damp problem - help!

Discussion in 'Other Trades Talk' started by legit, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. legit

    legit New Member

    Hi, I've recently bought a corner terrace that's on the bottom of a hill and the side that faces the slope suffers from a few different types of damp as far as I can tell.

    I bought my house about six months ago knowing that it had a damp problem, but that was reflected in the price. So the first thing I did was to spend some money to get the problem wall re-rendered up to a metre high with a water retardent. At the same time I had an internal and external damp proof course installed - belt and braces such is my desperation.

    The first type of damp seems to occur where the external path is higher than the internal floor which happens for about a third of the way until the slope eventually peters out. The damp seems to be contained in the vertical distance between the internal and external damp proof courses. As far as I can tell the council should be responsible for this as it's their mud resting against my property, even if the path was laid a generation ago! Am I right? What can I practically do??

    The second type of damp occurs in the old plaster above the metre high rendering and I've been told it can't be rising damp that high. But what can it be? Another theory I've heard is that the soot particles from the old chimney breasts (removed a long time ago) are somehow holding onto water. But shouldn't they dry out eventually? The plaster is again dry for the final third nearest the ceiling so I get this damp middle stripe running from left to right.

    I'm at my wits end, any suggestion will be welcome.
  2. plumbill

    plumbill New Member

    sounds to me like the damp could be rising up behind the render. has the render "blown" ie not got a proper key to the wall. give it a tap in various places,does it sound hollow if so its blown.
    is it an injected dpc you have had done on both sides?
    to have damp showing above what should be a dpc seems to me to be a failure unless the outside ground level is above the applied dpc
  3. legit

    legit New Member

    Yes the outside level is above the inside level at that point, which is why the damp proof installer injected inside as well as out. But obviously there is the depth of wall between the two courses that I suspect is causing the problem. Unfortunately I can't chip away the foot of plaster in that corner because it would be above the skirting board and therefore be unsightly. Is there some product I could use the help the situation?
  4. plumbill

    plumbill New Member

    Have you paid somebody to do this work or have you done it yourself.
    Get them back if you paid. They should have injected in a step fashion so that the dpc always comes up above the outside ground level. Is the wall cavity brick, 9" solid
    or stone?
    If you have done the work yourself and the wall is brick cavity then you may be able to overcome the problem.
    You can install a bitumen dpc where the outside is higher than the inside. Ideally the dpc should be a minimum of 150mm above the outside groud level or to put it another way the outside groud level should be a minimum of 150mm
    below the dpc! So you will have to somehow link the new bitumen dpc with the injected dpc and also make sure that it goes in step formation.
    You can remove three bricks at a time max, insert the dpc
    replace the bricks ensuring you have a solid joint top and bottom. Take out the next three and so on. Take it a point where it is about 150mm above the ground level.
    You will be having to cut the dpc into short lengths obviously so make sure these overlap by no less than 100mm
    Just make sure that thr cavity is not bridged AT ALL as any damp will travel across.
    Hope this helps
  5. legit

    legit New Member

    plumbill, this helps a lot! In answer to your question I did pay somebody to do the work, and they keep telling me that I should dry the place out properly - heating just finished so I can do that now. However in my heart of hearts I know that the damp will come back where the path is too high, but I will certainly have some new information to take back to them.

    The house is 100 years old so to my limited knowledge there is no cavity. Meanwhile I am trying to persevere with the council and NTL (who I believe had the paving up before I moved in), and maybe I could even get a license to pull the slabs up myself. Then I could put some pea shingle or something between the wall and the earth beneath the slabs.

    Thanks again, I feel better that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  6. plumbill

    plumbill New Member

    If you can lift the slabs etc then you may be able to treat the wall face while it is exposed. ask at your local jewsons for a tar/bitumen based paint on solution like is used for tanking walls.
    Getting back to them that did the work, your first port of call should be them obviously. get them to return, carry out an inspection and get a written report from them saying what they consider to be the cause of the continuing damp. If they are reluctant to visit tell them to come within say 14 days or you will take further action. make sure you put this in writing and keep copies of all letters.
    You should have a warranty from them if a bona fide firm, but if not no matter, the work is not up to standard.
    Your next step (by the way, you're not a solicitor are you!) cause i'm wasting my time here if you are, anyway, go to your local trading standards office and make an official complaint here, and also visit the local CAB and talk to them. If it all seems to much trouble which it probably will then think again because these people will carry on doing shoddy work and taking customer's money without a care and they should not be allowed to get away with it.
    Do not do anything at all to the walls if you do intend to get them back because any warranty that you may have will be worthless.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice