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Damp proof Issues in Old houses
The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012
Brief notes on damp proof Treatment of old houses Hector Chapa Sikazwe 2009
conservation.Brief notes on damp proof Treatment of old houses Hector Chapa Sikazwe Keywords Damp proof. re-plastering. Water table. design. wall cracks. Old houses. Painting. Testing. radon mitigation The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 2 . BS6576. condensation.
which can occur for a number of reasons. loose paint or peeling wallpaper and possibly some evidence of salts that have been carried up the wall within the water.1. is susceptible to natural rising damp. however with accurate diagnosis and a correctly specified solution. In some cases. for example condensation or a pipe leak within the wall. The phrase ‘rising damp’ can strike fear into any homeowner’s mind. it does not have to be the horror story that many dread. Electro-osmosis is particularly useful in older buildings 3 . This can occur either because the property was built with no damp course in it (a physical barrier to prevent the passage of water) or because the original damp course has failed. unprotected by a properly installed damp proof course. This solution is the most commonly implemented by DPC experts. Experienced surveyors can assess and pinpoint any suspected rising damp problem The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 easily to ensure that there isn’t an alternative cause of the dampness. This method involves a piece of titanium wire being installed within the walls through which an electric current passes. In the majority of cases. The electrical current repels the chemical attraction that draws moisture up the walls. this will involve a chemical damp proof course (DPC) being injected at regular intervals into the masonry. a surveyor can typically specify the installation of a new damp course to prevent future moisture being drawn up the walls. therefore preventing damp from rising. This chemical injection will spread through the bricks forming a waterproof barrier and preventing any further damp from rising. If it is established that a property does have rising damp. Rising damp is simply the movement of groundwater up a building’s walls by a process similar to how oil travels up a lamp’s wick.0 Introduction Any masonry structure. Typical signs of rising damp will normally identify themselves as tidemark on the wall surface. experts may recommend the installation of an electro-osmotic system.
" In other words the masonry acts like a wick. Brick. The water rises through the pores (capillaries) in the masonry by a process loosely termed "capillarity. This phenomenon also has the characteristic of carrying with it ground salts including chlorides and nitrates. In The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 addition their cyclical nature of crystallization and rewetting ruins decorations and breaks down internal plaster. stone and mortar are particularly susceptible to this form of absorption although levels of porosity vary. it is vital that all internal walls are re-plastered. the complete absence of a dpc. Rising damp can arise for various reasons . These salts can cause ongoing problems. as some of them are hygroscopic and attract atmospheric moisture to them. In most cases. Research carried out by the BRE estimates that of the nine million UK 4 . when any remedial DPC is installed. as the damp that has previously risen will have carried salts from the ground and into the wall.the failure of an existing DPC. or in older buildings. as it involves less disruption (drilling) into the structure that might endanger stability and strength of walls. bridging due to the raising of external ground or internal floor levels. Most building materials are porous allowing damp from the ground to rise by capillary action. the water being derived from ground water.with very thick walls or walls in poor condition. 1. Conclusively any damp proofing that is carried out needs to incorporate replastering to ensure that no further symptoms of rising damp are experienced. These salts are hygroscopic and have the ability to absorb moisture from the atmosphere leading to wall dampness in conditions of high relative humidity.1 Damp issues Rising damp in buildings may be defined as the vertical flow of water up through a permeable wall structure.
