Help with very damp 300 year old stone house

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by Peter.N., 6 Oct 2020.

  1. Peter.N.

    Peter.N.

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    We have lived in this house for 50 years so it's actually 350 years old - not that I suppose that it makes any difference. It's been damp most of the time we have been here apart from a few years when Maggie thatcher was throwing money at the building trade when we had quite a lot of work done.

    We only put in for a damp course but in order to have that they said the house needed to be brought up to modern standards, as a result we had new floors, ceilings, windows, doors and roof. They did a silicone injection damp course which lasted for a few years then failed and of course the company that did it had gone bust.

    We have put up with it until now but the paint is coming off the internal walls in some places and in others the plaster as well. We keep the place pretty warm, we have a multi fuel stove and also an oil boiler so the part we live in is reasonably comfortable, but behind anything against the wall it is damp and mouldy.

    We don't have a lot of money to throw at it so I am looking for the cheapest way to at least stop the damp and mould. My son suggests we use breathable paint on the walls, after having stripped the old paint off of course, the only breathable paint I can find is masonry. paint, not that we object to that if it does the job.

    Can anyone offer any suggestions.

    Thanks

    Peter
     
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  3. endecotp

    endecotp

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    You have poorly insulated walls; you keep it warm but you get mould behind furniture.
    That sounds like condensation to me.
    Plaster falling off maybe not.
    Any insulation either inside or outside the walls?
     
  4. Peter.N.

    Peter.N.

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    No insulation at all, walls are about 2 feet thick, flint and lime mortar. I'm sure some of the damp is condensation but if you leave anything on the window seats for any length of time it gets very wet underneath. When we had the silicone injection damp course we had water running down the walls and into the inner hallway, the rain was obviously penetrating the walls and couldn't soak into the ground, since the damp course failed its stopped doing that.

    I know the real answer would be to repoint the walls or render them but we can't afford it. The front and east side were re rendered when we had the work on the house done, the rendering generally looks OK but it still gets wet round the window seats, I can't see any cracks on the outside but there is a fair amount of greenery growing up the walls. We are at 500' asl and fairly exposed so the rain really hammers into the west end of the house but the east end is much drier

    Peter
     
  5. endecotp

    endecotp

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    I’m not at all sure that is the correct interpretation, but I’m not an expert - I live in a similarly-old building but it is in a less exposed position.
     
  6. JP_

    JP_

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    Sounds like a case for internal insulation. But I am only a DIYer so won't add for now!
     
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  8. Bodgedbuild

    Bodgedbuild

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    Assuming no earth is piled up against outside walls, could you not buy a couple of de-humidifiers?
     
  9. Peter.N.

    Peter.N.

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    Thanks for your comments.

    We have a dehumidifier in one room downstairs, it used to be our bedroom but we have now moved upstairs. The room is built on the north end of the house and is single story, with the humidifier on it does stay reasonably dry although quite a lot of water is being removed so we leave it on, just a question of remembering to empty it!

    The other rooms are not that damp in themselves but if left unused will soon become damp, even around the inglenook fireplace it can get damp in the summer when the stove is not alight.

    I have been reading all the information I can find on the subject and the conclusion of the matter seems to be that when houses of this age were built any wall coverings were naturally porous which didn't stop them getting damp but allowed them to dry out, so I think maybe it's a matter of replacing the paint with something porous in affected areas.

    We will give it a go anyway.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Peter
     
  10. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    One further option? There are several different externally applied clear water proofers, I have seen it used by my neighbour on a small area of out house well weathered Sandstone.

    The result following the application was that the Sandstone "Appeared" to be a lot drier, and much faster following a rain showe.

    OK it is by no means a permanent fix, and I do not know of any long term effects as regards colour changes Etc.

    On the Up-Side it will not be too expensive to obtain and apply??

    Ken.
     
  11. Peter.N.

    Peter.N.

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    Hi Ken

    I have used that but not on the house, did use some on my workshop though with moderate but not complete success, it was made from several precast garage sections and in the front bit where the door would have been I built a concrete block wall. I think they must have been cheap blocks because the rain went straight through them. Where the water was still coming through I painted outside with neat PVA and believe it or not it did the trick, been done for some years now and still holding up, in fact you can still see the translucent PVA on the front.

    I'm not sure that the rain is penetrating the front of the house as it was re rendered when the work was done, although that was probably about 40 years ago, I will check it for cracks though. I think its mostly rising damp although as I said there is a fair amount of greenery at the bottom of the wall, it really wants digging out but I'm 81 and a bit short on stamina now.:)o_O

    Thanks for the suggestion anyway, I will bear it in mind.

    Peter
     
  12. just pumps

    just pumps

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    You would have to check if you could use it and find somebody who supplys it in bulk but look into Pond Sealant Paint.
     
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