Damp plaster decorating help!

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Hi everyone, this is my first post here, I hope I can find some useful advice! :)

My other half and I have been decorating our recently-bought old house, the main bedroom walls have been completely replastered using plasterboard and then skimmed over. The ceiling, which had Sandtex on it, we had skimmed over. The bedroom is on the first floor and is directly below the loft, and has a chimney breast in it, but no fireplace.That was 10 months ago, it's basically dried out apart from one problem...

We had a leak in our chimney last November which was hard to pin down and water seeped in via the chimney breast and loft into the new plaster on our bedroom wall and ceiling. The damp area covers about 1.5 meters square. As the leak took awhile to locate and fix properly (all during winter when it was really rainy), the area got pretty wet. We had to hold off on any decorating ideas and turned to working on other areas of the house.

The current situation is this: the roof leak has finally been fixed as of a couple of months ago, as far as we can tell no more water is getting in. The damp areas in the loft appear to be drying out. However the bedroom ceiling is still visibly damp, although the patch has retreated somewhat, it still gives a high reading on our damp meter, but it is taking ages to dry out. We have not applied any paint or anything to the walls so the room is still in its newly-plastered state. We despair of ever being able to use the room! :(

My thoughts are, is it possible to apply a special microporous paint of some kind, to allow the plaster to keep drying out, so we can continue to finish the room and actually make some use of it (although I think not as a bedroom for the time being)? I know it can't be properly painted over as the moisture would just cause a whole lot more problems. Is there anything we could do, instead of just waiting for what appears to be a very long time for the damp to dry out?

Any advice or suggestions most welcome! :)
 
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Is there anything we could do, instead of just waiting for what appears to be a very long time for the damp to dry out?
I assume your 100% certain that the leak has been cured? You should also check the condition of the plasterboard underneath; if it gets too wet & stays that way for too long it starts to break down & needs replacing.

I think your post indicates that you already know the answer really. Even when it looks dry, the plaster/plasterboard will still have high residual moisture content. I advise you wait, if you paint over it even with micro porous paint you could cause more problems than it’s worth.
 
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I assume your 100% certain that the leak has been cured? You should also check the condition of the plasterboard underneath; if it gets too wet & stays that way for too long it starts to break down & needs replacing.

I think your post indicates that you already know the answer really. Even when it looks dry, the plaster/plasterboard will still have high residual moisture content. I advise you wait, if you paint over it even with micro porous paint you could cause more problems than it’s worth.

I think after months of not being certain about the leak it is hard to believe it really is fixed! We've had two really heavy bouts of rain since then and no sign of more water in the loft. I think we expected the damp patch to just dry out really fast, but as newbies to decorating now realise that it takes a lot longer than a couple of weeks!

How to check the plasterboard beneath without disturbing the skim coat? The plasterer who did the original job was back last weekend to do another of our rooms and he told us it would take a long time to dry out, so that doesn't make us feel very hopeful. We've been in the house nearly two years and not yet slept in the main bedroom, we're using the dining room as a bedroom at the mo! :eek:

Yes I expect you're right. It is just galling to see a room of good size being used soley as a repository for our decorating equipment! :rolleyes:
 
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