properties constructed with cavity walls, almost a quarter of these (2 million) will suffer from wall tie corrosion or failure and will require replacement wall ties. Wall tie failure occurs for a number of reasons; however the most common cause is inadequate materials being used when the wall ties were made. Other causes include a chemical reaction to the mortar (for example black ash mortar) or corrosion from driving salt-laden rain in coastal areas. Wall ties are embedded into the outer and inner faces of the wall. When a steel wall tie corrodes (or rusts), it expands, causing the outer wall to crack or bulge. Sometimes the roof edges can lift and cracks can be seen internally. Alternatively, some properties have wire ties which can disintegrate to nothing, leaving the outer wall at risk of collapse. Experts suggest that If any of these signs are seen, the first step is to carry out a comprehensive professional survey to determine the extent of the problem. There are organizations that have trained surveyors who are qualified to carry out these surveys using a variety of tools, including metal detectors to identify the location of the ties and endoscopes to examine their condition. The survey normally requires a small amount of mortar to be removed so a sample of the ties can be
The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012
physically examined and observed for frailty and extent. Most expert organizations are able to specify and install a wide range of different remedial wall ties (resin, mechanical or cementitious) depending upon both the type of the masonry and the existing condition. The replacement ties are made from stainless steel so that repeat failure does not occur. This is extremely difficult in very old buildings that could be deteriorating as a result of poor materials used, expiry period of masonry used and persistent invasion by water and other devastating elements like pressure, weather and in some cases usage by the occupants. An important part of wall tie replacement is to isolate the existing ties so they do not continue to
corrode and cause structural damage. Following any replacement wall tie work, it is essential that the cavity is thoroughly cleaned so that any debris from the work does not settle and bridge the property’s damp proof course. The m o s t common causes of damp rising in old buildings are deterioration due to age and bridging of a damp course with internal concrete floors, renders or external paths and earth levels (a damp course is specifically designed to avoid the possibility of rising damp) Moisture will rise by capillary action (a suction phenomenon arising at the boundary between moisture and a small tube, crack or other tiny, enclosed passageway known as a capillary) through the pores of the masonry, seeking a means of evaporation. The moisture will continue to rise until it reaches a height where, unless no evaporation is possible, gravity takes over and pulls it down again. This height is seldom more than 1.20m, although deposits of ‘salts’ may be found higher in the wall, often driven there by the use of non-breathing plasters, renders, ‘tanking’, paints or vinyl wall papers. There are obvious indicators when there is a rising damp in a house. If a house does indeed have rising damp (something we will discuss later) then it can cause the following problems:
The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012
For inside walls
- Paint does not adhere to the wall.
- Wall paper lifts and stains appear on the walls.
- Plaster flakes away, feels soft and spongy, bubbles and white powder or crystals appear.
- Skirting boards and floor boards rot.
or the materials themselves may be adversely affected. particularly in conjunction with condensation. however it is conceivable that structural damage could result from extensive rising damp. This occurs most spectacularly with walls made of cob (earth) soaked with water. -Stains or white powder appear on walls. wet rot. (b) Damp conditions on the surface of walls. and of course a damp mouldy environment could pose a health risk to people. which are often found in masonry. the inorganic materials themselves may lose their structural strength. Damp masonry at the base of walls may lead to a number of problems: The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 (a) The moisture content of the structure may rise to a level at which decay organisms may grow. In very damp conditions. this can result in the regular appearance of salt blooms on the surface (‘cyclical efflorescence and deliquescence’).2 For outside walls -Mortar frets and falls out between bricks and stonework. 7 . timber skirting boards or built-in bonding timbers along the base of walls may become infected and decayed by dry rot. For example. with fluctuating relative humidity levels. weevils or woodworm. Research has shown that concentrations of hygroscopic salts. especially at relative humilities above 75% in a room that is sometimes unoccupied. These problems are mainly aesthetic problems only. resulting in damage to vulnerable materials. can also absorb moisture from the air.1. and giving the appearance of rising damp.1.
allow the growth of moulds both on the surface and within porous or fibrous materials, such as wallpapers or carpets fitted against the base of the wall. Not only is this aesthetically unacceptable and damaging to finishes, but it can be a significant health hazard to occupants. (c) Where evaporation takes place, the deposition of soluble salts on the surface or within the pores of materials can cause aesthetic and structural damage.
Solutions to Structural Wall Stabilization & Crack Stitching
Over their lifetime, buildings can be subject to movement caused by physical or natural events. In turn, this movement can cause cracking to the walls of the building which. If left unattended to, these buildings can quickly worsen and leave the property in a potentially unsafe condition, resulting in demolition as the only possible solution for health safety reasons.
