Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


Re-wiring. Damp-proofing. Your wise views please.

20 replies

Walnutshell · 16/07/2007 16:04

Hello all. Mortgage valuation said the re-wiring of our approx 100-130yr old house would need looking at, or some such wording. How do you make the decision that it does without getting a firm in who may be biased...?!

Also, in stripping off the woodchip (I know), we have noticed what looks like smallish damp patches on the living room wall mainly beneath and around the window. Lifting the carpet revealed wet underlay (nice) and plyboard - the layer on top of floorboards. God knows what state the original boards are in, sigh. So, we have some sort of damp - but is it rising or due to the recent rainstorms? I understand it is not too expensive to have this fixed, but the subsequent re-plastering will be substantial...?

So glad that we will have to spend our modest budget on boring stuff instead of curtains and sofas. Grr.

OP posts:

noddyholder · 16/07/2007 16:09

Definitely get the basics right and if you have to get the finishing touches etc from ebay Get an electrician round for a quote and ask him to quote for what needs to be done immediately and what could be more gradual.You need a damp specialist to look for teh source Is there a damp proof course?Are the window sash or DG?


Tigana · 16/07/2007 16:12

re damp - if you can get rid of the source of the damp the plaster will dry out anyway.


Twinkie1 · 16/07/2007 16:14

We just moved into a house built in the 1600's - the surveyor told us that it would cost 10k to get the whole house rewired - we got architect in to do other stuff and he had the re-wiring looked at and they said doesn;t all need to be done and would do it for 3k - Goodo!!

Get 3 different tradesmen round and have them look - tell you what they think and then quote.


FioFioJane · 16/07/2007 16:16

get your damp done. It makes such a difference. We had damp injection on our house, but it is the ripping up of the plaster etc that adds the price to the job, but honestly it is worth it. Some houses are just suceptable to damp so a dehumidifier is often a good solution to keep the moisture at bay.

With regard to the electrics, I think its quite normal to have to get a survey done on this these days.


Tigana · 16/07/2007 16:19

Oh yes, when the sparky comes round make sure he/she is only quoting to make it safe/up to code not to give you an all singing all dancing re-fit with extra sockets up to your eyeballs etc
We had one who tried that
HIM: "so m'dear, in the kitchen. that's your territory, tell me what you want m'love"
ME: "Oh, I don't cook, DH does all that"


Walnutshell · 16/07/2007 16:45

Lol, Tigana, will remember that!

OK, OK, experts are to be lined up. Damn. Really hope we don't have to have the re-wiring done, weren't planning on staying here for years and years so would much prefer to keep it simple and, erm, inexpensive! Must dig out the dehumidifier. Nowhere for it to go, but I'm sure I can make it a feature...

Noddy, the windows are sash.

Ebay here I come.

OP posts:

Walnutshell · 16/07/2007 21:43

Gawd, the more I look into this (on the internet), the more worried I am about having a "professional" round - one booked for Weds. If he gets a damp meter out, I'll just have to show him the door. The problem seems limited to under the (sash) window. Outside, there is a patio with one small square of slab removed presumably to give access to an airbrick.

Why didn't I marry a builder?

OP posts:

Walnutshell · 18/07/2007 14:11

So he turns up with his water meter reader thing and diagnoses rising damp and lack of underfloor ventilation as patio built too high against the wall.

Suspicious: my research tells me that rising damp pretty much at the end of a list of diagnoses and those meter things don't tell you much about water content but rather conductivity.

£840 + VAT the lot (worked out on the spot). Phew. Back to

OP posts:

Tigana · 18/07/2007 14:15

I was going to suggest it could be to do with ventilation, lots of older houses have had their air-bricks blocked up over the years. Air brick s usually situated under windows.
Old houses need to breathe.


mawbroon · 18/07/2007 15:15

Walnutshell, you can't tell if the wall is damp with those prongy meters. It will tell you if the plaster is damp, but not the wall. You need someone to come and cut a sample out of the wall and analyse it. I paid someone to do this in my flat and he told me that the wall wasn't damp and it was only condensation soaking the plaster. Dehumidifier and windows open for several weeks did the job. It was damp with condensation after years of tenants never opeing the windows. Now, compare this to THREE damp proofing companies who came with the damp meter, prodded it in the wall and prescribed £3k worth of damp proofing work


Walnutshell · 18/07/2007 17:28

Tigana - yes, I think that is part of the problem. Airbrick under the window outside but below level of patio so part of one slab removed to allow air to go down and through the brick - clearly not the most effective way to ventilate. To compound this, according to Mr DampProof there is probably another airbrick behind the low step up to the front door and the extension at the back hasn't accommodated ventilation properly either. Goodness me, disaster! I do believe he is right regarding the airbrick thing, but not necessarily the damp walls.................. Mawbroon - I agree entirely and dh thought it was probably condensation (but also wet floor beneath carpet, which has now largely dried out...?) so I won't be employing Mr Damp and his dodgy meter, but how on earth do I get a sample analysed?


OP posts:

mawbroon · 18/07/2007 19:39

If the condensation is really bad, I am guessing that maybe it could run right down the wall and penetrate the wood. Just a guess mind. I got Rentokil out because I found a still valid 30 year guarantee for work they had done in 1982 in with the title deeds for the flat. I wanted to see if this damp problem was covered by the guarantee, but when the guy did the sample, it was dry. He showed me the result on the little machine thing, so I believe he was being honest.
You might have to phone round some companies and specifically ask if they can do the sample thing, however I reckon most of them will charge for this but it would be worth it I would say. It doesn't take long, they just cut out a little bit of the wall, mix it with something and stick it in a tube with a meter on the end of it. It would be terrible if you spent a lot of money and then the problem wasn't fixed.



Furball · 18/07/2007 19:53

I would deffo check out the electrics, especially if you plan on staying there. Our 1960's house wasn't earthed when we moved in and we had a complete rewire. We also had loads of extra sockets put in as only 1 in each room. It cost about £3K, but worth it.


Walnutshell · 18/07/2007 20:08

OK, will definitely get second (third, fourth) opinions on the damp/condensation issue. Thank you.

Furball, oh no, I hope we don't have to pay £3K for re-wiring; I'm not working at the moment and really want to conserve the cash... Mind, having all the extra sockets does bump the cost and we're not too badly off for sockets. I'll have to get some electricians in too. I'm so paranoid that people will advise me that work needs doing when it doesn't! Sigh.

OP posts:

Furball · 18/07/2007 21:07

I would say if you don't have a modern fuse box - you need a re wire


Walnutshell · 18/07/2007 21:34

Umm, not sure if it's modern or not - dh says not. Looks like 3 or 4 big fuses, maybe the wires. Oh gawd. Can't we just change the fuse box?

OP posts:

Furball · 19/07/2007 07:12

It's upto you, it's your house Walnutshell. You don't have to do anything.


Walnutshell · 22/07/2007 12:32

I do if there's a fire risk!

OP posts:

deweydell · 30/07/2007 14:46

I've just bought a house which had exactly this damp problem. We had two extra surveys done in case they didn't spot it but all of them gave the same view - damp caused by lack of ventilation due to built up patio.

Mine was cheaper than that for a really large area. Where do you live? Maybe you could use my guy?


Walnutshell · 03/08/2007 16:57

Thanks, we're in Torbay...

Think it is rising damp - guy next door had his dealt with a while back - and he is a joiner and general builder so presumably knows what he is talking about. He has also reccommended an electrician and will probably be doing our plastering so is proving an invaluable neighbour!

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?