Cornwall has some of the most beautiful period properties in the country and we are lucky enough to work with some of them. The Old Chapel near Looe in Cornwall, that we recently completed, is one of them.
The owners called informing us of damp ingress in to the property and it was discovered that in addition to there being a cement-based render covering to one external elevation there were also signs of cement pointing failure in Cornwall which would have contributed to the damp ingression in to this Historic property in Cornwall.
We recommended that the existing render be removed, and a breathable Natural Lime-based application be applied. The substrate on one elevation the substrate was natural stone with a Lime and sand common binder and was sitting under a cement-based render. It was Leslie’s recommendation that this be re-pointed to maintain continuity, however, as always, we don’t carry out works that are not necessary so the final decision about the re-pointing would only be made once the cement-based render had been removed.
Work soon began in earnest and the cement-based render and cement pointing was delicately removed using hand tools only. We always advise this to ensure the protection of the substrate material. We would never want to damage the beautiful old stonework underneath.
Why though, I hear you ask, didn’t you just inject one of those new chemical damp proof courses? Surely that would be easier, quicker and cheaper wouldn’t it? Well, yes, that may be the case but for old properties it is not always the best option. Old buildings were built a little differently because we lived differently then. They were built to ‘breathe’, contract when cold and expand when hot, but the way we lived when these properties were built was differently too. When they were first built there was a constant heat source from inside the building. One or more open fires would be burning all day, boiling water, cooking, baking, etc. took place every single day. The relatively high ambient temperature and the thickness of the walls made for an almost damp free existence. We no longer live this way, so the ambient temperature inside a property is often cold with intermittent heating and this can lead to condensation.
Injected chemical damp proofing can often only help in cases of rising damp but that is not often the cause of damp problems in old buildings in Cornwall.
We also dealt with a couple of minor issues with land drainage and the property is almost as good as new and has not looked so beautiful for a number of years.
Lime Specialists Cornwall - Damp in Old Buildings Cornwall - Historic Building Specialists Cornwall
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