Damp in Old houses

31
Found 26th Nov 2012
Hi Everyone,

Does anyone no much about damp in houses?

Background;
Okay so my End Trerrace house was built in 1900 so its pretty old and has solid walls (triple brick as far as I know)

One of the internal walls (also solid) which connects the house next door looks like it may have damp. At first I though it may have been where condesation and nicotine have met and stained the walls due to previous owner as some of it was just a couple of random patches up high which were like a googy substance .....

I therefore removed all the paper with the idea of getting it skimmed and painted.... unfortunatley I have found the corner wall in the algove appears to have rising damp along the wall up to about 18 inches. Anyone know what might cause this as, as such the algove is in the middle of the house and its an internal wall?

The fireplace is closed, so don't know if its to do with lack of ventilation because of this?
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i live in a house over 400 years old, and suffer with damp. We were told its because there is no cavity to let the walls breathe. In a couple of the rooms with space allowing my hubby built a false wall over the existing a inch off of the existing wall. Touch wood this seems to have done the trick.
We cannot place drawers uptight to our walls because the wall behind becomes damp. and we have put in air bricks and leave the top window open or ventilation vent in window. unusual to be an internal wall our problems are all outside walls.
Does your house have a dpc?, being built when it was a doubt it, most common cause for raising damp is no dpc, could also be penetrating damp although I highly doubt this. How many walls have damp?. Your best way it's to hire a competent and RICS accredited building surveyors, am still at uni so am just trying to help out.
Rising damp can only rise up to around 1m. Most likely be ventilation.
If its on a party wall, do you know if you neighbour has anything that may be causing water penetration on their side. ie sink, bath, shower, or even possibly a leaky central heating pipe.
Thanks for the responses,

The fact that it is an internal wall is what has me confused, the only thing I can think of is with it being solid it will be touching the ground so exposed to the floor. None of the external walls have any signs of damp at all, there is no blocked drains or anything like that....it has me baffled.

There was an old fitted cupboard in the opposite algove which is adjacent to the external wall.
I have now ripped out this out as I know these areas can attract damp, plus it was quite unsighlty. There is no damp here. There is also no damp in the room adjacent to the wall with the damp however this one does have an open fire place.


WoolyM

If its on a party wall, do you know if you neighbour has anything that … If its on a party wall, do you know if you neighbour has anything that may be causing water penetration on their side. ie sink, bath, shower, or even possibly a leaky central heating pipe.

I think this may be my next step, talking to the neighbour ... hopefully they will be okay as I'm pretty new to the areas and havn't spoke with these yet.
Being internal wall it has to be ventilation or previous leak damage

If you was local I'd let you borrow my dehumidifier for free - suggest you hire a good one and run it for a few days then maybe test the area with damp tester (12approx) on weekly or fortnightly basis to identify the cause.
philphil61

Being internal wall it has to be ventilation or previous leak damageIf … Being internal wall it has to be ventilation or previous leak damageIf you was local I'd let you borrow my dehumidifier for free - suggest you hire a good one and run it for a few days then maybe test the area with damp tester (12approx) on weekly or fortnightly basis to identify the cause.



Thanks philphil61, Appreciate that!.... I used to have a ebac dehumdifier but it broke when I first moved in.... I think my mam said it was was about 20 years old though so it certainly had its use! Ill have a look at getting another one, they are certainly worth the money.

It could also have a cavity being a party wall - they sometimes have cavities for sound insulation enhancement. There may also be an old fireplace/chimney there - if not capped properly can allow water down the wall. Being a party wall, there may be potential the defect is common and therefore your neighbour may have responsibility to repair - depends where defect originates.

Rising damp reaches 3 feet from ground level only - anything above that is penetrating damp.

Sounds like you don't even know if it is damp - you need to get it looked at - call Environmental Health at your council.
My house is an old Victorian one and it doesn't suffer from damp but definately benefits from having the heating on 24-7 and windows opened every day.

Heating bills are high that's the only thing.
I am very familiar with damp. You will need to get the wall treated for rising damp by having a dpc course put in if you can not identify any obvious source of water leakage.

Internal walls can suffer from rising damp like external walls do.
mutley1

I am very familiar with damp. You will need to get the wall treated for … I am very familiar with damp. You will need to get the wall treated for rising damp by having a dpc course put in if you can not identify any obvious source of water leakage.Internal walls can suffer from rising damp like external walls do.



What if it's not rising damp?

Not all internal walls can be subject to damp - i.e. raised timber beam floor.
moob

What if it's not rising damp?Not all internal walls can be subject to … What if it's not rising damp?Not all internal walls can be subject to damp - i.e. raised timber beam floor.



