It’s inevitable that you will find damp somewhere in an older property, usually in the ground floor walls. The good news is that by using traditional lime materials, you will completely rid the property of its damp problems. Lime allows a building to breathe, expelling moisture from the structure.
1) Dig a small trench around the perimeter of the property that surpasses the internal floor levels. Fill the trench up with decorative gravel, which will serve as a French drain and allow the water to drain away.
2) If your walls have a cement render coat, have it removed at least 1200mm up from ground level. Cement is very hard and non breathable; when you remove it from a building the rising damp escapes from the walls at a much lower level and does not get trapped behind the cement render, thus forcing it to rise. Also, the substrate (whatever your wall is built from) will begin to breathe and gradually dry out. Ideally this would only serve as a temporary measure and the entire building would be stripped of any cement render to allow it to fully breathe.
The solution to solve rising damp and condensation once and for all is to completely remove the cement render and/or paint from the exterior walls, re-point the stone/brickwork with lime mortar or, if the substrate is in very poor condition, apply a lime render. Both methods will allow the property to breath and in the course of time, free it from damp. It is also advisable to use lime plaster internally, with breathable paint or a lime wash to decorate.
Parker SW Ltd specialises in the restoration of older properties and uses Traditional Lime Work to repair and conserve older buildings.