Reducing damp to external wall in Georgian house

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Reducing damp to external wall in Georgian house

Postby sbott » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:47 pm

I have grass extending right up to the back external wall in a 1784 house. The back of the house has been painted and can see paint flaking off at the bottom. Think I have to move the earth/grass so it is not in contact with wall but how deep should I dig and what to I put instead? Been in this house 2 years. It is sandstone. First time on forum and would be so grateful for some advice.
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Postby tim smedley » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:02 pm


A number of things to think about:
- Do you have any signs of damp, which may be causing an issue? After all, paint flaking off by itself could just mean you have old paint, which is now flaking off!
- If so your home may well not have a specific damp proof course, it would have been managed by design.
- There are "experts" out there that will try and get you to pay vast amounts of money to fix something that is not necessarily wrong!

Assuming that is damp rather than flaky paint, I would start by imagining the layout of the building and grounds as it would have when first built. As far as you can tell:
- Is the land on the wall you mention now higher than inside the house? If so by lowering the soil level outside the building to below the internal floor level you will automatically improve things dramatically.
- What was the original wall finish internally & externally? Many of the finishes we have now like smooth walls are created using cement based products, which do not breath. Your house would have had a lime render and then been decorated with lime washes & distempers
- Likewise what was the flooring? Many houses relied on the stone floor being able to breath so covering it up with rubber-backed carpet & lino is a no-no.
- Outside the house is the ground now waterlogged (probably this week!), in which where is it coming from & can you move it away e.g. guttering down pipes. If not do and need to get the water away from the house use something like a French Drain along the wall. See: ... ystems/880

Hope this points you in the right direction.

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