Damp problem...whats the solution?

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Hi guys,

As you can see from the picture, i have damp issues in my living room. The reason for this is because my neighbours ground level (which is my wall) is 2ft higher and is touching my house.

I'm not 100% sure, but my solution is:-

1. Break away the inside plasterwork to brick level
2. Place a dpc sheet
3. Make a wooden (treated timber) frame + galvanised screws and screw it to the wall (DPC sheet will be on the bricks, behind the frame)
4. plaster board, replaster and decorate.

Would this work? :confused:

2w3q9fl.jpg
 
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That looks like black spot mould to me a classic symptom of condensation.

Bet you have a settee or a sideboard against this wall, no?
 
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No mate, we have absolutely nothing against this corner. How can I tell if this is definately condensation and not damp?
 
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If a cavity wall, the raised ground level may not be causing penetrating damp, but be making the wall cold enough to cause condensation damp.

In which case treat for condensation in the choice of remedial work.

But it is still better to lower or move back the ground
 
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Thanks for your advice guys. All that is great, but first I need to find out if its damp or condensation
 
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if cavity wall,then they may well be blocked and silted up,if this is the case open up and remove crud etc,then it shouldnt really matter what the outside skin has against it.
 
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How do you know that when this soil was put against your wall it has not covered your air bricks.
 
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catlad - because the airbrick is in the middle of the room and seems to be clear, with plenty of air circulation when i lift floorboards.
 
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If that was my room I would knock the plaster of the wall, take out a few bricks here and there to see what is going on and get my hand in to clear the cavity, and then if everything looked ok I would put PL4000 celotex insulated plaster board on being an external wall, it also has a vapour barrier.
 
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Thanks for the advice Catlad. The only reason i wanted to make sure was that if it's condensation, then surely what i'd be doing would be pointless?

Nevertheless, i am happy to take out a brick or two to clear the cavity if necessary. Now a couple of things...The damp area is only 1.5ft by 1.5ft, but the board you recommended is like £400+ Does that board help with both damp and condensation and is there a cheaper alternative?

Thanks again
 
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1. You mention "an airbrick" suspended floors req many vents, and at corners, vents within 3-4 ft either side of the corner for cross ventilation.

2. That pattern sure looks like condensation, however, i'd suggest that remedial work has taken place in recent years.
Notice the ogee skirting is quite new, and the way it's fixed and mitred and caulked into the inside corner ( because the damp proof operators, typically, can't scribe ) might suggest a D&T company.
All of which suggests, skirting and plaster replacement - possibly, a wrongly installed gypsum plaster given the saturation just above the skirting.

3. Have you lifted your carpet to examine the flooring? Have you crawled under the floor?
 
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hi dann,

thanks for your reply. There has been a damp proof course a few years ago, but the rest of the wall seems fine. I'm the one who took the skirting off as i was fixing some floorboards, but other than that nothing else has been done. I have called the damp company a couple of months ago and they blamed it on condensation.

This is the problem though - i can't simply try out everything that has been mentioned so far due to the amount of labour and costs, so is there any way of diagnosing the issue, so that we can at least narrow it down to one or two issues?

FYI, This is a terraced house built in 1900. It has vents on the front and back of the property and there is plenty of air circulation. There is only a 1ft-1.5ft gap below the floorboards after which there is loads of rubble.

You mentioned if i've lifted the carpet to examine the flooring, but what would you suggest i examine?
 
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Sorry that i criticised your work.

When you removed the skirting did you recognise a sandy render or a typical plaster behind it? Was the back of the skirting sound?

Examine the floor for damp or decay, or even a strong musty odour.

Believe me, 12" to 18" is adequate for access if you can wriggle thro the trap, you push the rubble out of the way. I can well understand your reluctance to crawl. When i've introduced apprentices to the realities of lofts and oversites they often stare in disbelief:
"You mean i have to go down there on my own?"

If the plaster job is indeed render, and the flooring is sound, then "it's" almost certain to be condensation as noseall said.
However, you'll have to lower the ground as advised above, and why not, from just above the DPC, remove an exterior brick or two, per catlad, just to be thorough.

The insulated P/B option requires some thought ( plus you dont have to buy pallets of it ) - why not do whats possible for DIY and wait and see? You can always come back here, in fact i hope that you do, i like to see what happened next.
 

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