Fixing plaster ruined by damp

10 Oct 2009
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United Kingdom
Can anyone help me with sorting out damp ruined plaster etc. We have had water leaking in through the side wall of our victorian semi which has saturated the plaster in both our bedroom and the top corner cupboard of our spare room too - this smells incredibly musty, the wallpaper is saturated and the plaster in the cupboard (which is not papered over) is cracking horizontally.

How can we dry this out quickly (we already have a dehumidifier at work) and how to redecorate to stop the damp showing through once the leak has been fixed? Is it best to remove the plaster and replaster the area and use fungicide before painting or papering the wall? How long to wait before the replastering can be done if we need to do this?

Any expert guidance would really be appreciated!

Emma :cry:
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You must first cure the cause of damp ingress or there is little point in doing anything; drying it out quickly is not an option. Don't add too much heat, just good ventillation & let the dehumidifier do its work. Plaster & brick dry at different rates, rush it & the plaster will crack, delaminate & will have to be stripped; to be honest it sounds as if it’s happened already. If it’s badly affected, the only permanent cure will probably be to strip the plaster from the affected area, let the wall dry out thoroughly, treat & then re-plaster. There is no quick cure & it can take months to dry out before re-plastering can happen but without seeing it, its’ difficult to judge. Even after it’s re-plastered, I would not advise re-papering for at least a year.
Thanks for your advice - we have now removed all the affected plaster which came off the wall with little more than a gentle push so clearly it was ruined. We are letting this dry and will take your advice and leave this for a while - at least until April/May next year. We have been advised by a surveyor to dry line the affected wall in our bedroom and to put aluminium backed boarding over the affected area in the cupboard so plan to look into this more in the next few months or so!

Thanks for being so helpful!

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