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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:29 pm 
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We have a detached house where the original part dates back to the 1700s. We have been experiencing surface water at the base of some of the external walls, especially in the kitchen. We've been using a dehumidifier to clear this which has helped. We've found it gets worse when cooking. The walls always feel cold which have the damp and a room upstairs smells musty.

As the problem has gotten worse over the last month or so, we've decided we need to get it sorted. We had an expert round who claimed straight away before he was barely in the door that we need to replace the concrete floor with timber to help the ventilation. He pointed out old buildings would not have had concrete floors and therefore damp is being pushed up the walls. We were surprised by his comments and are not sure if this is the solution/correct as he had not even looked at the damp areas prior to this.

Having done some online research, it would appear that, yes the floor would have been timber originally and concrete should not have been put into a heritage house with solid walls. That said, do we actually have a rising damp issue as he claims or just an issue with condensation?! How do we know?? Something just doesn't sit right with this knowing that he hasn't checked what type of damp it is!

We had considered adding a radiator to warm the cold damp wall (it's very cold to touch and gets limited sun, especially in winter) and to prevent it being a surface where condensation may form and installing a PIV system. But now he's said that about the floor we just don't know what to do! We don't want to throw money at the house with new radiators and PIV when it won't help. Nor do we want to remove a floor when actually the damp is not rising and is just poor ventilation.

The exterior is cement rendered and we will be having this removed and replaced with lime to help the walls breathe and also as it's cracked and untidy. Lime is recommended for solid walls. But are unsure if we need to be replastering inside with lime also.

Does anyone else have experience of this, we feel like we're going round in circles!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:00 pm 
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[quote=O.P: "coldwater56"]

Synopsis: We have a detached house where the original part dates back to the 1700s. We have been experiencing surface water at the base of some of the external walls, especially in the kitchen. We've been using a dehumidifier to clear this which has helped. We've found it gets worse when cooking. The walls always feel cold which have the damp and a room upstairs smells musty. As the problem has gotten worse over the last month or so, we've decided we need to get it sorted. Does anyone else have experience of this, we feel like we're going round in circles!!![/quote]

I can name several problems it could be, narrowing it down I would like to see the slope of the land, local rainwater courses and land drainage issues. To view the actual roof structure and upper windows (picture wanted) check the overall size of the house and count the total number of rooms and unheated areas, and to see how you heat it. You then have ill-fitting windows and door problems, probably floorboards that have moved and 'spread' (apart) Staircases that swallow upward moving heat and very important to enquire about the roof - roof tile tightness and roof-age to consider. We then need to look at how many disused fireplaces and disused chimneys are involved, I'm certain condensation is involved but how and why needs to be determined? It might not be the floor mentioned.


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