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House with damp proofing but still with rising damp.

About to buy a house, it has had damp proofing 8 yrs ago but still has rising damp, needing structural survey as with timber crowning on lounge, how much to fix the house? How safe is the house still?

Asked on Apr 22 2012, Home Improvement in Gloucester | Report content

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  • Normally if a firm provide a damp proof solution it comes with a guarantee for 20 years or so and someone selling the house should pass on the relevant paperwork and you should be able to go back to that company. However if the house is still damp, it might not be a failure of that particular piece of work.  You really need to establish the cause of the damp. In older houses, often the ground levels outside have been raised above the level of the DPC; or air bricks have been blocked; or the wall cavity has been compromised; gutters or downpipes may have failed; or a variety of other reasons.  Until you know the reason for the damp, you can't guess at how to fix it or what it might cost.  If the damp has been there for a long time, it might have rotted the floor joists where they meet the walls.  It's always a good idea to jump up and down on wooden floors in old houses to see what's going on... ie how much bounce?what noise does it make? Do the boards sink under weight at the edge of the room? Pull up a floor board and have a look. The Victorians/Edwardians used to stick piles of slates under joists to support them if they'd rotted out so they weren't even attached at the edges.  Once the source is established you can make a proper assessment of the work to be done. If the walls are very damp, the chances are that all the plaster/render will have to come off up to 1m high, damp work carried out and then re-render/plaster and then dry. This isn't work you should do while living in a property as it's not pleasant or healthy to be around.  Your surveyor (preferably appointed by you rather than by a mortgage company) will give you impartial advice as to cause and suggested remedy and any damp work should come with a long guarantee. 

    Answered on Apr 23 2012, Report content
  • Regrettably, there has been a tendancy for firms to find damp and recommend a damp proof course is injected. In many instances this is unnecessary. get a good surveyor to look at the property for you (ie one who is not simply going to recommend a damp specialist - ie damp contractor). Simply putting in a damp proof course is often akin to taking an asprin. The pain might go away but the underlying problem remains. You need to get to the cause of the damp.

    Answered on Jun 13 2012, Report content

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