How To Treat Rising Damp In An Old House?

How To Treat Rising Damp In An Old House
Treating Rising Damp in Old Buildings Damp is an issue that affects many properties; new and old, commercial and residential alike. There are several types of damp that affect buildings, and whilst it can befall all types of properties, older buildings are more susceptible to certain types of damp, especially rising damp.

  1. This is because when older houses were built, Damp Proof Courses (DPC) were somewhat primitive or entirely absent.
  2. Since then, our knowledge of damp has greatly increased and new houses all feature the most effective DPC treatments, but unfortunately, the same can’t be said for older properties which is why so many of them suffer from rising damp.

When it comes to treating damp in old buildings (officially, those built pre-1919), there is an animated discussion about the most advisable course of action. How to treat rising damp in an old house needs to consider both the problem at hand, but also the preservation of the property – especially if it’s a listed building.

When you seek out a for a listed property or otherwise, our team of experts will carry out a full site survey before recommending the best treatment via a no-obligation quote. We have years of experience working on both new homes and period properties across London, meaning our team are best placed to protect your home from the effects of damp without compromising the charm of the property.

Causes of Damp in Old Houses As mentioned, old house damp problems can have a range of causes, namely the fact that the DPC in old houses is outdated and not up to modern standards. Many argue that the way that listed buildings were built is better in terms of keeping a home damp free, however, none of these buildings was erected with modern waterproofing techniques in mind.

  1. This means that such properties either use outdated methods to create DPCs, such as slate, bitumen, jute and hessian, or they have none whatsoever.
  2. What this means is that the walls of the property have little to no barrier against water in the ground surrounding the property, meaning the moisture can seep in through the walls and cause damage.

In the modern-day, DPCs are usually either plastic membranes or chemical injections into the walls which prohibit damp from rising. These may require replacing over time due to natural wear and tear or as a result of extensions to the home such as an adjoining wall.

  • How to Identify Rising Damp Rising damp is relatively simple to identify, even if you are not an expert in the field.
  • The most is moss forming on walls on the outside of the building as a result of moisture in the walls.
  • There may also be damage to plaster on internal walls which may crack or break away as a result of the moisture.

When there is rising damp, you will be able to visibly see and feel damp walls in your old house, so if you notice peeling paint, wallpaper or plaster, there’s a high chance you have a case of rising damp. If rising damp is the issue your old property is suffering from, the damp will extend no further than 1.5m up the wall due to the effects of gravity.

  • If you notice damp higher up the walls or on the ceiling, you may have a separate damp issue.
  • It is common for new buildings to suffer from a build-up of mould as moisture is not well ventilated.
  • In older properties, the materials used to build walls, such as stone, are described as ‘breathable’.
  • This means that moisture can easily pass through walls, but it does little to protect the property from groundwater causing rising damp.

That’s also not to say that old buildings can’t suffer from a build-up of mould. When it comes to how to prevent damp in old houses, we would recommend:

Regularly opening windows to allow air to circulate Using de-humidifiers in small rooms with limited ventilation Keeping furniture away from radiators Ensuring extractor fans are installed in the kitchen/bathroom to remove excess moisture and steam in the air

Doing the above will prevent damp problems like condensation. We would also recommend regularly checking things like the windows, doors, rendering/mortar, guttering and roof to ensure there is no damage. Survey and Rising Damp Quote Whether you are certain that your home is suffering from rising damp, or if you are seeking an expert opinion, the Garratt’s Damp & Timber team offer surveys and rising damp quotes.

A chemical DPC injection Replacement of rotting joists or internal flooring which has come into contact with damp Removing and replacing damaged interior plaster Bridged DPC – requiring the removal of bridging materials or soil to enable a minimum of 150mm clearance below the DPC

To request a rising damp quote and a survey, please call our team on 0208 535 7536 today, or directly online. : Treating Rising Damp in Old Buildings

Can rising damp be cured?

Treating rising damp on internal walls – Before internal wall treatment can begin, all skirting boards around the affected area must be removed. Additionally, all salt-contaminated plaster needs to be hacked off to a minimum of 300 mm above the last detectable signs of dampness or salt contamination.

  1. Once the brickwork has been exposed, rising damp itself can be treated.
  2. By using Dryzone Damp-Proof Injection Cream or Dryrod Damp-Proofing Rods, a remedial DPC can be injected directly into the masonry to ensure a targeted treatment of the problem.
  3. Regardless of whether Dryzone or Dryrods are used, holes must be drilled into the lowest accessible mortar course that is still at least 150 mm above the exterior ground level.
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These are typically drilled at regular intervals of 120 mm, with a diameter of 12 mm, Injecting a damp-proof cream or inserting damp-proofing rods ensures a targeted and highly effective treatment of rising damp. The first step to stop rising damp with Dryzone Damp-Proofing Cream is to drill holes at a regular interval into the lowest accessible mortar course,

What happens if you don’t treat rising damp?

