In the majority of cases, this service is used to identify problems with dampness in its many forms but we are also called out to give our opinion on cracks, decay, roof leaks, faulty windows and the consequences of the removal of loadbearing walls.
With the age of the building stock in Brighton in particular and the way the older properties were constructed, dampness is a recurring problem particularly if the building has been poorly managed. In taking instructions on such jobs a full case history is requested of the client in order to establish the chronology of the problem and any previous repairs/guarantees.
In many cases, penetrating, descending or rising damp are confused with condensation especially in the late autumn, winter and spring months. With condensation the main cause is the lifestyle of the occupant causing an imbalance in the ventilation, heating and humidity levels of the property. Often the source of the damp ingress has been resolved but the signs remain in the form of salt contamination. It is not just water which penetrates a building but salts too. Drying out the wall after the source has been traced and repaired takes time especially with a wall of 500mm in thickness as some solid masonry walls are. Water evaporating to the surface brings with it salts which are left in the plaster. Removal of these salts and allowing the wall to thoroughly dry out is key to successful damp treatment. Re-instating breathable internal wall linings is also helpful to prevent any recurrence of damp in the future.
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