Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Drying out an old stone house

Drying out an old stone house

We have the new windows installed but we have found a problem in our bedroom, the wall behind the bed is still wet, not just damp, you can see the water on the wall and the paint is starting to get damaged, we have also found black mould behind the bed.

This is not good and could explain why we are both regularly feeling a bit off colour.

The outside of the property is painted and the paint has started to break down, but the weather is not good enough for us to paint the external walls, we need to do something though, as living like this is not good for us.

We know what the problem is and if you ever complete a project similar to this, where you are renovating a property that has not been lived in for over 40 years, you will find similar problems, the question is what is the solution? long term we know it is a case of painting outside and letting the house heat up and dry out, but short term we need to look at a quick solution.

The easiest solution is to install a dehumidifier, this will draw the moisture from the room and help it to dry, if you are going to use a dehumidifier ensure that you use the correct one as there are plenty available on the market, use a shop or online store that offers advice such as AER Industries and depending on the size of your property it may be more beneficial to use a commercial dehumidifier rather than a domestic one.
residential dehumidifier -
 picture courtesy of https://aerindustries.com/
Industrial dehumidifier -
 picture courtesy of https://aerindustries.com
We clean down the walls and the bed and wash the bedding again, we make sure that no furniture is too close to the walls, we don't have the quite the same problem in the other bedroom, as this is connected too another property, so John repaints that room so that we can hopefully move into it tomorrow, we just hope that the paint will dry. As the property has been empty for so long everything is taking much longer to dry, this is when we wished we had found the air movers, they dry surfaces faster and better than when they are left to dry naturally and do not leave behind chemical residues such as chemicals employed in fast dry activities.

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  1. Oh no, that is not good, it brought back memories of when we flooded (twice) the price you pay when you lived by a river, I do hope you get it sorted soon Jenny.

  2. Hope you get it dried out quickly. Warmer weather should be on its way, that may help a bit.

  3. Hi Jenny. just a quick observation. The wet has got to be coming from somewhere. usually it's down the Chimney? or a leaky guttering? a loose flashing? inadequate ventilation for your wood-burner or heating system? the compromised wall coating probably isn't the absolute cause, as from what I remember French country houses are usually built well with thick walls and therefore unless it's a 'single skin Wendy house' there will be a reason why the wall is wet. of course it's possible that the wall is colder than the rest of the house and so the steam from baths, breathing and cooking is probably condensing on that wall. Might be worth looking to see if it's north facing or there's a way to warm it up? But John probably already has an idea of what's causing it since he's in the trade. All best wishes Fanny Adams. xxxxx

  4. Damp problems can sometimes arise because of modern materials (like cement and waterproof paint) that keep moisture in the walls and stop an older structure from "breathing." Please consider all possibilities to keep yourselves and the house healthy. You might find this site helpful: http://www.heritage-house.org/.

  5. thanks everybody, hopefully it shouldn't take too long now the house is being lived in and has heating. John had fixed all the leaking gutters, and pointed some of the stones that were causing problems, luckily the roof is fine, but all these should be checked first