Cracking and deterioration of masonry can also occur as a result of the freeze/thaw cycle,
The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012
corrosion of embedded steelwork, increased loading and due to inadequate or defective materials having been used.
In recent years, experts have conducted research and cost-effective remedial solutions to such problems have since been developed. Through the use of helical steel bars, walls can be reengineered with little disturbance to the property and virtually no visual impact noticeable. Where masonry has cracked, helical bars can be inserted into the appropriate bed joints. This results in the tensile load of the building being redistributed along the masonry to minimize further developments of the crack and stabilize the building. Once repointing has been carried
If the “expert” pulls out one of these 'moisture' meters. then there is no damp rise. where necessary. or indeed comes around offering a free checkup of the structure. 1. mouldy or has tide marks on it. it is vital that the cause of movement to the building is identified. a job which would otherwise involve significant disruption to the property owner as removal of the windows & frames would be necessary. If the wall look like there is damp. The generally principle with rising damp is simple: if the walls look dry. then there is an 9 . and there may be need The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 to engage or need to try to find a reliable expert to come in and look at the problem. Most expert organizations and surveyors surveyors have decades of experience in diagnosing such problems and. A similar technique can be used to repair failed window lintels quickly and neatly. there will be little or no visual evidence of the repair and most old buildings have benefitted immensely from this technic. and then it is entirely possible that they are a commission based salesperson trying to extract money from you. Incidentally. very wary of any 'expert' who has been employed to do a general survey of the house. can engage a structural engineer to carry out any required calculations or design approvals. Other uses of structural stabilization techniques include creating load-bearing masonry beams and retaining bowed external wall. However caution is given here that clients ought to be very.1 Tip for experts In summary if signs of damp can visibly be seen on the walls with obvious signs of damage due to water or salty tide marks then there may be a problem with rising damp.2. jab it into the wall a few times and declare that you have a major problem.out. before any remedial work can be carried out.
2 Damp proof Course solution A damp proof course ( DPC ) is a physical barrier inserted into the fabric of a building to stop water passing from one place to another.obvious problem with moisture. DPC's have taken many The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 forms through the ages and one of the earliest forms was to use a layer of slate in the construction. the DPC (damp proof course) has to be positioned at least 6 inches (150mm) above the outside ground (Building Regulations and British Standard 6576). to avoid rain water splashing up above the damp proof course. or rising damp in the structure. to the inside. condensation. 1. though the masonry.2. In external walls. A horizontal DPC is usually placed 6 inches above ground level and used in conjunction with a damp proof membrane which stops water rising to any part of the ground floor from the ground. This can be on a horizontal plane. or vertically to stop water passing from the outside of a building. stopping water rising up from the ground by being sucked up by the dry masonry above. The most direct solution to rising damp is the provision of a damp proof course at the time of construction or can be later added in an extremely complex manner not subject to this paper. which cuts off the capillary supply of moisture naturally rising from the ground. A diagram of a typical ground floor construction can be seen below and you can see how a Damp Proof Course works in conjunction with the membrane to stop any water rising up into the building above. 10 . Damp proofing at ground level is the provision of a barrier across the whole width and length of a wall. Slate is still used but the less expensive plastic version is now more widely used.
on a larger scale. or one that is broken in some way.2. are better done by specialists as there are many complications which can arise as a result of saturated plaster and the measurement of the chemical being injected 1.In many older properties a non. lead or slate DPC in the wall and new methods have been found of introducing a DPC where there is either none.3 Resin Repair Solutions Most damp rise experts and organizations will always be keen to make use of new technologies. and in recent years the development of specialist resins has provided an innovative method of 11 The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 . These methods generally require the injection of chemicals into the walls and. It is not practical in most cases.porous stone was used to build the first few courses of masonry but over the years this stone in many instances has become porous allowing water to be soaked up through it. to remove a course of stone to place a plastic.
