Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home

 
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:07 AM   #1
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Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


Hey guys, girls and everyone else in-between

Sorry for the intro and thread combined but here we have it.

I grew up in England but now live in Aus and work in Construction and Development. Usually we develop Commercial Office/Warehouse type buildings and on the other side we also build timber frame, brick and tile Residential Developments.


Anyway, the home I grew up in is an old 1890's Red Brick home and last year I remodelled the complete interior while I was here for Xmas.

I'll post up pics a little later of the renovation but for now I really need some help.

On the South facing exterior wall, the interior of the house has damp/wet crumbly plaster. I had these sections replastered a couple of years ago when this issue started but it seems to have come back with a vengeance.

The home is a 2 story Red Brick with full Brick and Plaster interior walls rather than drywall. The damp in only on that one South facing wall, also in very odd locations. As far as I can figure out it seems to be around or close to the locations of the existing brick ventilation, so that's my conclusion as to the cause of the damp. I know older houses need ventilation so they can breath but what is the remedy? New vents or brick up entirely?

I've had numerous "Builders/Roofers" come to inspect and they're all telling me different things; It's the roof, it's the pointing, it's the brickwork etc etc and its going to cost $$$$x,y,$$$$z, really they are just randomly pulling number out of their hats.

All I want is a definitive answer so I can get the problem solved before it gets any worse.

I'm heading over to the house in an hour so I'll grab some snaps for y'all to see. But for now here is a quick 2 mins x section of the wall and locations of damp.

Hopefully together we can work it out
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Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-damp1.png  

Last edited by R-Knight; 01-18-2012 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:20 AM   #2
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Re: Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


Try a siloxane waterproofer first. Basf has a good one.

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Old 01-10-2012, 04:39 AM   #3
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Re: Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


Here are the pics guys sorry I don't have my SLR with me atm. iPhone only...
Attached Thumbnails
Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6803-copy-.jpg   Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6804-copy-.jpg   Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6805-copy-.jpg   Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6806-copy-.jpg   Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6807-copy-.jpg  

Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6808-copy-.jpg  
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:41 AM   #4
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Re: Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


More pics...
Attached Thumbnails
Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6809-copy-.jpg   Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6810-copy-.jpg   Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6811-copy-.jpg   Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6812-copy-.jpg   Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6813-copy-.jpg  

Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6814-copy-.jpg  
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:42 AM   #5
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Re: Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


Last pics...
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Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6815-copy-.jpg   Wet Plaster/Damp Walls in 1890's British Home-img_6816-copy-.jpg  
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:55 AM   #6
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Re: Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


The first step will be re-siding the house. At minimal a very very good paint job.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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Re: Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


You need to find out the exact construction type of the walls.
eg. 9 inch solid, cavity, or cavity at the bottom and rendered solid at the top.
From the photos it looks to be a cavity wall at the bottom.
Early cavity walls had the cavities ventilated with air bricks like yours. This was thought to keep the moisture and dampness down. However in practice it made the walls colder, especially in the areas around the air bricks which were cold spots and more likely to suffer from condensation.
I can see from the photo that you have already had a chemical injection DPC, which may have been a waste of time as it looks to already have a slate DPC.
I can't really see from the photo if there are any horizontal cracks in the render, which could indicate wall tie failure.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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Re: Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


Could it be possible that water is getting in the joint between the stucco and the rake board and following the path of least resistance into the home?

I would attempt to correct the problem with least invasive/costly first. Maybe adjust the rake to afford better water protection and new paint.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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Re: Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


What I don't understand is why this problem has suddenly arisen as the house never used to have any damp. Could it be due to being vacant for the past 5 years and no consistent heating or ventilation?

The house is are cavity wall throughout. The DPC was done years ago when I was young. Some guy came out a few weeks ago and said that it was the wool insulation or something inside the cavity wall that was soaked and that in turn was bleeding through the walls inside. I never heard of that before but wonder if that could be a possibilty.

The house in not wall tie construction as my dad had his friend check with a scope many years ago.

I actually did want to get it painted tbh but having the home re-painted at this stage is out of the question as I want to sell it and really do not want to spend another 3 or 4k. Plus painting in these conditions with minus temps and rain would be a waste.

I will try and get the house re-pointed where it looks to be in need of repair but builders/roofers are coming up in short supply at the moment...Apparently they are all super busy, I called some 30 contractors last week and only one of them returned my call

I would do it myself but I have a broken knee

But I'm going to pull off the bathroom plaster where it's already peeling and possibly a brick or two to check the exterior wall from the inside. When I was knocking on the areas of dampness they sounded hollow all over the house.

Will keep you all updated.

Thanks for the advice guys any help is appreciated
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:32 AM   #10
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Re: Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


Quote:
Originally Posted by R-Knight View Post
What I don't understand is why this problem has suddenly arisen as the house never used to have any damp. Could it be due to being vacant for the past 5 years and no consistent heating or ventilation?
It could easily be caused or partly caused by this, as we live in a damp climate, and dampness is one of the biggest prolems in houses here.

The house is are cavity wall throughout. The DPC was done years ago when I was young. Some guy came out a few weeks ago and said that it was the wool insulation or something inside the cavity wall that was soaked and that in turn was bleeding through the walls inside. I never heard of that before but wonder if that could be a possibilty.
Cavity wall insulation has been known to causes damp problems in some cases. Usually when installed in a dirty cavity, or if there are empty spaces. Nowadays it can be checked with a thermal camera.

The house in not wall tie construction as my dad had his friend check with a scope many years ago.

I actually did want to get it painted tbh but having the home re-painted at this stage is out of the question as I want to sell it and really do not want to spend another 3 or 4k. Plus painting in these conditions with minus temps and rain would be a waste.

I will try and get the house re-pointed where it looks to be in need of repair but builders/roofers are coming up in short supply at the moment...Apparently they are all super busy, I called some 30 contractors last week and only one of them returned my call

I would do it myself but I have a broken knee

But I'm going to pull off the bathroom plaster where it's already peeling and possibly a brick or two to check the exterior wall from the inside. When I was knocking on the areas of dampness they sounded hollow all over the house.
Sounds like the plaster's blown. The problem with damp is that everyone you get up seems to have a different opinion, and to do a proper diagnosis often requires real experience, time and the correct equipment(not just a damp meter)

Will keep you all updated.

Thanks for the advice guys any help is appreciated
Hope this helps you.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:22 AM   #11
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Re: Wet Plaster/Damp Walls In 1890's British Home


The first place I'd look is the roof, the cap side ,flashing to the cap, a bit like a chimney.

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