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How to stop damp in a basment...

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thomaskennedy

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Hi,

My workshop is in our basment, and there is a serious damp problem that i want to get rid of the best i can before i buy my lovely new tools :D

However, the house was built in the 1890's and the builders didn't think of Tom in 100 years wanting to have a nice damp free workshop! :lol:

I was thinking of some Thompson's water seal on the walls, then some bubble wrap/damp proof membrane then the joists with some exterior grade plywood/OSB etc. then sealing that with Thompson's and PVA glue...

However this will take me a life time and a lottery win!

So i was looking for a simpler way to do it, but i have not come up with any answers as yet, thats why i have turned to you!

Any ideas would be muchly appreciated!!

Ta

Tom
 

samlarsen

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How serious is serious? Condensation on surfaces or free water on the floor? Is damp entering through the floor or walls? Remember capilliary action can make it creep quite a long way from the source.

Minor condensation can be remediated as you suggest although you will need to keep significant ventilation to maintain dry air.

If you have free water entering the basement you solution will need to physically keep it back bearing in mind the water outside the basement is under greater pressure than the inside of the basement and hence is "driven" into the room. Rendering (tanking) the walls and replacing the floor with one with DPC is often the method of choice here.

If you only intend living there for a short while, increasing the ventilation short term might stave off the problem.

Cheers

Sam
 
G

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I too work in a cellar.I have had to install an automatic pump (Machine Mart,about £40 ) in a sump set in the lowest part.I cut channels in the concrete floor to direct the water to the sump It is impossible to prevent some damp but I do make sure all the air bricks are clear and air flow unrestricted. By draining the water to one part of my "Workshop I manage to keep the rest reasonably dry.
 

Martin Brown

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Our basement is study/bedroom and we use a de-humidifier. This collects loads of water and keeps the damp at bay.

Worth considering once your work is done.
 

OLD

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I have noticed on tv programs the installation of 'industrial quality bubble rap purpose made sheets with special non crush fixings taped joints and possibly a soak away to isolate and remove the damp then a plaster board finish seems to be the permanent way to damp proof cellars.
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi Thomas
Never seen this in the flesh, but...
I once had a lecturer who lived in a cottage which was built by neanderthals. No DPC. He installed a system which consisted of a metal plate right round the building and a small transformer powering 12V between plate and ground. This electrolysis forced the water down and he was happy. Reckoned it cost him a few quid a year in electricity. Perhaps somethng like this could be of help.
Mind you, presumably if you get the wires crossed you end up with a swimming pool.....)
Cheers
Steve
 

Dewy

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thomaskennedy the chances are that it has no DPC.
If this is the case then waterproofing the inside will only be a temporary solution.
It would really need tanking outside to stop water entering the walls.
There is a thick ribbed matting that looks like large black bubble wrap.
This can be laid for the water to run into a sump with a pump to get it away.
The floor is then laid on top of the matting.
You can keep the walls dry with a thick coat of bitumin that the water cant get past until it seeps into the rubber floor base.
Getting a basement dry and keeping it that way can be an expensive business if done right.
I know of a block of terraced 3 story victorian houses with basements that was taken over by a church housing association.
They had dehumidifiers going on all floors to dry them out from the disrepair they were in.
The basement flats , which had originally had the kitchens, with the top floor as servants quarters, always smelled of mould from the damp that continued to seep through the walls and from below.
 
A

Anonymous

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A lot of Victorian houses have problems because the whole environment around them has changed since they were built.

You have to remember before squirting bile on the builders of these old houses, who in most cases were far better craftsmen than 99% of what you will find today, is that they simply did not have DPC's and DPM's. Although they used slate as DPC's in walls (Slate can still be used today as a DP)

I cannot obviously comment to much on your situation because I do not know the scenario. But if you cannot access the exterior face of the walls, then the simple and obvious method is to scratch coat the wall, two or three coats of synthaprufe, then a final render.

A lot of Victorian floors never had a DPM, but they used clinkers and cinders mixed with early cements and hydraulic limes, this was then polished with the steel to a mirror finish, and is hard as iron and almost impenetrable.

If you have damp rising up through the floor, consider putting a screed down on top of a DPM/synthaprufe, and tie it into the walls.

You should be really careful if you have old cobblestones or quarry tiles though. As they should be lifted first then re-bedded on the new floor.
 

thomaskennedy

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well thanks for the responce guy's!!

I dont think the problem is that bad....

There has never been any puddles of water...the main problem is that when i put Wood (mainly MDF etc.) resting on the floor, this stuff that looks like mould (but isn't i dont think) starts going up it about 50cm max after a dew weeks.

Same goes for machinery, when they go near a wall they become rustyish :roll: (new word for the dictionary :p )

Ta

Tom
 

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