How can I get rid of damp in the walls?

QHaving AIf

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Life Property -

dam­ag­ing ce­ment-and-sand. Sadly, the job­bing builders’ re­sponse to the re­sul­tant damp­ness pen­e­tra­tion prob­lem is usu­ally to ap­ply an­other mod­ern ma­te­rial on top: a wa­ter-re­pel­lant chemical coat­ing. This might or might not have a short­term water­proof­ing ef­fect, but it might also make mat­ters worse by fur­ther re­duc­ing the wall’s abil­ity to dry out by evap­o­ra­tion. If it does have any pos­i­tive ef­fect, this is likely to be short-lived as the coat­ing needs to be ap­plied ev­ery two years. Rather than throw­ing good money af­ter bad with sil­i­cone coat­ing or cladding, you might con­sider hav­ing the ce­ment mor­tar raked out and re­placed with lime mor­tar to match the orig­i­nal. re­cently pur­chased a house built in 1987, should we be con­cerned that there are no over­flow pipes on the out­side? The two tanks in the loft have pipes that seem to dis­ap­pear un­der the eaves. The pre­vi­ous owner did not have a clue but thought the fam­ily bath­room lava­tory was changed when it was re­fur­bished, and the over­flow goes down the lava­tory. There is noth­ing vis­i­ble in the en suite. For­tu­nately, the down­stairs lava­tory has a pipe that runs into the garage. Our full Build­ing Sur­vey re­port does not men­tion the over­flow pipes (or lack of them) at all. JF, by email you are pay­ing for your wa­ter through a me­ter then yes, you prob­a­bly should be con­cerned. Over­flow pipes from tanks and cis­terns were orig­i­nally called “warn­ing pipes”, and emerged promi­nently through out­side walls. The sight or sound of wa­ter splash­ing onto the ground be­low would alert the oc­cu­pants to the wa­ter be­ing wasted, so that re­me­dial mea­sures could quickly be taken. The re­ver­sal of this sim­ple and ef­fec­tive sys­tem seems to have started in 1999, when Bri­tish wa­ter reg­u­la­tions were changed to al­low the in­tro­duc­tion of Amer­i­canstyle WC flush valves with in­ter­nal over­flows. Since then the plumb­ing in­dus­try has be­come in­creas­ingly lax about the sit­u­a­tion, and as Build­ing Con­trol has now been pri­va­tised, lo­cal author­ity Build­ing Con­trol Of­fi­cers no longer make rou­tine checks on such mat­ters. It is now com­mon for cold-wa­ter cis­terns and cen­tral heat­ing f&e tanks to over­flow into gut­ters (as in your case), and for WC cis­tern over­flows to be jointed di­rectly into bath­room waste pipes. As a re­sult, the first in­di­ca­tion that many people get of an over­flow prob­lem is when they get an un­ex­pect­edly large me­tered wa­ter bill.

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