I do have a raised timber floor on all ground floors rooms
OP. I had a similar problem where the internal wall between the hall and the dining room was damp with some sort of sticky film on the plaster. I could not work it out but got the damp people in and they treated the wall with dpc and replastered the wall.

it has worked as the damp has gone but it has not worked completely as the paint still flakes off it when you try to paint it. It is only a small area so it is not too bad.

the problem with the house is that it suffers from condensation so it looks like you may need to damp treat the wall and also look into condensation problem to resolve it as it sounds like you also have a condensation issue.
Crazy Chris

I do have a raised timber floor on all ground floors rooms


The party wall will go down to the foundations however.

What height is the damp patch?
moob

The party wall will go down to the foundations however.What height is the … The party wall will go down to the foundations however.What height is the damp patch?



I would say its no more then 18 inches height.

Thanks for all the comments everyone appreciate the input
OP, my place looked great before purchase, then after second viewing there was mould on a lot of internal and external walls. It could have been from the occupants drying clothes in the rooms with the windows closed...the walls were cleaned and repainted before exchange, and so far -touch wood- they've remained clean.


To everyone else ; What causes 'condensation issues'? (Asides from the obvious, water vapour ) I am nervous I will get mould patches on my walls again, it is already beginning in bathroom. I keep heat on about two hours in the evening so the house is nice and warm, only dry clothes outside and use extractor fan and open kitchen window while cooking...
I still get water running down the aluminium windows throughout, and the bathroom walls and ceiling get soaked from even the quickest shower.
How large an area will a de-humidifier cope with? In the hall of a 2bed flat, would it treat the entire house? Would it need to be moved from room to room? Would it need to run 24/7? Can anyone recommend a good one?
i think condensation wise is the lack of ventilation..... buildings these days are a lot more air tight because of things like closed fireplaces double glazing etchomes are muchmorecefficient but dont get enuf natural vent. Does your bathroom have extract?
comput1

To everyone else ; What causes 'condensation issues'? (Asides from the … To everyone else ; What causes 'condensation issues'? (Asides from the obvious, water vapour ) I am nervous I will get mould patches on my walls again, it is already beginning in bathroom. I keep heat on about two hours in the evening so the house is nice and warm, only dry clothes outside and use extractor fan and open kitchen window while cooking...


In the case of the bathroom it's probably the temperature cycling.

I presume the bathroom has a heater that's on when the bathroom is used. Warm air can hold more moisture but when you turn off the heater the air cools down and causes condensation.

The simplest solution is not use the heater and to ventilate the bathroom fully immediately after use. An expensive solution would be to fit an extractor fan with a heat exchanger. It will pump the hot humid air outside and replaced it with fresh air from outside that is warmed via the heat exchanger.
does anyone know how much a dpc course will cost as we have just had a offer accepted on a house and the surveyors send there were signs of damp and may need dpc?
omg did you see dam on windows, just cleaned them about 2 months ago, my house is end terrace, around 1910 too, all extrnal walls have damp and mould, even my kids small bedroom, cleaned all windows again and wiped my kids wall with tissues, even my dinniing room internal wall is wet just under legs height but its were the table is, any thing you put close to walls will get wet and damp,
Hey didnt you notice the spider webs!! loads in my house ffs
john11

does anyone know how much a dpc course will cost as we have just had a … does anyone know how much a dpc course will cost as we have just had a offer accepted on a house and the surveyors send there were signs of damp and may need dpc?



depends on how many walls are affected and the area affected. we had ours done for £1800. it was for 3 walls.
Chris, get it checked out by an expert. Either call EH at your Council, or get a reliable builder in.
Moob I agree thats the best bet from what I've read on here, the internet and family it could be a variety of things so expert help will be way forward. Thanks again everyone
Reason I say call EH is that's my job, I help people out with housing defects every day.

Assistance differs from region to region, but up here in Scotland, we offer free assistance and advice.
Hi Everyone,

Just to let you know I had someone out and there is defnitley rising damp in the party wall
The cost to fix it is £480.00 for anyone intrested
Crazy Chris

Hi Everyone, Just to let you know I had someone out and there is … Hi Everyone, Just to let you know I had someone out and there is defnitley rising damp in the party wall :(The cost to fix it is £480.00 for anyone intrested




Hope you got a reputable company and at least a couple of quotes.
Plum

Hope you got a reputable company and at least a couple of quotes.

I got a couple of quote yes, went with the person who has done quite alot of work for my parents in the past as we know he does a good job.
Who cares. Just leave it it will dry out. Oh yyea im unsubscibing to this link
Crazy Chris

Hi Everyone, Just to let you know I had someone out and there is … Hi Everyone, Just to let you know I had someone out and there is defnitley rising damp in the party wall :(The cost to fix it is £480.00 for anyone intrested


Check you title deeds, your neighbours may have joint responsibility.
Pull up a floor board or two and have a look.You may find water ? Did the fireplace which is now closed have a cap fitted to the chimney pot to stop water getting in ?
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