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ProTen solves dry rot, damp & timber decay problem in a Victorian property

Project Summary

A ground floor flat of a converted Victorian property with a basement flat below was surveyed to investigate damp patches on internal walls and a strong damp smell. The property is located in Essex.

The survey found a significant damp problem that had occurred for two key reasons: the first was from an ongoing leak from a bathroom pipe underneath the floor of the ground floor flat. The second was due to the slope of an outside courtyard and lack of drainage allowing for rain water to collect at ground level and penetrate down through an earth retaining wall.

Exposure survey to assess the extent of the damage

Following the intitial survey, a further investigation was carried out which involved the removal of the damp plaster and brickwork. This exposed the full extent of the damp and timber problems:

  • Wet rot had caused the floor joists to the ground floor flat to rot and decay.
  • The timber wall plate and surrounding timbers were heavily decayed also due to wet rot. This had extended to rot the joists particularly those in direct contact with saturated brickwork.
  • Dry rot was present in the ceiling joists of the basement flat. This had reached an advanced stage with Mycelium strands and fruiting bodies resembling fleshy pancake-like growths present.
  • Plaster had crumbled and was showing evidence of salting and blistering in certain areas.

The extent of the damp and decay to timbers was a clear indication the moisture ingress had been taking place for some time. This had allowed moisture to travel into the fabric of the ground floor flat and then through and down into the ceiling joists of the basement flat. This is an example of the damage ongoing moisture ingress can cause to a property.

Damp, Timber and Dry Rot Treatment Programme

  • The first step in the treatment programme was to make the property watertight to stop any further water ingress and allow the property to dry out. The leak in the pipe was traced and repaired.   The lateral penetrating dampness was addressed by laying a new courtyard with a fall and drainage that would allow water to drain away rather than collect.
  • The extent of the wet rot damage meant the timber lintel was badly decayed and weakened. This was removed and replaced with a concrete lintel. Other affected timbers were replaced and treated, and timber resin beam end repairs were carried out where possible.
  • Our CSRT qualified surveyor designed a Dry Rot treatment programme which best suited the site conditions and structure type. On this occasion, it included a toxic box biocide treatment. Other treatments under consideration included naturally drying out the area and heat treatments but these were not deemed enough relative to the extent of the dry rot outbreak.
  • A damp proof course and a two-coat cementitious (cement based) waterproof render system was applied to the internal area in contact with the earth retaining wall to provide a sound waterproof barrier and give the property added protection against future water ingress.

Results
This Case Study highlights the damage that ongoing leaks and penetrating damp can cause to a property.

ProTen Services are damp and dry rot treatment specialists and are here to help our customers look after their properties. If you see or smell signs of damp or dry rot in your property, then the best course of action is to call us and get in touch to discuss the possible damp or dry rot problem. If necessary we will arrange a damp and timber survey.

Contact us today and speak to a member of our surveying team. We are here to help.

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