We’ve had a retrofit survey carried out which, as we expected, raised serious damp issues. As the survey suggests, we cannot begin our retrofit journey without first addressing what is causing the damp. Both the retrofit surveyor, and other professionals who have looked at the problem, are unable to determine what the cause it.
It has been recommended that we engage a damp specialist. However, as everyone knows, finding a reputable one that actually knows what they’re doing and isn’t trying to flog a particular and inappropriate method, is very difficult. Unfortunately, People Powered Retrofit can’t seem to find such an expert either.
Problem is mainly in the kitchen at the back of the house. There’s a large and permanent damp patch on the shared wall that neither seems to increase or decrease in size. I can attach photos if that’s helpful.
The People Powered Retrofit survey just said there were significant damp issues, but were unable to identify the cause. Apparently I need a damp expert! That’s where we’ve got stuck
Were you considering any retrofit of the party wall? That is often the last area to be considered. Without knowing the details of your case I don’t see why you can’t commence retrofitting the rest of the house. Knowing that there is a source of damp within the house I would move ventilation up the list of priorities.
When I was buying the house we live in, we had a similar problem of trying to find a damp surveyor with no interest in ’ growing the job ', who would present us with the facts we needed.
We knew not to go with a damp preservation specialist who could do the work.
After a bit of research and discovering a guy who was a fraud, we found Ian Battle.
He’s registered with the Property Care Association .
He did an excellent job for us - completing a whole house survey and cost us £280 4 years ago.
He was spot on with all the information he gave us about existing problems, potential problems and preventative measures and was great at explaining in layman’s terms.
Thinking about the chimneys @Tim_Gilbert
I would double-check if there was previously a chimney or back boiler there.
Chimneys can leave hydroscopic salts in the brickwork which draw moisture .
We had a small patch like this on a wall at the side of where the chimney used to be.
Hygroscopic Salt Chimney Damp
If you can rule out both other possible causes, and your chimney damp is very persistent, it might be caused by hygroscopic salt. Hygroscopic salt is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, such as coal or gas. As they have been formed underground, these fuels absorb minerals which absorb moisture.
I think the way around it is to strip the affected plaster off the wall and replaster with a special damp inhibitor plaster.
This might not be any help to you, but it might resonate with someone else on here.