dampness on internal wall

Discussion in 'Building' started by rsw, 26 Aug 2008.

  1. rsw

    rsw

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    Hi first post here (although I've read quite a few others posts already)

    I know there are plenty of posts about damp but here goes anyway...

    (this will be a long post so please bear with me!..)

    We bought a 2 up 2 down mid terrace house coming up for 2 years ago. (room at the front, room at the back and stairs up the middle) At the time a survey (basic valuation survey) identified signs of damp. As the house was ideal for what I wanted and the price was good, we didn't pay too much attention to the mention of damp - especially since many of these houses do seem to suffer from damp anyway.

    Anyway, over time the damp seemed to be getting worse on the front and one party wall (there was now a small tide mark) , so in February this year we called the company who originally installed the chemical dpc (for which we had about 5 years remaining on the guarantee). They tested for damp and found it was damp on the front and party walls of the front room. They suggested that it may be damp-bridging and that the skirting should be removed and make sure there was a gap between the floor and wall and then reseal it. At the same time they would check the previously injected chemical dpc.

    So we got them to go ahead with the work, when they began they 'discovered' that the wrong type of plaster had been used, which apparently had been done by others (I have no idea how i could prove otherwise). At this point I was advised that the current guarantee was therefore invalid. By this point they had removed most of the skirting (looking back I have no idea why they needed to remove most of it before they discovered the wrong plaster had been used). As they had removed the skirting and were part way through the work anyway I instructed them to continue with the work (having been 'advised' that this should alleviate the problem).

    Fast forward a couple of months and one party wall was actually getting worse (there was now a 'tide mark' to about 10 inches or so up part of the wall) this was damp to the touch. So I called the company up again to come round and have a look. This time they suggested that they reinjected and replastered etc. (well reinjected in the front external wall, and something else to the party walls - cementicius paint or something like that applied to the walls before replastering i believe).

    As there was now no guarantee I also called another company (I had spoken to these before, but said they couldn't do anything whilst it was still under guarantee with someone else), This company said that they obviously couldn't guarantee what the first company had already done and would need to do the whole lot again - essentially I would be paying twice. The first company gave a good discount and in the end got them to do the work.

    We didn't get them to do the internal wall (with the stairs behind) as they said there was no damp here and that they couldn't guarantee it without doing work to the other side - which was more work than I was really prepared to have done - especially since the was NOT damp). I should point out that they never suggested they quote for this wall or that work needed doing to it.

    About 2 weeks later we now have 3 walls damproofed and guaranteed and I have now started stripping the remaining wallpaper and to my surprise the internal wall is damp!

    I can't believe that a damp patch has appeared in such a short space of time. Could the new work have caused this damp to have appeared?? (ie forced the damp to somewhere else in a couple of weeks)

    Looking back and having now read more information I would have probably done things differently, but am now looking for what is the best solution - I am yet to call the company in question for their explanation of the problem.

    For information the floors are solid, the plaster on the wall in question is grey, the damp area feels damp to me and has a darker colour (ie looks damp) As yet I have not taken the skirting off to see how far the damp extends, but from what i can see it extends about 8 inches from the floor is in the middle of the wall (ie not next the newly plastered walls). there are no pipes etc near it, I have checked the opposite side of the wall, although not taken any wallpaper off, but it does not feel damp?

    I assume as making sure we have enough ventilation etc will also be advisable, would using a dehumidifier be of use?

    As we have had enough disruption already I'm reluctant to have any work done at all, but what would you suggest is the best course of action? It has been suggested that I take the skirting off make sure there is a gap between plaster and floor and seal/paint with a bitumen based paint/solution? (think thats what i was told anyway) would that be worthwhile?

    Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

    Richard
     
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  3. rsw

    rsw

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    has anyone got any suggestions??

    thanks

    Richard
     
  4. marshman

    marshman

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    did they tell you what the wrong type of plaster was ? can you tell us,
    other than looking behind the skirting to see if they left a gap I can't think of anything else until I know what they plastered with before.
     
  5. 1oddssodds

    1oddssodds

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    how does the "wrong type of plaster" bring on damp :confused: If the damp proofing was done to those walls which are still getting damp, then as far as I can see the company has failed to do a proper job.
     
  6. rsw

    rsw

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    I think that there is some confusion (probably not helped by my long post) - it is not the walls which have recently been treated that are damp but one which was not treated. I have made a diagram with the information to try to clarify the situation.

    It is the wall highlighted in green which now seems to have a damp problem.

    I hope the diagram below clears things up a little...

     
  7. marshman

    marshman

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    your bottom half or first meter of walls should of been chopped off and rendered with sand & cement + waterproofer
    this meter of wall should be very hard and if applied right its a right pain to chop off.
    the grey first two foot of that wall should be hard render that was put on with the damp proofing last time. should of been a meter.
    now the 2nd 2 foot of wall I'm guessing the black covering is where the plaster was renewed before then it was tanked or if you like
    painted with rubber bitumen to seal the wall before skimming, above this the could be the original plaster,
    if you have done a lot reading on here then you might of read about injecting a ( think it was a cream ) if you have then using this might
    be your best option and treat that wall yourself.
    I'm surprised no one else has posted back yet although this thread would probably get more response in the plastering section,
    maybe a mod will move it.
     
  8. marshman

    marshman

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    1oddssodds in a way your right but some backing plasters will suck up any moisture that hard that they might even be able
    to draw blood from a stone :LOL: they should not be used if there is any chance of damp
     
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