infested or fractured. ranging from small aesthetic restorations to significant structural repairs will easily know what needs to be done as soon as a proper survey is done and solutions required. and the de-bonding of laminated beams. chemical and solvent resistant and can be used internally or externally to give a totally waterproof repair that provides complete aesthetic and structurally sound solution to timber decay or weakening. This not only reduces wastage of timber but it means that the visual impact of the repair is kept to an absolute minimum and often only detectable upon very close inspection. Most resin specialists who have been involved with many projects. 12 . Resin repair systems can be used to solve a wide range of timber defects. a new truss end can be cast out of epoxy resin if there is concern that the end will be subject to water penetration in the future. By using resins. When a piece of timber has become rotten. Resins can also be used to carry out repairs to concrete. and external window sills. They can also be used in conjunction with imbedded steel or carbon fiber reinforcement to upgrade the loading capacity of beams used in the design. structural cracks .carrying out repairs to timbers and concrete. Alternatively. Epoxy resin mortars have excellent temperature. When resins are to be used. it is often only a small but structurally critical section that needs replacing. including decayed truss or beam ends. steps. From typical construction practice.either natural or induced. the defective end can The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 simply be removed and a new section of timber be bonded onto the existing sound part of the truss using resins. the majority of the sound timber can be retained whilst only the damaged section is replaced. using resins. when a truss end has decayed a repair would traditionally involve removal and replacement of the entire truss. much of the disruption that would usually occur when carrying out structural repairs can be avoided and most old buildings preserved properly. however. For example. including floors. Most old buildings had a lot of timber material used and the modern technologies are vital for inclusion in solutions used.
taste or smell. It is unknown what level of radon gas in homes is considered safe. Although certain parts of the country are believed to be at greater risk from radon due to the underlying geology. as it has no color. 13 . Radon mitigation refers to methods used to lower the level of radon gas in homes.1. any property in any location can contain elevated levels. there could in theory prevent 20.000 deaths from lung cancer in the United States each year. and repaired. It can accumulate in properties without the occupiers knowing. They also state that individuals should consider repairs if the level falls between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. When exposed to high levels of radon for long periods of time. one detector will be used in a ground floor living room and one is a first floor bedroom. and a written report detailing the results is provided.4 Radon Mitigation A building that has poor damp proof treatment will normally be susceptible to Radon gas invasion which might require radon mitigation. The detectors are analyzed in a laboratory to determine the level of radiation they were exposed to. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends fixing homes if the radon level is above 4 pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter). Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is emitted from the ground. official statistics estimate that over 2000 people in the UK die every year from the disease as a result of radon exposure. The only way to know whether high levels of radon are present is to place a detector in the property for a period of time. In a standard domestic property. an occupant is at risk of The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 developing lung cancer. If elevated radon levels are detected through radon testing.2.0. but the United States Congress has defined a long-term goal of having radon levels in homes no greater than the average radon level in outdoor air -.4 pCi/L.
Passive sub-slab suction is designed in the same way except that radon mitigation is accomplished through air pressure rather than vent fans. The radon mitigation installer may also insert the pipes into the rocks or soil from outside the home. This solution is rarely used in old homes and as such is left to newer homes that might be subjected to Radon gas invasion. a specially-calibrated fan can be used within the building to reverse this pressure differential or a sump can be created beneath the building to become a lower point of pressure.Most expert organizations are able to supply radon test kits for homeowners and employers. The pipe has a radon vent fan that draws the gas outward to release it into the air outside. If high levels of the gas are detected. who has received training from the Radon Council. Some homes that have a sump pump can use sump-hole suction to reduce radon levels. the most common and often most effective type of radon mitigation system is active sub-slab suction. For foundations.4. the gas moving from a point of higher pressure (the ground) to a point of lower pressure (inside the property). This type of system is usually designed into new homes since it is less effective as a radon mitigation system in existing homes. Block-wall suction can be used in homes with hollow-block basement walls. Our specialist surveyor.1 Radon mitigation for basement and slab foundations. To prevent radon from entering the property. as well as short-term screening kits for prospective buyers. The mechanism by which radon enters buildings is via advection. 14 .2. Below are a few Radon mitigation solutions: 1. One or more pipes are run through The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 the slab to the crushed rocks or soil underneath. will design a system based upon the severity of the problem and the type of construction. we are the area’s most experienced contractors in radon remediation. also called sub-slab depressurization.
