Issue: Damp on walls in newly purchased Oast house in Lamberhurst, TN3.
Survey Type Booked - Damp - Snapshot Survey £95+VAT
We inspected a recently completed oast house refurbishment in the beautiful Kentish village of Lamberhurst, just outside Tunbridge Wells.
The new owners of the property had only had the keys for a couple of weeks when the issues internally started to manifest.
During a period of rainfall large damp patches appeared on the walls within the Roundels and oast, both on the ground floor and on the first floor walls.
As you can imagine, the new owners were upset upon moving into their dream home only to find there were issues.
Immediately upon entry, the damp on walls the client had talked about was very obvious. With the knowledge and experience gained in over 30 years in the industry, it was immediately clear what the issues were. However, further investigation would be needed to confirm.
Observing the exterior of the property also revealed issues with defective rainwater goods including gutters and downpipes, which were leaking directly onto the solid construction of the roundels and Oast house below.
The survey also highlighted that externally there was no visible or identifiable original damp proof course which, of course, is very common in agricultural buildings of this age and construct.
There was however signs of a previous chemical damp proof course which looking at the pattern of the introduction was possibly from the 80s or 90s.
Unfortunately, it is all too common for developers or contractors (mainly for speed and cost implications) to apply plasterboards for the dry lining directly onto the damp affected masonry. Behind this is a system of dry lining known as Dot and dab.
‘Dot and dab’ was designed for more modern buildings with no underlying damp issues. However, structures or constructs with historic damp problems that have this system applied very often have this issue internally. The moisture bound up within the construct migrates through the adhesive, onto the plasterboard, and records as damp on walls.
We presented the tenant with one of our factual and helpful condensation control leaflets to read over and digest. We also then came up with a plan to move the furniture onto an internal wall, moving the bed to a slightly different position within the room allowing the external wall to be uncovered.
We explained the benefits of continued heating and ventilation even when not in the property during winter months to prevent the build-up of condensation on walls. We also explained to the landlord the benefits of introducing high-quality mechanical air/heat exchange units to help control the internal environment.
And finally, we gave advice to the landlord as to the benefits of raising the surface temperature of the outside wall firstly, after preparation and application of a thermal micro-emulsion, which have microscopic glass beads within its makeup which absorb all the internal environment, that hold onto warm air, therefore, increasing the surface temperature making it more difficult for surface condensation to be created.
Externally the property was in a well-maintained condition and there were no abnormal defects contributing to the issue other than that of the cold winter air.
It is common for condensation on walls to be misidentified as rising dampness and in this case, the landlord’s own building contractor had recommended hacking the plaster off in the bedroom up to a metre high and introducing a new damp course and re-rendering the disturbed areas, which, as we know, is completely ludicrous!!
Please contact the specialists in this area if you need advice and help.
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