What causes rising damp? – Your property should be fitted with a damp proof course (DPC) which stops rising damp from the ground. This type of damp is a result of ground water breaching your damp proofing course and rising up the walls of your building.

This is known as capillary action. Rising Damp can occur where a DPC has been fitted in the wall but has been bridged by high ground level or your existing damp-proof course has broken down. If left untreated, rising damp can cause extreme damage to the structure of your property. The cost of damp-proofing will be small in comparison to repairing your home interior and exterior fabric that you may have to replace.

Rising damp can destroy decoration, plaster and can cause rot to the timber within your home. For example, a raised flower bed against a wall might result in soil being piled up above the level of the DPC. In this example, moisture from the ground would bridge the DPC and could then penetrate and rise up the walls of your property from the soil level.

  1. Such a damp problem could be rectified by simply lowering the flower bed to below the DPC level.
  2. Many damp proof courses are deteriorating due to age and failures to the DPC can happen at any point along the wall.
  3. Has your home already been damp-proofed? In some cases, damp can be caused when a damp barrier becomes damaged or has not been installed properly and this is not uncommon.

A member of our team will also look at other factors that may be causing the problem. Our team have years of experience working in property care and will look at factors such as leaking gutters, downpipes, and condensation, Continue reading about rising damp causes,

Is damp normal in old houses?

How To Treat Rising Damp In An Old House 26 May 2020 Having dampness in a period property is a common problem found by homeowners of these types of properties. Older housing was designed and built a lot different from how they are now. Older properties are prone to suffering from damp and condensation problems.

Is it OK to buy a house with rising damp?

A Guide to Damp for First Time Buyers – By EnviroVent Feb 18, 2021 If you are buying a house for the first time, you may be worried about the risk of damp and how this might affect your purchase. During the process of buying a house, the mention of damp can be scary and is something that may put you off purchasing a home that you otherwise like.

  1. There are different types of damp, and it is a good idea to find out how to identify them so you can decide whether they are going to be costly to deal with.
  2. Rising Damp can be a major issue for homes and cost a lot of money to fix whereas other damp types might not be as much of a problem to deal with.

Damp does not necessarily mean that you cannot buy a particular house – if you are part way through the process of buying, and damp is flagged as a problem, you should get the damp checked out by a professional and then speak to the seller about what can be done to either fix the issue or negotiate on the price.

Can you sell a house with rising damp?

Can a house with serious damp issues be sold? – The simple answer is ‘yes’, but it depends on the price you want to sell for. Obviously, in most cases, a survey will be carried out and damp issues will be revealed. If that is the case, a mortgage lender will more often than not require further investigation from a specialist surveyor.

  1. Some lenders will take into account the cost of work outlined in the surveyor’s report and offer a mortgage subject to retention.
  2. This is where a mortgage lender withholds a proportion of a mortgage until the buyer has completed certain works on the property.
  3. As long as the buyer doesn’t reduce their offer, this is a good outcome for the seller.

In severe cases of rising damp, mortgage companies won’t lend and that means the seller will either need to carry out the work themselves or sell to a cash buyer. For a sale to a cash buyer, there will be a discount; sellers should expect a 10 to 20 per cent discount on market value, plus a discount for the cost of work.

How do you keep an old house damp free?

Improve air movement around areas prone to mould Always run the extractor fan or open a window when cooking or showering. Keep the door closed to stop the moist air going into other rooms. Put cold water in the bath before adding hot. If you have trickle vents* on your windows, keep them open.

Is rising damp covered by insurance?

Does home insurance cover rising damp? In most cases, it won’t. Buildings insurance policies don’t pay out for problems that are seen as the result of gradual deterioration, which is what insurers consider rising damp to be.

Can you ignore rising damp?

Widespread Damage – The damage rising damp causes only expands to other areas of your property if you don’t put a stop to it. As the damp accumulates in and throughout your walls, it will rot skirting boards, remove paint, and even potentially cause the masonry between your brickwork to deteriorate.

Is rising damp a serious problem?

Q10: Rising damp health problems – Should I be worried? – For most people you do not need to be concerned. It might smell and look unsightly, however, the health risks are minimal. However, if the rising damp is extreme, it may lead to excessive amounts of black mould which may cause an allergic reaction, especially children, elderly people and those that have poor health.

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Will dehumidifier help with rising damp?

