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Wet bricks

Discussion in 'Building' started by Service13, 13 Sep 2015.

  1. Service13

    Service13

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    Hi.I'm a young builder and dealing with a damp issue thats bigger than I have ever delt with before. I am currently working on a renovation for a family member.
    The house has had roofing issues, no windows and broken guttering which has been rectified. All old lime plaster and rotted joists have been replaced but the bricks are still soaking wet,I still am yet to repoint the soft damaged mortar above damp course and have large amounts of salt deposit's over a 2 meter stretch underneath the floorboards below damp coures. I have come to the assumption that water was coming down from the leaking gutter,broken window and a leaking flatroof. My question is do I need to use anything on the brickwork to seal them after removing the salt. Also as this is a 9" brick wall with no cavity and is extremely uneven what's the best way of replacing the plaster? I was thinking of using a vapour barrier and stud wall. About 50mm off the brickwork. Would I also need to insulate this new cavity. Thanks for any advice.
     

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  3. stevethejoiner

    stevethejoiner

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    OMG this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. You say all old lime plaster has been removed, you say its a solid wall not cavity.

    Sounds like this house was build to breath, you cant go about putting brick sealer on, you should be replacing old lime plaster with new lime plaster. The pointing needs to be done in traditional lime mortar NOT cement, and it will take time to dry out. Before you go any further research traditional building materials and methods for solid wall lime construction. You could seriously damage the house with incorrect modern materials.

    Out of interest, I did some window restoration on an old solid walled house a few years back. It had already been gutted, lime plaster removed, and while I was there a team of spreads were replastering, not with traditional lime but modern plaster.
    That house is now a condensation box, mould everywhere, the walls do not breath anymore.
     
    Last edited: 13 Sep 2015
  4. ree

    ree

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    Good advice above.

    FWIW: why not follow research some of my back posts on the problems you mention - Remedial work in general, damp issues and remedial plastering?

    Your pic is almost worthless. And, on the face of it, your proposal for a stud wall might cause far more problems than it solves.

    Do the research and then come back here with new pics and questions.
     
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  5. theprinceofdarkness

    theprinceofdarkness

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    As no one has ever done any side by side breathability tests I am extremely sceptical of it all. In the days when these houses were built, child mortality was 20% and only 10% of the population got to age 65. So exactly how warm and dry were these houses as built? Even if you follow the SPAB bible and go for "breathable" construction, this must be carried through out the house, no tiles, gloss or emulsion paint, plastic surfaced wall paper. Only lime wash. So if you want to recreate the 1850s, go ahead.
    Frank
     
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  6. joe-90

    joe-90

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    Spot on. They are only playing at living in the past. You need airbricks, open hearth, drafty windows, no central heating etc. Good luck with that lot.
     
  7. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Once you have mended the roof and cured other sources of damp, the walls will be reasonably dry within about a year, or quicker if you speed up air movement over the surface with powerful fans. If you fix the doors and windows so it is weathertight, you can speed that up with dehumidifiers.

    No point in using dehums with leaky windows, they will try to dehumidify the world. With leaky windows you will be relying on ventilation. Opening the loft hatch will improve airflow.

    You should not be covering up wet walls with your drylining.
     
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  8. stevethejoiner

    stevethejoiner

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    Scepticism is good, without it we could be led astray, but in this case plenty of research has been done to show how OPC is bad for these houses and that they must breath. I would say these houses were not necessarily cold, just uncomfortably drafty, but that would not in itself cause a high infant death rate, it is more likely poverty, a lack of knowledge regarding good health and diet, and having no national health service that contributed to that. They would certainly not be damp houses when built. With no bathroom, no water tank in the loft, an outside loo, a tin bath in front of the fire once a week, no tumble dryer, etc etc, top that with a wood or coal fire in every room meant a dry heat, and the draw of the fires pulled in fresh air. With no insulation in the roof, the heat loss would have been unthinkable today, but with that heat loss went what little moisture and mould spores there would have been.
    We are fortunate to have these lovely old 1850 houses, the problem is, we want to live in them to modern standards, so we do these "improvements" at the determent to the building.
     
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  9. joe-90

    joe-90

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    It's got nothing to do with breathing, it's all about air flow (draughts) taking the indoor water vapour out of the house to be replaced by cold air containing little water vapour. What exactly do you mean by 'breathing'?
     
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  11. stevethejoiner

    stevethejoiner

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    I don't quite know what your asking. Breathing is ventilation, it is inhalation and exhalation to ventilate the body. But when we talk about lime built properties that have cold solid walls, it is common to use the word breath rather than just say ventilate as it encompasses more points of issue.
     
  12. catlad

    catlad

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    insulated plasterboard sounds like the way to go once you have sorted you gutter leak.
     
  13. joe-90

    joe-90

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    Breathing isn't the same as ventilation. You ventilate a modern house with vents etc, but it doesn't 'breathe'. What does breathing actually mean in regard to a house with solid walls?
     
  14. jason61c

    jason61c

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    How have you got on with this? You'll do well to follow the advice about lime plaster etc. Check all the basics about ground levels etc. If you do it right they'll live in a house that has no damp, works as designed, is warm but also has the bonus of being looked after properly.
     
  15. jason61c

    jason61c

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    It means what gets in can get out.
     
  16. Service13

    Service13

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    So lime is the preferred option but this is a family build and the budget is tight. They want to go with a crisp clean look throughout the house. The modern look.. its a 18th century 2 up 2 down terrace with an extention added 40 odd years ago. So theres only two exsternal walls. The brickwork is uneven in some places and it's 50-60mm thick. Would insulated plasterboard be an alternative option. Thanks for every ones replys
     
  17. jason61c

    jason61c

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    you can use lime and still give a polished plaster type finish for a clean crisp look.
     
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