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damp survey - is the damp proof membrane really necessary?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in In my home (includes DIY) MoneySaving
6 replies 850 views
steph1397steph1397 Forumite
3 Posts
Hi,

I've recently paid a damp surveyor - PCA-registered so I think pretty reputable - for a ground floor damp survey in our newly-bought Victorian terraced house. It was pretty clear there was damp - some peeling wallpaper, smell, etc - and we wanted to understand the extent of the problem.

The surveyor's report concludes that the damp proof course has been bridged (no gap between the plaster and a solid floor, some penetrating dampness from gutters, uncapped chimney pots, no drip channels in windowsills, etc) and recommends a number of things, most of which seem sensible. So I'm happy to add additional air bricks, sort out the guttering, cap the chimneys, create drip channels and so on.

I'm less sure about removing currently damp plaster and installing a damp proof membrane before replastering. The surveyor suggests doing this to prevent residual salt contamination migrating from the masonry to the plasterwork. That sounds plausible but is it possibly him being very cautious? Or is that wishful thinking on my part?

Also, if the damp proof membrane and replastering are necessary, could I afford to delay a while before doing that, provided I crack on with addressing the sources of the damp? Or would it be more sensible to bite the bullet now and suck up the cost and disruption of replastering?

Very grateful for any advice.

steph

Replies

  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    steph1397 wrote: »
    I've recently paid a damp surveyor - PCA-registered so I think pretty reputable - for a ground floor damp survey in our newly-bought Victorian terraced house.

    I'm less sure about removing currently damp plaster and installing a damp proof membrane before replastering. The surveyor suggests doing this to prevent residual salt contamination migrating from the masonry to the plasterwork. That sounds plausible but is it possibly him being very cautious? Or is that wishful thinking on my part?


    You do realize that the PCA is the trade body for all these damp & rot treatment companies ?


    Consequently, any "recommendations" should be treated with a degree of skepticism. If the DPC is breached, it is most likely external, so it would be worth reducing the ground level outside by a few inches along with fixing the other issues highlighted.


    As this is a Victorian build, it is most likely solid brick walls, so waterproofing the walls and slapping a coat of modern gypsum plaster on will not solve the problem. It will mask the damp for a few years, but you'd then need to spend another wad of cash covering up damp higher up the walls. A more sympathetic repair would be to take off any blown plaster along with any pink stuff (modern gypsum plaster) and replace it with a traditional lime plaster. Whilst it won't cure any possible damp, it will help to manage it and be a longer term solution than anything a PCA rep would recommend.
    Her courage will change the world.

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  • DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    I agree. :)
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  • TheCyclingProgrammerTheCyclingProgrammer Forumite
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    It sounds like they've made a number of sensible recommendations to rectify the problems causing damp but have then subsequently tried to flog you their unnecessary chemical DPC product anyway with no doubt an extortionate price for replastering afterwards.

    You have your survey so I would now be taking this to a reputable builder to get a quote for remedial work.
  • Ok, thanks - so most of the rooms on the ground floor were apparently replastered less than ten years ago, which I guess means they are all covered in gypsum plaster? Plastering is well above my DIY pay grade I'm afraid, so if you have any suggestions on the kind of questions I should be asking the plasterer I'd be grateful.

    steph
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    steph1397 wrote: »
    so most of the rooms on the ground floor were apparently replastered less than ten years ago, which I guess means they are all covered in gypsum plaster?

    If the plaster is a pink colour, then it is most likely gypsum* - Any idea why it was replastered ?

    The previous owner may have had one of these damp surveys and went on to have some expensive tanking & "waterproof" plaster slapped on.


    *) Side note - I did a little bit of plastering in my kitchen recently using a lime plaster. Experimenting with pigments, I ended up with one batch that was very similar in colour to gypsum plaster. Ultimately, I went for a pale lemon yellow...
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • I was told the whole house was replastered after the water tank in the roofspace sprang a leak while the owners were on holiday.
This discussion has been closed.
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