Damp wall

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woodsmith
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Damp wall

Postby woodsmith » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:12 pm

I've just been round to quote for fitted wardrobes in an upstairs bedroom in a 1920s semi. The wall is internal, brick with plaster coat and lath and plaster ceiling. The problem is there is damp along the top of the wall, a lot of damp actually. I have been in the loft and there is no sign of raining in and no water pipes or tanks and it all looks dry. The internal wall buts up to the outside wall but the damp is more in the centre of the wall and it's dry for the first 600mm from the outside wall. I'm a bit baffled, has anyone come across anything similar or got any ideas?
Keith

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Re: Damp wall

Postby PABLO123 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:33 pm

Hi Keith
I think its condensation, probably internal walls are engineering bricks warm air hits cold dense
bricks and condenses probably no cavity wall insulation either. I had the same problem in my house
Yorkshire stone on the outside engineering brick on the inside tied together with Yorkshire
stone from the outside wall so couldn't have cavity wall insulation, had to batten all walls and
use double foil insulation and plaster board and skim over. Didn't think it would make that much
difference. I've done one side of the house, the difference is unreal. Hope that helps

Paul

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Re: Damp wall

Postby tusses » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:16 pm

our house is terribly damp.
1800 ish
solid wall
no air bricks :/
and 3' away from the canal.

I initially was going to do as Paul did internally, but I am now changing my mind to external insulation, and keep the wall as thermal mass.

There are grants available..

either way, I'd agree that it's prob' condensation/lack of ventilation and cold walls

woodsmith
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Re: Damp wall

Postby woodsmith » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:51 pm

Thanks, that was my first thought, but unfortunately I don't think its condensation, there is no damp on the surface when I put my hand on it and the damp patches (3 distinct areas all touching) are V shaped as though they are soaking down from in the loft. There is no mould,or black spots either. They are also growing at an alarming rate. Customer has only just moved in and I'm wondering if the previous owners used some sort of damp seal as a temporary fix while they sold the house. Just can't figure out where the water is coming from.

Next step is to take up some more boards from the partially boarded loft to expose the entire top of the wall but it's not something I'm looking forward to doing and I don't expect to find anything. It's a bit of a mystery.
Keith

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Re: Damp wall

Postby thatsnotafestool » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:33 pm

I hope they are paying you for this, Keith!

Crack in the mortar between the bricks of the inside wall. Water coming in from the outside wall, tracking along the top (impervious) of the inside wall until it reaches the crack. When it drops down and gives you the damp patches.
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
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woodsmith
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Re: Damp wall

Postby woodsmith » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:02 pm

Getting paid yes, but not enough to go get covered in fibreglass and dust :D

Water tracking seems the only answer but it with a lath and plaster ceiling I would have thought it unlikely. Looks like I'm going back Monday to get covered in itchy dust and hopefully solve the riddle.
Keith

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Re: Damp wall

Postby mattty » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:29 am

Is there guttering at the same level or above outside?
Cheers, Matt.

woodsmith
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Re: Damp wall

Postby woodsmith » Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:30 am

Matty the wall butts up to the gable end of the house, so no gutters nearby. I'm wondering if there is a leaking pipe somewhere under the boards, perhaps it used to supply a tank that was removed when the combi boiler was fitted. There are dozens of boxes of stuff which fill the loft space so getting the loft floor (8x2 t&g) up is going to be a nightmare. So I was just hoping I didn't have to do that and I could go back to my nice warm workshop and make a wardrobe :D
Keith

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Re: Damp wall

Postby mattty » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:22 am

I've had issues on previous building jobs with similar problems, the worst one too find was water tracking back on the underside of an overflow pipe which was falling the wrong way. As others have said it may be coming through the masonry via faulty pointing and tracking across wall ties, it may be via a leaking chimney, a cracked slate on the roof. Eliminate the obvious then work through the less obvious seems to be the way to go.

Best of luck!
Cheers, Matt.

woodsmith
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Re: Damp wall

Postby woodsmith » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:49 pm

Well, still baffled! Took up the rest of the TnG and it's all completely dry with the exception of the joist that runs on the top of the damp wall which has a slightly raised moisture content 22% whereas the rest of the roofing timbers are 10-15%. It looks like the moisture is coming up from the wall but there are no pipes anywhere to be seen. I have had to give up and they are going to get a builder in to look.
Keith

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Re: Damp wall

Postby promhandicam » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:50 pm

Perhaps it is paranormal activity and the customer should get the parish priest in to perform an exorcism!

thatsnotafestool
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Re: Damp wall

Postby thatsnotafestool » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:07 pm

promhandicam wrote:Perhaps it is paranormal activity and the customer should get the parish priest in to perform an exorcism!



Ah, the old Health'n'Safety Exorcism

Image
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Damp wall

Postby jfc » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:10 pm

You had better get that lot cleaned up before the missus gets home mate ! :lol:


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