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 the strip of possibly salt contaminated bricks which are the quickest areas to carbonate/dry/go white :
Saturday 05/08/2017 …After 12 hours of drying :
Sunday 06/08/2017 …36 hours of drying :
Monday 07/08/2017 …60 hours of drying :
Wednesday 09/08/2017 …5 days of drying :
Friday 11/08/2017 …7 days of drying :
Saturday 12/08/2017 …8 days of drying :
Monday 14/08/2016 …10 days of drying :
Monday 04/09/2017 …1 month drying. You can see there is very little change. If anything the damp has increased slightly in some areas. There had been some recent torrential downpours of rain since the previous photo (from 3 weeks ago) :
Wednesday 06/09/2017 …2 days after removing the external cement render from the bottom section of the wall to the right. There is an noticeable and immediate improvement :
Friday 08/09/2017 …4 days after removing external cement render from the bottom section of the wall to the right. You can see that the damp has increased – we did have a bit more precipitation around this time :
Saturday 16/09/2017 …13 days after removing external cement render from the bottom section of the wall to the right :
Monday 18th …2 weeks after removing external cement render from the bottom section of the wall to the right. You can see if you look closely that there are small changes from the above photo taken 2 days previously. However, mostly there is very little change at this point :
I am cheered to see that the damp that is on a diagonal, halfway up the alcove; has almost disappeared. When considered in the context of the timeline of events, it seems to give weight to the theory that this improvement is linked to the removal of the external ‘waterproof’ render to expose the original lime mortar and bricks beneath.
The way that some areas have gone white and others become less so in the last photo, suggests to me that this is still very much an ‘active’ problem that ebbs & flows, getting wet then drying out, but overall keeping the damp at a fairly high level.
More investigations will follow!