Some homeowners use fans to blow air from the main floor into the basement. and openings around drains and pipes can help prevent some radon from The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 entering homes.2. methods to lower radon already present in homes are also recommended.2.1. A heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) also termed an air-to-air heat exchanger can also help in radon mitigation. 1. In homes with lower initial radon levels.4.4.2 Radon mitigation for crawlspace foundations Sub-membrane suction is the most effective radon mitigation method for crawlspaces.3 (a) Testing to find the water source Ask your local water Supplier to test your Water Mains pipe for leaks. increasing the pressure to keep out radon. This service should be free of charge. A fan is used to vent radon from the pipe. Since these measures have not been consistently shown to lower radon levels. 15 . 1. experts will always supply a set of radon detectors so testing can be repeated to confirm that the concentration has fallen to an acceptable level. A vent pipe is then placed under the plastic sheet and run through an opening to the outdoors. Particularly ask them to test your neighbor’s supplies on both sides: if you live on a hill with properties above you check all those on the high side of your house. Once remedial works have been carried out. covering the crawlspace with plastic and running a vent fan may be sufficient for radon mitigation.3 Other methods of radon mitigation Sealing any basement cracks will help in radon mitigation. Sealing cracks in the foundation. A plastic sheet is placed over the dirt floor of the crawl space.
look for signs of the coloured dye .radiators and pipes. lifting it and running a tap to see which hole your water flows from.test the foul water by finding the man hole cover. Using a torch.4 Tip 1 Visual clues and solutions if a concrete floor is damp all over it is hard to isolate the moisture source. (f) The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 If the floors are affected check your central heating . Don't forget to remove the bung! (d) Test the surface water drains . As it dries out the damp retreats slowly back to the points of ingress. Block this hole with a rubber bung. at night. Ask your plumber to carry out a pressure test 1.(b) If you have liquid water in your building (on a solid floor. (c) Test your own drains . Leave overnight .this will tell you where the water comes from .it glows in the dark. especially pipes that pass under solid or timber floors. sewerage or spring/ground water. so if you are not able to see any isolated damp areas either ventilate and heat or shut all the doors and windows and use a dehumidifier. Tip 2 Always check the relative level of your floor to the outside ground level and damp proof course. (e) If the kitchen utility or bathroom is affected check your plumbed-in appliances.place a Dye Bag or granules of drains testing dye (Builders Merchant) into the drain and fill up with water. If the floor is below the damp proof course you will need to 'tank' the 16 . Then fill up a sink or loo with water and mark the level. Most leaks come from dishwashers and washing machines.if not at the same level next day you need a Drains Company with a camera to investigate.mains. or in a basement) ask the Water Authority for an analysis .
fluffy salts. vacuum and then fill with sand and cement (4:1 sand to cement) incorporating SBR liquid. Symptom: white.overlap and seal the wall to floor joint. chisel out a U shaped channel in the floor at least 25mm x 25mm The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 (1 inch x 1 inch). Symptom: isolated damp spots on a concrete floor. 50mm) or a chipboard floor can be directly laid (a 'floating' floor. or the plaster may be too damaged and need replacement to our Specification. 18mm board). A water leak will add to the problem. This is probably due to a lack of joint material where the plastic membrane butts up to the wall edge. Symptom: damp areas on a concrete floor. touching and emerging from the edges. not touching the edges. to prevent laterally penetrating dampness. A water leak will add to the problem. or clean the surface and apply two coats of an epoxy membrane or fit an Air Gap Membrane. so always use our Leak Testing Check List Remedy either dig up the floor and re-lay. plaster possibly 'blowing' off the wall . 17 . both in the sand and cement and applied as a liquid primer to all the faces of the prepared 'slot'. Membrane of this type can be screeded (minimum 2 inches.'efflorescence' you have a water source which needs to be found and eliminated. Remedy . This is probably due to small holes in the plastic membrane (Visqueen 1200 gauge is normally used) laid onto sharp hard core without a sufficient sand cover.clean out the floor to wall joint until you can find the plastic membrane all the way around the floor. Use Water Leak Checklist Remedy: Salt Neutralizer might work if you can find and stop the leak.
