• Damp,  Heating

    Could burning gas be making your house soggy?

    An interesting thing that I was made aware of recently, is that the natural gas piped into our homes produces a surprising amount of water vapour when it combusts. With modern boilers, this is not a problem since they are well sealed and vented via flues to the outside. However, where there are gas fires, gas hobs or gas ovens, these might contribute to the total amount of moisture in the house, thus raising the humidity & potential for condensation. I am intrigued to understand this further, to try and quantify this in a way that enables me to visualise the process ‘in the real world’ more clearly. The same…

  • Damp

    Documenting the Damp Dining Room – Internal Spine Wall

    This is part of a series of posts – find an introduction & links to the other sections of wall here. One of the more puzzling damp walls in the house is documented below. It is an internal ‘spine’ wall, running perpendicular to the party walls, supporting the joists upstairs & some of the loading from the roof. We cannot find any obvious leak or pipes running underneath. The subfloor slopes down to the base of this wall & is lower than the subfloor at the front of the house. The manifestations of damp here are more unusual, since it is more common for them to appear predominantly on external…

  • Damp

    Documenting the Damp Dining Room – Left Side Below Window

    This is part of a series of posts – find an introduction & links to the other sections of wall here. The area at the base of the wall to the left of the window appears to be extremely damp, and has remained so despite having internally had the impervious cement ‘waterproofing’ plaster removed 2 years ago. Friday 04/08/2017 …12 hours after 1st coat of limewash : Wednesday 09/08/2017 …2 days after 2nd coat of limewash : Friday 11/08/2017 …4 days after 2nd coat of limewash : Saturday 12/08/2017 …5 days after 2nd coat of limewash : Monday 14/08/2017 …1 week after 2nd coat of limewash : Monday 21/08/2017 …2…

  • Damp

    Documenting the Damp Dining Room – Right Side Below Window

    This is part of a series of posts – find an introduction & links to the other sections of wall here. This section is adjacent to a window in an external, north facing wall, but in itself is a single skin internal wall with the (very damp) kitchen the other side. There is a radiator mounted on the other side of this wall. The pipes to the right bring the central heating loop down to the radiators from the boiler above. There are no obvious leaks that we can find, but we have yet to take up the bowed and cracked concrete floor in the kitchen or fully lift the…

  • Damp

    Documenting the Damp Dining Room – External Window Wall

    This is part of a series of posts – find an introduction & links to the other sections of wall here. These photos show the wall to the rear of the property. The section below the window & to the left of the window are external walls. The section to the right of the window is a single skin internal wall that has the kitchen on the other side. There is extensive evidence of reoccurring damp problems, and poorly informed attempted remediation with the use of a cement render or tanking plaster to try and ‘hold back’ the damp. There is an airbrick underneath the window & although there is…

  • Damp

    Documenting the Damp Dining Room – Left Alcove

    This is part of a series of posts – find an introduction & links to the other sections of wall here. The images below show the alcove to the left of the chimney breast. Friday 04/08/2017 …After 1st coat of limewash : Saturday 05/08/2017 …After 12 hours of drying. Note the band part way up the wall which has gone white first. We believe from other areas of the house that this behavior tends to correlate with where there are salt deposits : Sunday 06/08/2017 …36 hours of drying : Wednesday 09/08/2017 …2 days after 2nd coat of limewash : Friday 11/08/2017 …4 days of drying since last application of…

  • Damp

    Documenting the Damp Dining Room – Right Alcove

    This is part of a series of posts – find an introduction & links to the other sections of wall here. This post looks at the alcove to the right of the chimney breast, where some of the worst manifestations of damp were in this room. The vinyl wallpaper was bubbling, plaster crumbling and salts crystallising into fluffy white deposits, up to around chest height when I purchased the house. They had obviously given up on replacing the rotten skirting board & had instead cobbled together something that vaguely resembled one out of cement! It felt cold and damp to the touch. Friday 04/08/2017 …After 2nd coat of limewash. Note…

  • Damp

    Documenting the Damp Dining Room : Part 1 – An introduction

    This is the start of a series of posts which will show photos in chronological order,  documenting the progression of damp and drying out that has occurred in the time between limewashing the room at the beginning of August 2017 through to the middle of September. The external cement render at the base of the outside wall & a strip of the concrete floor that abutted the wall were removed on the 4th September. You can find links for each area below. I have kept them as separate posts since the documentation is fairly extensive. Alcove on party wall to the right of chimney breast Alcove on party wall to…

  • Damp,  Tips & HowTo

    Can removing cement ‘waterproofing’ actually dry out your home?

    Cement render is often applied in an attempt to ‘waterproof’ or tank a wall. On this house the back walls have been rendered both externally and internally in places. As you will see, there is convincing evidence that this has actually been trapping moisture, one way or another. To give context, this is the room in question… Before (14/08/2015) : During (01/08/2017) – having removed a mixture of lime plaster, gypsum & cement : After unblocking fireplace, replacing damaged bricks & slumping arch, applying 3 coats of limewash to walls & repointing chimney breast with lime putty mortar (09/08/2017) : You can see exactly how the limewash reveals the problem…

  • Damp,  Demolition,  Walls

    Dining Room Plaster Removal 31/07/2017

    This is how the room looked after buying the house in May 2015 (the electric fire insert has been removed and carpet corners lifted) You can see the signs of damp in the alcoves halfway up the wall – starting to blister off the vinyl patterned wallpaper. The skirting board in the alcove to the right was completely missing & had been replaced by a hastily moulded concrete creation! This corner is in the right alcove where it abuts the external wall. You can see the cement render on the right, some kind of silver ‘waterproofing’ or damp-stop paint, various white salts escaping the wall particularly where the gypsum joins…