Ground floor damp

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01 Apr 2020 18:18 by DaniMenzes Star rating. 41 posts Send private message

I have owned a modern villa in Spain for 12 years. I am at my wits ends trying to deal with damp walls (all internal walls) on the ground floor level (not below ground floor). I’ve had the walls back to brick with industrial heater on them, but the damp comes back.

I’ve used bitchumen paint in places which sometimes works, but then the damp comes through elsewhere close. It’s like fighting Tyson.

Do Spanish properties have a waterproof membrane to the foundations? Or am I just wasting my time?





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02 Apr 2020 07:23 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Hi dani,  I searched the index on EOS.  Here is a post I found which I made in 2014:-

Damp.I know how we would do this in the UK with injection of a solution into the wall. I cannot see how this could be done in Spain because of the hollow bricks. Has anyone had any damp course treatment in Spain.
 

I treated 3 out of 4 walls of a villa I owned which had a serious damp problem, which had resulted in damge to plaster and condensation on the windows etc.   I also resolved more isolated problems in smallish sections in a couple of walls in my son’s apartment.

I drilled ½” holes, at about 30 cms centres, from the outside, slightly diagonally downwards,  just below the floor level in the villa, having marked the drill piece so that I would not break through the plaster inside.  I then put a tube into the holes, with a funnel on the outer end.  I filled the funnel with a silicon water-proofer  (Thompson’s)  and slowly withdrew the tube so that I distributed the water-proofer across the thickness of the walls.    I repeated that every days or so for a couple of weeks.  It resulted in the water-proofer soaking into the brickwork and thus providing a waterproof barrier for the hole wall.. 

I did much the same with the internal walls: Drilling down diagonally at the base of the walls and repeating the tube and funnel.

Complete success in each case and no more damp nor condensation.

Hope this helps you.


This message was last edited by johnzx on 02/04/2020.



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02 Apr 2020 10:54 by windtalker Star rating. 1665 posts Send private message

Most damp problems you come up against are usually caused by the occupier.. thing's like not opening a window before you shower/ not airing the property out every day for atleast 1 hr ... your bedrooms windows are probably dripping with condensation so the bedrooms in use need the windows to be left open for as long as possible ...if it's a holiday home you own ... you should close the shutters but leave all the windows open a crack so the property remains ventilated when not in use...we had the same problems as you in the passed ...and no longer have problems by following these tips.

 


 


 


This message was last edited by windtalker on 02/04/2020.



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02 Apr 2020 12:00 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

"you should close the shutters but leave all the windows open a crack"

Of course bearing in mind that persians provide no security protection.  So unless you have rejas doing so would probably invalidate your insurance.





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02 Apr 2020 12:19 by DaniMenzes Star rating. 41 posts Send private message

The property is well ventilated with all windows permanently open 24/7.





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02 Apr 2020 13:42 by acer Star rating. 1361 posts Send private message

Are you sure it's from an external cause?  I was working on a property a few years ago that suddenly developed leaks in the services riser.  I found there were pin prick holes in the pipework, caused by the use of cheap imported pipework when the property was built, many years before.

I know it's mainly plastic pipework these days and probably a bit of a long shot, but might investigate with this in mind.

Do you have individual AC/heating units - the condensate pipe(s)?

Probably no help at all - but more information might help - plans, showing construction, services, problem area etc etc and distances between these.





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02 Apr 2020 14:34 by DaniMenzes Star rating. 41 posts Send private message

Some good comments, thank you for your interest and knowledge so far.

John, what is a hollow brick? To me a brick is a brick and a wall is a wall, my ignorance might be part of the problem.

Windmill, it’s not condensation.

Acer, yes I did have a water leak from an outside underground water pipe about 6 years ago, only came to light by huge water bills. Had new water supply mains pipe fitted? No internal leaks detected now.

To all. How do you trust any so called specialist tradesmen to be either competent or honest? Every damp proof expert from the UK seems to have the exact stuff in his van and a certificate of qualifications with wet ink. I don’t mind paying but I want rid of the damp, not just my money.





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02 Apr 2020 22:29 by RIVIERAESTATES Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

It sounds like rising damp did you buy the house cheaply as this may be the reason corners may have been cut 

You would be best employing a professional building expert to dig down into the foundations to check you have a membrane and a damp course either way it sounds you may have to redo the floors and install a damp roof course I googled a rough cost and it mentioned 95 pounds per square meter floors and 30 pounds per linear meter for the damp course but that's U.K. prices

We had a similar issue in an old terrace 

Hope that helps 





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03 Apr 2020 11:34 by DaniMenzes Star rating. 41 posts Send private message

I paid full market value in 2008. No sign of damp for a few years, then the big water bills started arriving. Eventually a underground water pipe burst. The build size of the villa is about 200 sq meters, so that could be €20,000 plus to install a full new damp course membrane. I did have full buildings and contents insurance with Linea Directa but they said not covered. I suppose what’s another €20,000 when I have already lost fortune.





