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  • Refurbish/Develop

    Salt contaminated plaster - strip it off?

    Hi all,

    I recently bought a house and the homebuyers report identified damp in some walls. There was no visible signs of damp, just a high reading from the protimeter

    I therefore paid for an independent  damp survey. The remedial work the report  mentioned was to install new air bricks and lower the path outside which was higher than the damp proof course. This was all done.

    However, the report also said to remove the salt contaminated plaster and have it redone with renovating plaster. This is the part I cannot understand. Why remove this plaster if there are no signs of damp and I have solved the water ingress issue???  So what if it’s salt contaminated? (I have asked the guy who did the survey but I’m simply not understanding this sorry)

    I plan to have the house revalued following completion of the refurb, do I just need to bite the bullet and have it replastered.

    Thank you for helping!

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    salt corrodes paint so im assuming thats why its been specified, as an alternative overboard the walls with foil backed plasterboard as this will also give you some protection against moisture problems if they havent been 100% eradicated

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    forgive pun but all this needs to be treated with big pinch of salt!

    not literally.

    if you had true rising damp, which doesnt sound likely and is much, much more unusual than dpc treatment companies would (mis)lead you to believe then soluble salts from earth could contaminate the plaster and attract condensation.  you would prob see the efflorescence and the plaster would be soft.  if not then you have been taken in!

    is the ground floor floor concrete?

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    Thanks for your replies.

    the ground under the joists is soil, not concrete. I have removed all of the rubble under the joists so there is about 20cm between the joists and the soil.

    If I don't remove the plaster though, if during revaluation the surveyor checks for damp, they will use their protimeter and find 'damp', Then I will have issues won't I for the valuation? Or am I looking at this wrong?

    Thanks for the help.


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    Ive had this problem, in the end I studied off and left a vapour gap and then fresh plasterboard. No worries About any problems with the new plaster and extra insulation!



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    in old properties lack of concrete oversite is usual.  it doesnt cause rising damp although the rubble build up could if its above the dpc.

    if the plaster is damaged then repair.  if not then why not wait to see what the valuer says, if anything about any damp.  they prob wont test for damp on a remortgage inspection...

    hiding damp with plasterboard is not good idea if it truly is damp.  if its not damp then not necessary.

    have you checked there are no leaking pipes.

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    I was not saying I covered damp with plaster board it was salt contamination that was drawing damp out of the atmosphere!

    I could of removed salt contaminated plaster and hope the builder gets the new plaster mix correct so no more salt comes through or stud off and put a fresh wall without that concern.

    option 2 worked well

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    a lot of people do what you have done to hide damp, and im advising against this.

    'I could of removed salt contaminated plaster and hope the builder gets the new plaster mix correct so no more salt comes through or stud off and put a fresh wall without that concern.'

    but if the damp was truly resolved then there is no chance of salts contaminating the new plaster, irrespective of the mix!

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    A lot of people may hide damp, I would also advise against that.

    i didn’t! there was no damp just salt, damp would come and go from the air.

    the salt was in the wall behind from historicrising damp that had been resolved but the plaster mix used was incorrect.

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    May I suggest you approach a member off the PCA (Property Care Association) who should be qualified to CSRT standard and undoubtedly they will recommend a Carbide Meter test or an Oven dried test. Each method will require a small plaster sample. These tests are normally sufficient to clarify the reasons for damp readings.


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    Thanks Malcolm. I paid for an independent damp and timber survey from someone who was a member of the PCA. He didn't do a carbide meter test or an oven dried test. He only used his protimeter while he was at the property. I will know this for next time. 

    Cheers.



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