Do Dehumidifiers Stop Damp? – To put it simply the answer is no, however, if you are looking to reduce high humidity and the chance of condensation occurring then dehumidifiers can be a good solution. To get to the bottom of the problem it is important to understand why there are humidity levels in the first place. How To Treat Rising Damp In An Old House Other problems related to damp such as rising damp and penetrating damp are something that a dehumidifier cannot deal with. Having structural defects at your property will need a professional to provide an inspection at the property and identify what remedial action needs to be taken to resolve the problem. Typical structural problems can be any of the following:

Having a damaged or indeed no damp proof course in place- if a property does not have an adequate damp proof course in place it can be one of the causes of rising damp to occur as there will be no protection for water rising up from the ground. Damaged rainwater goods- If your gutters are clogged or damaged then this will mean, especially during periods of heavy rainfall, that water will not drain away and could potentially penetrate through to the inner walls of the property. Leaking pipes- If there are leaking pipes at the property then this will mean that has the potential for dampness to occur and should be rectified by a qualified plumber.

As you can see that there are many different causes of damp in houses and if the damp problem isn’t diagnosed or treated in a sufficient amount of time then the building could suffer from severe structural issues.

Does opening windows reduce damp?

Open Your Window – This might seem obvious, but it’s effective. Opening your windows will release the humid air outside, and therefore, will prevent the humidity from collecting onto your windows. So, if it’s not too cold out and you’re suffering from condensation, open a window. It can be impractical to have a window open all year round, so read on to find some more permanent solutions.

Is my damp house making me ill?

Yes, if you have damp and mould in your home you’re more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma, Damp and mould can also affect the immune system.

How much does it cost to fix rising damp UK?

Cost of damp proofing internal walls – Much of the cost involved in this comes from replastering a decoration after the process is carried out. Costs vary widely between different areas and different suppliers, but a rough average is around £80 per metre of wall being treated, or around £300 per wall.

How much does rising damp devalue a house?

How Much Does Damp Devalue Your House – Well, it really depends on the severity of the damp. If it’s just a little bit of condensation, then it’s not likely to have much of an effect on the value of your home. However, if the problem is more serious, such as rising or penetrating damp, it can devalue your property by up to 10%.

What is the difference between damp and rising damp?

Penetrating damp is caused by defective roofing, guttering, rendering/brickwork, or doors/windows, whereas rising damp is caused by a defective, bridged, or absent DPC, or a lack of basement tanking.

Does mould grow on rising damp?

Much like condensation, rising damp produces dark mould patches on your walls, but there are a few distinguishing features you can look out for too. Peeling paint or wallpaper, along with damage to skirting boards and loose flooring, could all point to rising damp.

Does home insurance cover damp proof?

How to deal with damp Damp can be a common problem in older houses and can be incredibly costly to fix. So how can you can prevent it and what should you do if your home is affected? As well as looking unsightly, damp and mould can cause serious issues.

  • Not only can it leave you with an unpleasant musty smell lingering in the atmosphere, it can also harm the structure of your property and even cause health problems such as asthma and allergies.
  • It’s imperative to treat damp as soon as possible because once it’s taken hold it can be difficult – not to mention expensive – to get rid of.

Protecting your home from damp will keep it safe for years to come. If you spot signs of damp and mould, it’s important to identify which type it is before you try to fix it. There are three main types of damp: Rising damp is mostly found in old properties, particularly those pre-dating 1875 when houses weren’t built with protective damp-proof courses.

Decaying Crumbling Tide marks on walls

Penetrating damp is caused by rain getting into a property through walls and ceilings. This could be due to a leaking roof, blocked gutter or burst pipe. You’re more likely to experience penetrating damp if you live in an older building with solid walls rather than cavity walls, which provide some protection. Signs of penetrating damp include:

Large damp patches on walls Decaying timber Watermarks on masonry particularly after heavy rain

Condensation is the most common type of damp, with one in five UK homes affected. It’s caused by moist warm air coming into contact with a cold surface, typically in kitchens and bathrooms. Signs of condensation include:

An unpleasant musty smell Water droplets collecting on windows Unsightly black mould Peeling paint or

Where damp is concerned, prevention is most definitely better than cure. These tips can help you protect your home: A hot and stuffy home can result in a build-up of excess moisture, causing mould and mildew, so it’s important to let the air circulate around your property.

  • It’s a good idea to open a window every day, even if it’s cold outside.
  • If you have air vents in your kitchen and bathroom that lead outside, make sure nothing is blocking them.
  • And don’t lie furniture flat against walls as air won’t be able to circulate behind it.
  • Everyday activities like showering and cooking can increase humidity inside your home and cause condensation.