Can you see any 'black spot' mould?
Yes = Condensation). Check ventilation and heating - redecorate with our Anti Mould Emulsion. If you have a cavity wall (check the brickwork pattern on the outside - longwise only bricks indicate a cavity construction) you might have some dirty wall ties, giving rise to 'cold spots'. These can be cleaned by taking out individual bricks.
No = probably not condensation although 'salts' from rising dampness can kill off mould, masking part of the problem - is there any patchy mould? Try using an illuminated map reading magnifier to view the wall surface.
There are many different ways of responding to damp proof problems. These brief notes will not go into the details but simply suffice to mention the following as developed by Peter Cox property services:
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Physical membrane: Effective but laborious and disruptive with the risk of damaging the structure. This can be difficult with party walls and impracticable with random rubble walls. Electro-osmosis: This can involve inserting a continuous titanium band into the mortar joint but the band and an electrode are easily damaged and become quite expensive with time Porous ceramic tubes: These do not form a damp proof barrier but rely on evaporating the moisture out of the wall. The tubes can be unsightly and are prone to blockage by hygroscopic salts. Most Architects/Engineers would avoid suggesting this solution but in very complex and difficult structures, the method has been used regularly.
particularly around angle beads.g. Without this suction the render or plaster will not grab the wall and may 19 . Reason . (b) Brush the walls to remove all plaster residues.1.1 Re-plastering of old walls Buildings may only have contaminated plaster and the original source of the moisture may have been successfully tackled (e. new damp proof course. Reason. of 'salt' contamination.6. (d) Special Note . prone to the easy passage of 'salts'.fine. sharp (means The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 slightly gritty) plastering sand (sometimes called screeding or rendering sand).walls made with non-porous stone or brick.these two problems make for a weak render. Do not use fine.normal renders and plasters stick to the wall by suction . like granite or blue brick. (c) Repair any holes or poor joints with sand and cement (4:1) using washed. unwashed sands.This is to ensure that the residual 'salts' do not climb above the new plaster in the future.use a meter to test the walls and remove plaster at least 300mm above the highest level that readings can be obtained. unwashed sands often contain salt and the fine particles are too numerous to find enough cement particles to bond together tightly . will reappear if they have used modern lightweight plasters.use BondAcryl concentrate) Reason . Several Builders and Plasterers do not use this method of re-plastering and in most cases the symptoms. Reason . water leak solved).the surfaces need to absorb some water. will require an adhesive to help stick the render coat to the wall .old plaster will have 'salt' in it and will cause damp spots to appear in time. like 'bonding' or 'browning': (a) Hack off all old plaster to at least 300mm clear of all signs of damp or salt and at least 1 metre above ground floor level .
Do not allow the plasterer to add plaster (usually 'browning') or washing up liquid to the mix.if further coats will be needed to reach the desired thickness don't forget to scratch liberally. In hot weather spray the render surface 20 . metal float or similar object. washed. at the rate of 1 part Render proof to 40 parts of water. powdery render.5mm) of render consisting of 3 parts sand . sharp (means slightly gritty) plastering sand (sometimes called screeding or rendering sand) with 1 part of fresh (free flowing .Render proof binds the sand to the cement and prevents liquid water passing through. Reason . (g) Use only Render proof water proofer/plasticizer in the water that the render is mixed with. Do not use fine.no lumps) Portland Cement. (f) Scratch the render surface liberally all over with a nail board.the next coat will probably pull the first coat off as it dries.become loose and hollow as it dries. trowel.without these scratches the natural drying shrinkage will cause cracking. Reason . crazing and hollowness to develop . Wet sand weighs more than dry. or it will need re-wetting) apply a second coat to exactly the same specification . It also makes the mix stickier (plasticizing) which help to hold the render together. which can cause excessive drying and cracking) and apply a thin coat (maximum 1/2 inch. (e) Damp the walls lightly (to reduce 'suction'. so it will make your mix weak. 12. which will not resist 'salts'. Reasons . (h) When the render surface is firm enough (but not bone dry.dry. unwashed or The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 wet sands. Fine sands produce a weak.thick coats are more likely to slump down the wall during application and crack during drying out.
