Published: 17 July 2023
We were recently called to a mid-terraced solid wall property in the centre of Salisbury. The owner asked us to address concerns about dampness around the chimney breast in the dining room, as well as the presence of rot in the floor of the same area.
Damp survey findings:
The damp around the chimney breast was caused by penetrating damp. This occurs when water enters the property through a defect in the building or when external brick or stone walls have degraded to the point where they become porous. This allows water ingress to pass through the external walls and into the property, causing internal spoiling.
The penetrating damp in this case had most likely been caused by a defect with the chimney stack. The sub-floor timbers which had been in contact with the damp masonry were also showing signs of wet rot and the ply board flooring was in poor condition as a result.
Excess moisture from the leak will also have made the sub-floor wetter than usual. This created conditions for condensation to accumulate, posing an increased risk of rot and decay to the timber subfloor.
Remedial work carried out:
We advised the client to instruct a specialist roofing company to rectify any defects with the chimney stack prior to remedial work commencing. This was to prevent the situation from worsening while waiting for our work to be carried out.
When our operatives arrived on site, the fitted floor coverings had been removed to provide access to the entire floor area. Our team advised that the ply board floor covering had deteriorated to the point of disintegration and therefore was not safe to leave in-situ.
All subfloor timbers were removed, including the ply board floor covering, and a new pre-treated timber floor was laid throughout the dining room. This also included a water-resistant ply board covering.
We proceeded to remove the contaminated plaster from the chimney breast and the surrounding area. We then administered a chemical damp proof course and applied a waterproof membrane to the walls to prevent future water ingress.
Finally, the affected walls were finished off with plasterboard and a skim coat in preparation for the client’s decoration process.
By replacing the damaged timbers and plasterwork and implementing effective damp proofing measures, we restored the client’s dining room to a safe and dry condition. The client can now proceed with their desired decorations, safe in the knowledge that the issue has been resolved and the risk of further dampness and wood rot has been mitigated.