Solving penetrating damp problems - once and for all!

12 Sep 2010
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United Kingdom
We've owned a house for 5 years now, and have constantly had what I believe to be penetrating damp throughout this time.

The damp appears as large patches in various places upstairs, and downstairs (gable end and front), usually after heavy/prolonged periods of rain.

On advice from builders, we've had patches re-pointed (though not the full house), Thomson's damp seal painted on the walls, guttering repaired/cleared (the gable end and has no gutters/windows), but nothing has resolved the issues.

The house is an 1890s end terrace, solid brick walls, pointing looks dated, and the bricks look like they may have been sandblasted at some point (which appears to have taken the face off them). I'm unsure if the water is penetrating through the brickwork, or the pointing.

We want to resolve this once an for all, but I'm wondering where to start, or which professionals to use?

-Should we get damp specialists in (who may only want to sell us DPC or rendering)?
-Should we repoint, then render?
-Should we just render?
-Should we just repoint?
-Should we paint with thick red masonry paint (that you so often see on gable walls)?

Having had so many failed attempts at sorting it, I want to get it done properly (though ideally where whoever does the work can be held accountable should the damp re-appear afterwards). Is this a realistic expectation?

Can anyone offer any advice on this. I realise it's probably going to cost us!
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A proper repoint (20-25mm depth) over the whole elevation and above the patches would in most cases solve the problem

In addition, coating the wall with a proprietary silane based waterproofer after repointing will deal with any porous bricks

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