drying out.
    otherwise it means taken all the fixtures out , taking plaster off , and redamp proofing
    at great expense (>£3500) when the cause of the problem has in fact been fixed.

    Recommendations for a cheap damp meter Around £20 - seen a stanley at £24 and a german one at £16 - mixed reviews on amazon.

    Is my thinking correct on the gutter and soakaway , being fixed now, may have been the issues

    thanks for any help

    image after gutter added across the front
     

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    Last edited: 25 Feb 2018
  2. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Yes you can pick any old thing up off ebay or amazon, and any will probably work to whatever it was calibrated to for your planned purpose. Ignore the reviews they will be from numpties, it will work or it will not.

    The thing is though, if the meter reads say "25% moisture" will you know whether that's normal or "damp", and if you do decide it's not normal will you know whether its condensation, rising or penetrating? Will you also know if its normal seasonal or abnormal readings? Will you know the difference in readings in timber, plaster and concrete or masonry?

    It's always about the user.

    Generally if you have a structural damp problem you will see it long before a meter can tell you you have it.

    If you can smell it, you are smelling spores .... mould spores ... condensation mould spores. When you "can smell it and very cold" that's indicative of a condensation issue, not structuctural dampness - although structural dampness can create a condensation issue.

    That image does appear to show salt staining externally. That could be from structural moisture or not. And it could create a cold wall for condensation or if moisture was penetrating you would see the effects.

    If you have a timber floor, has that been checked for adequate ventilation?
     
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  4. endecotp

    endecotp

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  5. ETAF

    ETAF

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    Thanks both for your fast replies

    yep, thats where we may have been going
    Very good points , and some I have started looking into.

    we dont get any water on the windows or walls - BUT i will look into that a little further

    we are next to the Sea about 350m away, a few buildings and roads inbetween.

    Timber floor when 1st built in the 1930s, but changed to concrete, not sure when, but over 30 years ago.

    Thanks for all the advice I will review and see where i should go next.
     
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