with water to slow the drying process. Surface salts may be efflorescence left behind as moisture has evaporated and these can be simply brushed off.this will produce a shiny. All re-plastering should be to a height of 300mm above the highest level of salt contamination with a minimum of 1 metre above the floor line. Reason . black mould growth and poor drying. Reasons .excessive drying out increases the suction and can prevent one coat sticking to another. Where plaster has to be renewed because of hygroscopic salt action. (i) Whilst still damp (or re-wet again) apply a skim coat of Universal or Board Finish. glazed finish which looks good. Do not repaint or wallpaper for at least three months. Not all plaster affected by rising damp is so contaminated by mineral salts that it has to be renewed at the time the damp proof course is installed. a special salt retardant formulation must be used to hold back any residual salts while still allowing the passage of water vapour. (j) Delay any decoration for at least one month and then only apply a thin coat of breathable emulsion paint (not a heavy vinyl). which gives rise to cracking of the render or finish plaster. Standard plasters such as Carlite should not be used as many contain hygroscopic content. Following the installation of remedial damp proof course residual moisture will dry out but the presence of hygroscopic salts within the plaster may continue to give problems. Do not polish or add water. 21 . Rapid drying always increases shrinkage. but is prone to condensation. Sometimes the existing plaster is sound enough to allow salts The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 to migrate out of the wall without damage.
Also.7 Direct answers to damp rise questions “Can you see a 'tide' line or damp stain above the skirting board up to a height of about 6" 18" (150mm . check the pointing in the joints. Check the exterior walls for defects. people often raise the level of their gardens.are their floor levels above yours? Have they replaced any timber floors with concrete of filled in a basement? Councils often raise the level of the roads and pavements over the years. “Have you got isolated damp patches that come and go. No = your dampness may be due to 'hygroscopic salts' deposited in the wall from chimney deposits (after burning coal or wood). if the plaster is not too damaged. check gutters and downpipes.the 'salts' indicate that wetting has occurred The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 and drying out is taking place . No = if the damp is higher up the wall or patchy. treat with Ultra Proof waterproofer. coal shed. Treat with Salt Neutraliser and re-plaster to our 'tanking' specification using BondAcryl.check exterior ground levels are at least 6 inches (150mm) below the Damp Proof Course level. check gutters and downpipes.treat with Salt Neutralizer. Are the skirting boards damp or rotten” Yes = may be rising dampness .use Render proof Waterproofing Additive. check the pointing in the joints.chimney salts can burn back through even the best render backing coats sometimes. or from a previous use of the building (e. treat with Ultra Proof water proofer. more likely to be penetrating dampness check the exterior walls for defects. rather than 'tank' or re-plaster . check that the wall plaster does not 'bridge' the DPC or go down to a solid floor. or build things (like steps) against the house wall. Install a DPC and Re-plaster to our Specification .g. check your neighboring properties . In severe cases it is best to use the Mesh Membrane wall lining system. Can you see fluffy white 'salts' on the wall or are they crunchy beneath flaking paint or lifting wallpaper? Yes = you probably have penetrating dampness .450mm).1. butchers shop). particularly on or next to chimney breasts?” 22 . animal food store.
chimney salts can burn back through even the best render backing coats sometimes.Yes = you may have 'hygroscopic' (means "attracts moisture from the air") salts and chemicals from burning wood and coal. Sometimes they show up as brown or yellow stains.like a radiator. which have bled through the plaster.follow the water leak testing routine in the left hand column. boiler or sewerage pipe cover? Have any recent changes been made to the building? “None of the above . particularly in wallpaper. 23 The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 .does this area connect to a feature .are the walls and floor visibly damp?” Yes = you may have a water leak topping up your soil under your property . rather than 'tank' or replaster . Treat with Salt Neutraliser and replaster to our 'tanking' specification using BondAcryl. In severe cases it is best to use the Mesh Membrane wall lining system. No = map out the areas of dampness and look for the highest concentration .