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03 Apr 2020 12:49 by acer Star rating. 1361 posts Send private message

You say that Linea Directa denied liability under their policy - that might be wrong, it depends on what you told them is the cause of the problem.  If you said for example it's "rising damp" that's unsurprising.  So best not to say that or anything similar, which is fair enough, as you don't know.

If it's any form of plumbing defect you have some cover within the policy.

I had a look at their household policy website on their website 

https://www.lineadirecta.com/Recursos/recursos/ES/documentos/home_insurance_policy.pdf 

On page 19 they have a form of "trace and access" extension:

Whenever the Building is insured, the expenses incurred in locating and repairing the breakdowns caused by the damage will be covered, as long as they relate to permanent and private plumbing of the insured home and are located inside the same. 

The clause is strangely worded, perhaps a poor translation, but it is the intention which is all important. 

In your position I would be presenting a claim to the insurer as a pipe defect issue, regardless.  Under the normal "rules" that apply, having made the claim,  the onus of proof transfers to them to disprove the claim as invalid.

To be able to repudiate liability they have to demonstrate that that the loss was caused by an excluded peril.  If you present your case well, in this process you may receive a visit from an expert and some good advice, even if it transpires it does not involve defective pipework.  But you need to be positive and not tell them information that may be incorrect!

Your chances should be good with an insurer like Linea Directa - they seem a lot better than most in Spain.  After a shaky start they were superb on a motor claim I had with them a few years ago.  

 

 





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03 Apr 2020 13:46 by DaniMenzes Star rating. 41 posts Send private message

Hello Acer

‘’If you present your case well’’ Surely any claim no matter how well or badly presented should be honestly assessed by a professional assessor, I am just a normal policy holder who pays their premium each year. Whatever happened to fairness, honesty and goodwill?





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03 Apr 2020 14:01 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Ads.  

Did I miss something.
The OP appears not to know the cause of the problem, thus making a claim is not straightforward.  That is he cannot specify the particular part of the insurance cover he is relying on to make a claim.

If it is rising damp resulting from there being no damp proof course. 'Normal' in many properties in my part of spain, then that is unlikely to be covered. 

 





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03 Apr 2020 14:02 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Ads.  

Did I miss something.
The OP appears not to know the cause of the problem, thus making a claim is not straightforward.  That is he cannot specify the particular part of the insurance cover he is relying on to make a claim.

If it is rising damp resulting from there being no damp proof course. 'Normal' in many properties in my part of spain, then that is unlikely to be covered. 

 





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03 Apr 2020 14:35 by DaniMenzes Star rating. 41 posts Send private message

Hello John, who is ads?

I am not sure why my house has damp problems or the cause of it. I teach autistic children and therefore have no specialist knowledge in rising damp or insurance claims. I thought you paid your insurance company to take care of you, have I been a fool?

I did get a quote from a company ‘’DampRus’’ for €2,000 cash paid up front, but it did have a lifetime guarantee.





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03 Apr 2020 15:01 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Sorry Dani should have been Acer,

if you are able to follow my 'instructions' I posted earlier, drilling holes to create a damp course, at cost of  a few litres of waterproofer, you could probably find a Handiman who would do it for no more than say 200 euros.   It's cheap enough to try it.   I had what would seem to be the same problem and what I did solved it.  That was twenty years ago and the damp has not returned.

 





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03 Apr 2020 15:47 by acer Star rating. 1361 posts Send private message

DaniMenzes,

Do you actually want help or are you wanting to argue about nothing?

When you put any claim to any insurer it's best that you use some intelligence.  If you tell them that you want to claim for something that is not covered under the policy, they are likely to say "sorry that is excluded by our policy".  

I think I'm wasting my time with you.

 





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03 Apr 2020 17:02 by DaniMenzes Star rating. 41 posts Send private message

Mr Acer why do you have to be so rude.


This message was last edited by DaniMenzes on 03/04/2020.



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04 Apr 2020 08:53 by acer Star rating. 1361 posts Send private message

Why?  Because you and a small number of other nitwits are ruining EOS.





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