• 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…

  • Research & Resources,  Tips & HowTo,  Woodwork

    Old vs new methods

    The 120 year old fixing… The twisted wooden peg, a.k.a the ‘dochen’ made from temperate softwood is a wonderfully strong fixing point you will find throughout older houses if you have cause to peel back the layers. I never knew about them until learning about hempcrete insulation retrofit, and seeing photos was not enough to truly understand what beautifully simple yet ingenious marvels they are. Only after seeing them in person and putting all your weight into trying to pull them out, do you realise just how strong they are & grasp how useful they can be. They can compress and expand to some extent as needed, retaining a strong…