If you’re renovating an old or derelict property, it’s quite likely that damp is one of the problems you’ll have to address. I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a really important task and one which you can’t afford to ignore.
However, sometimes it can be all too easy to introduce new damp problems during the course of your renovation project. Something you’ll definitely want to avoid after you spent all that time fixing any damp that was already there!
I’ve listed a few of the common ways inexperienced renovators might inadvertently create new damp problems below. Take note and make sure you don’t fall into the same traps.
1) Raising external ground levels above the damp proof course. This can lead to penetrating damp which will cause real problems over time.
2) Pouring new concrete floors without adding adequate damp-proof measures. This is a particularly common problem where replacing suspended timber floors; people forget to compensate for the loss of subfloor vents.
3) Sloping new paths towards the building leading to penetrating damp. Always slope them away from the building.
4) Using hard cement render on exteriors. They will eventually crack and draw in penetrating damp. Bad news.
5) Painting the outside of solid-walled buildings with waterproof paints or sealants. This can lead to penetrating damp.
6) Using cement rather than lead flashings at the base of chimneys. Over time, it can crack, allowing damp in.
7) Sealing the roof without ensuring the timbers are adequately ventilated.
8) Adding double glazing without compensating by ensuring there’s adequate alternative ventilation. This can lead to a condensation problem. The same applies if you block up a fireplace or vent.
If you’re at all unsure about any renovation work you plan to undertake, it’s worth getting some advice (and potentially some help) from a professional builder. Making mistakes now can prove very costly in the future!