or wrongly placed. As some experts have found out. or the hard plaster internally. Unfortunately these problems can be made worse by the cement pointing that has been carried out on the outside of the property. such as burst pipes within the walls. which is then trapped in if the wall has been built in a cement mortar. gutters and downpipes. This is because use of relatively impermeable materials will restrict moisture movement and hence drying. very commonly. often known as a renovating plaster and poor surveyor’s conclusions can actually lead to very expensive but unnecessary solutions. As a result. The control of moisture movement using either damp-proof or hydrophobic materials to create a relatively less permeable 'moisture barrier' is not necessarily a cost-effective option in controlling damp problems and may even be counter-productive. the real reason that dampness is getting into old homes could be due to leaking. this can allow water into the structure. is a high ground level and such of problems have been observed. forcing it to the sides of the room and into the base of the walls. However. A relatively common example of the effect of inserting a damp-proof material into a structure is the appearance of fresh 'rising damp' in walls following the laying of a new concrete floor with a damp-proof membrane. Also. a new impermeable membrane allows the water to accumulate beneath. moisture may be 'locked' into damp materials for many years causing chronic problems. Most commonly. so that the water literally misses the guttering. fairly typically. it can be getting in around windows. both internal and external and of leaking radiators.8 Conclusions Sometimes. Alternatively. it is a combination of many of the items that we have just mentioned. old houses might exhibit some indications of damp rise when in actual fact there would be problems arising from somewhere else. These damp problems 24 The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 .1.
or at least a ‘nominal damp proof course’. including those used in tanking systems. This is a general characteristic of all impermeable materials. the misdiagnosis of rising damp and the general application of particular products and techniques without considering the consequences lead to the unnecessary waste of the increasingly limited budgets available for maintenance and refurbishment. especially if they are combined with a ventilated dry lining system or other building detail which allows moisture to dissipate. where the walls are of uniform construction such as sound brickwork laid with strong cement mortar. the conditions resulting in damp to the base of walls can easily be avoided with a little thought and scientific understanding. Indeed. 'Chemical damp-proofing' may provide a useful barrier to damp in the short to medium term.are then often used as justification for the injection of a moisture-barrier and the removal and replacement of plaster with remedial mixes. which are generally found to fail at some point or at some time. Even with the loss of traditional skills and the complexities introduced into building by new materials and new styles of The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 occupancy. which independent surveyors and their scientific consultants should promote in the interest of sound building and public health. new materials and techniques can often be used to advantage if their properties are analyzed as potential environmental controls. A damp-proof barrier is always vulnerable to local failure and will tend to concentrate moisture and damp problems at these points. If it is decided that a moisture-barrier at the base of the wall is essential. With all the issues raised. the most reliable method is to introduce a physical barrier rather than a chemical one. A more rational approach to the diagnosis and treatment of damp problems in buildings is only good building practice. In contrast. old buildings remain the most difficult structures to 25 .
9 Bibliography http://lungcancer.org The Role of Mangers in Managing change | 9/20/2012 26 .com/damptypes.regulate and control damp.seai.diydoctor.com/ www.ie/Publications/Your_Home_Publications/Your_Guide_to_Renovating_an_Older_Home.thehomedr.c o.pdf http://www.petercox.uk http://www.com/articles/risingdamp/risingdamp.u k/ http://www.about.org.uk-damp-proofing-and-timber-treatment.htm http://www.htm http://www.dampness-info.com/pdf/Rising-Damp-Replastering-06. 1.com/od/causesoflungcance1/a/radonmitigation.ashireporter.buildingconservation.htm http://www. Experts rely solely on traditional ways of building technics primarily for protecting and combating future damp rise. pdf http://www.
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