To reduce the amount of moisture:

Use an extractor fan when cooking and keep lids on saucepans Only boil the kettle when you need to Dry your washing outdoors whenever possible Open windows and leave internal doors open Wipe down the bath, shower and tiles after every use

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Another way to reduce the amount of condensation in your home is to keep it well heated. Since condensation is created when cold and warm moist air clash, a cold room is more likely to become damp, especially during the winter months. Loft and wall insulation can help reduce heat loss, while well-fitted double glazing will help to avoid steamy windows.

  1. Check your roof regularly for damage, especially after a winter storm, but don’t attempt to fix a leak yourself if you’re not a professional.
  2. Eep gutters clear of leaves and debris to avoid rainwater streaming down the side of your property as it will eventually seep inside.
  3. Water can get in through the walls as well as the roof, so inspect the pointing of exterior brickwork and masonry for cracks or potential weak spots.

If damp-proof courses and air bricks are covered up by outside paths, rendering, or garden borders, the damp-proofing can become bridged, making it ineffective and allowing moisture to penetrate a wall. If you have damp or mould in your home, the first step is to identify the source of it and get it fixed.

  • Dry out the damp area thoroughly – this may involve using a dehumidifier.
  • In many cases, if the damp is caused by condensation and covers an area of less than 1×1 metre, you should be able to treat the affected area yourself with a mould removing treatment.
  • To protect yourself from mould spores, it’s advisable to wear goggles, rubber gloves and a mask over your nose and mouth.

Open windows but keep doors closed so spores won’t spread to other parts of the house. Once the affected surface is dry and mould-free, you can paint it with a damp seal or stain block paint. If you have old or cracked grouting in your kitchen or bathroom that is causing damp and mould, you can rectify the problem by re-grouting your tiles.

Rising damp is less easy to fix, so to deal with this you’ll probably need help from a professional. Treatment involves either a damp-proof course or new damp-proof membrane. The worse a damp situation gets, the more it’s likely to cost to repair any damage. Most standard buildings and contents home insurance policies do not cover damage caused by damp and condensation.

A damp-proof course can run into thousands of pounds if the whole house needs treating. Each case is different, but a rough estimate is around £300-£600 per wall depending on the size of your property. Make sure you really need a damp-proof course damp proof treatment before you pay out for it as damp is often misdiagnosed.

  • If needs be, seek advice from an independent damp specialist or an independent and qualified Chartered Surveyor from the RICS to find out whether the treatment is absolutely necessary.
  • They will charge a fee but will be more likely to accurately diagnose the problem, potentially saving you money in the long run.

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  • John Lewis Finance, John Lewis Insurance and John Lewis & Partners are all trading names of John Lewis plc.
  • Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN.
  • Registered in England and Wales (Registered Company Number 233462).
  • John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority no.416011) of Covea Insurance plc which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (registration no.202277).

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Can I paint over rising damp?

Can you paint over damp? – No. Never paint over damp – it doesn’t address the root cause of bubbling paint or peeling wallpaper, and you’ll need to paint it again very soon. Fix the source of the damp then let the wall fully dry out before painting it.

Who is responsible for rising damp?

Who’s responsible for penetrating damp – In many cases where the damp is caused by problems such as those listed above, the landlord is responsible for repairing the problem. This is because a term implied into your tenancy agreement says that the landlord must keep in repair the exterior and structure of your home as well as installations like basins, sinks, baths, toilets and their pipework.

a private landlord a housing association or the council

Your landlord is usually responsible for repairing the problem when they become aware of it – so make sure you report the problem to them straight away.

How long does it take to fix rising damp?

When can I carry out redecoration after the damp proofing course? – The first stage of decoration should be applied once the plaster has dried. Use water-based emulsions for the first decoration to walls as vapour will continue to dry from the wall for a period.

Is rising damp a serious problem?

Q10: Rising damp health problems – Should I be worried? – For most people you do not need to be concerned. It might smell and look unsightly, however, the health risks are minimal. However, if the rising damp is extreme, it may lead to excessive amounts of black mould which may cause an allergic reaction, especially children, elderly people and those that have poor health.

How much does it cost to fix rising damp UK?

Cost of damp proofing internal walls – Much of the cost involved in this comes from replastering a decoration after the process is carried out. Costs vary widely between different areas and different suppliers, but a rough average is around £80 per metre of wall being treated, or around £300 per wall.

What is rising damp and how do you fix it?

Treatment of rising damp is known as ‘damp-proofing’ or ‘damp coursing’ and typically involves stripping any plaster that’s damp off the wall, then drilling a line of holes along the wall at base level and injecting a silicone solution into the wall which penetrates to create a permanent barrier in the wall.