There are many different causes of damp, from faulty or damaged plumbing, roofing and guttering, to condensation, rising damp and penetrating damp.
Clearly an accurate determination of the cause of the damp is essential to solving the problem and preventing further damage.
Damp can present itself in a number of ways from a simple damp patch, to decorative damage and blistering plasterwork. Left untreated it can cause damage to timbers in the shape of dry rot or wet rot, as well as damaging the integrity of brickwork and in certain extreme circumstances even the foundations.
Assuming they are identified promptly, problems caused by damaged plumbing, guttering and roofing are fairly easily fixed. Once the cause has been fixed, usually a period of drying out and some redecoration is all that’s required.
One of the more common problems in older houses is Rising Damp. Many older properties were built without any damp proof course, or at best a layer of slate was added. Without a damp proof course, over time, moisture in the ground is absorbed by the bricks and drawn unimpeded up to a metre high. Minerals in the water crystallise as salts and over a long period these salts form visible and invisible deposits, which attract further moisture in humid conditions.
Rising Damp can be treated with the installation of a chemical damp proof course; the affected walls are drilled at the correct height and a monitored quantity of chemical Damp Proof Course fluid is injected into the wall to suppress the rising water. Contaminated plasterwork will need to be removed and a remedial plaster system is used to prevent salts damaging internal decoration.
Penetrating Damp describes the action of water entering and moving through a wall. Again this is generally seen in older ‘solid wall’ properties that are built without a cavity, or in some cases where a leak has gone untreated for an extended period of time, or pointing, flashing or rendering are faulty.
This type of dampness needs very careful investigation, as the cause of the problem is not always immediately apparent. The water may move a considerable distance horizontally before appearing on the surface.
Whatever the cause of your damp problem, ASRS Preservation Ltd can help you identify and remedy the problem and ensure that no further damage occurs.
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