Keeping out the rain and rising damp is a very common task in the old houses of Central Portugal
We get lots of practice in solving the problem of damp. Our clients tell us that it’s the biggest disappointment in their self renovation of an old property and even the remodeling of a more recently built property.
Keeping out the rain and rising damp in Central Portugal
You get it all plastered, pointed, painted and furnished then to your horror discover that a coat left to hang in a wardrobe appears to be covered in mildew. Leather belts start to go silver and furniture starts to warp so that doors and drawers don’t close properly.
People immediately reach for a simple solution such as a plug-in De-humidifier, electric fire or mobile gas heater all of which definitely make the damp problem worse. Ventilation is one answer. You have probably seen older Portuguese people with their house windows and doors open all day to let the warmer/dryer outside air into the house and take the surface damp away. This will work to a certain extent but who wants to live like an animal in a barn. Sagging, wood worm infested roof timbers allow tiles to slip and rain, frost melt, birds and snow to get into your roof space. This is normally signaled by black marks on the ceiling and occasionally rain running through light fittings or running down walls.
Rising damp can look like this
and is usually found in the ground floor walls up to the first 1.4 meters above ground level. Here you will find “Dry Rot” This grows by sucking the goodness out of wet timber and making it look like it has been burnt in a fire. Keeping out the rain and rising damp is a very common task in the old houses of Central Portugal
The wood that is left has very little strength and will have to be burnt when the problem is addressed. Dry Rot also sends out tentacles which look for other damp areas from which to feed. This is why large areas of timber and plaster are often removed when wet rot is treated. The key of course is to find and eradicate the source of moisture in the first place. When wet or dry rot is found in structural timber such as roofs or floor joists the repairs are extensive and can be expensive. If your worried about wet rot, dry rot or damp problems contact Castelo Construction Lda www.casteloconstruction.com
Here is more information on damp problems in Portugal