Damp Oast-House Enquiry

03/01/2022 – 09:46
Martin, Happy New Year to you. Rochester Building and Damp has been recommended to me by our architect and I desperately need your help. We have renovated and extensively enlarged a 150 year old stone property. It was originally an oasthouse with elongated attached lodgings and stables. The entire building had been renovated about ten years ago by a property developer but we brought it in August 2020 and completely gutted the place. We have also built an adjoined block consisting of a ground-floor games room and kitchenette with two large ensuite bedrooms above on the first floor. The original oasthouse side of building is now having some issues with the stones getting wet. Due to enlargement and having rendered much of the exterior stone there is only one wall that is stone on both the outside and the inside. This wall gets very wet when the room is used. It is fine when the house is left so its not leaking but as soon as this room is heated in the winter the wall gets sodden, so much so that it has trickled down into plug sockets and has been causing the trip switch to go. We have disabled the plugs for now but obviously need a solution to the moisture. The wall has been re pointed inside and outside and our builder has renovated many stone houses before so he must have used the right stuff.  It is the least exposed wall of the property facing the river, so it’s the last place to dry out when when the heating is on. The house I should point out is in Teston, Maidstone and recent rainfall has and close proximity to the river has caused localised flooding and bridge closures e.t.c.  The builder said to me the house needs to learn to breathe and that this wetness will decrease over time but it does not seem to be, it is now much worse than before, although this winter is the first year of full occupancy. Has anyone else had this problem that you know of and if so how have you dealt with it. Should I be getting the wall re pointed? Can they paint the exterior stones with anything?  I am getting a dehumidifier and have asked the people staying at the house to open windows a bit more but other than this I am stumped????   HELP PLEASE  Many Thanks   Bianca



04/01/2022 – 08:05
Happy new year Bianca, So sorry to hear your home is currently afflicted with this particular damp condition.
The good news is that it’s a relatively easy issue to rectify.
It’s true that thick stone walls in close proximity to a river will invariably be prone to internal condensation. However, the way we fix this type of problem has changed dramatically in the last couple of years.
The old school method would usually involve internally tanking the affected walls and in some instances insulating and plastering. These days we can insulate externally, although in your case this is inadvisable because it’s a historic oast-house and external insulation would detract from the building’s aesthetically pleasing features.
Instead, what I advise is we can treat the affected walls internally with a clear polymer coating which can can be painted over. The polymer coating acts as a thermal membrane barrier. Externally we can spray a clear concentrated solvent-based coating onto the exposed stonework. With the inclusion of several core-drilled vents, the damp problem will be completely eradicated. Plus, we will provide you with a 20 year transferrable guarantee certificate once the job’s done. If you need further elaboration on any of the above, please let me know and i will be happy to explain to you.



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