Attention Home Renovators & Handymen

From: Rixter ®


Can any knowledgable renovators give me any tips on the easiest way to fix dampness coming through a brick wall on the opposite side to a Shower Recess ? Most of the dampness appears to be up to 30 cm from the floor and is peeling the paint. The Tiles & Grout in the shower appear to be in good condition so Im hoping I dont need to strip them off and renew them.


Happy Investing,
Rixter :)
 
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Reply: 1
From: Kristine .


Hi, Rixter


Not sure about the physical position of the dampness as you have described it, but ...

(i) assume the brick wall is an internal wall ie feature wall

(ii) no other area is affected

(iii) You have tried not using the shower for a couple of days

(iv) you have checked that the dampness could not be coming from anywhere else eg room condensation or damp rising from the foundations. Effleurescence of bricks is not uncommon, particularly if the damp proof course in the sub-floor area has broken down or is missing.

So get on your overalls and ...


a) Can you get underneath the house, and check for dampness along the bottom wall plate?

b) Can you check while the shower is running?

c) Can you determine if the pipes themselves are leaking inside the wall?

d) Condensation on the pipes and within the wall cavity can be a problem. there may be enough 'rubbish' eg old mortar, dirty wall ties etc to allow condensation to drip onto the wall instead of evaporating out of the cavity space

e) Check that wall ventilators are not blocked. In more modern houses, there are no wall ventilators and if rooms aren't 'aired' properly on a regular basis the wallboards can become damp quickly. Even though it's winter, open windows for a while each day.

So, if the damp proof course seems faulty, this will need to be inspected by a qualified builder / building inspector who will suggest various treatments.

If it definitely the shower, try your local newspaper for 'no more leaks' people who coat the tiles with an impermeable coating which takes about 24 hours to dry but is guaranteed

If it is the plumbing etc

In the meantime, brush or vacuum the salts off the bricks. Do not wash the salts off, this will simply dissolve it back into the bricks and it will reappear more quickly.

Best wishes for a speedy resolution

Kristine
 
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Reply: 1.1
From: Michael Croft


Hi,

There are a couple of products on the market available from hardware stores. One is 'Shower Plug' which is a paint on silicone based clear product which is applied to the tiles and grout; BUT this is a temporary fix only. Your best bet is to let one of the pros do it for you, some guarantee the result for life and the last time I had it done (Sydney) the cost was $395.

There are products for the brick wall "Zydecote" is one and this will waterproof leaking concrete water tanks form the outside! But this is not the solution to your problem as the water will go through the base and cause other headaches.

Michael Croft
 
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Reply: 1.1.1
From: Rixter ®


Hi Guys,
Thanks for your help! To elaborate the house is 14 years old Double Brick & Tile in WA with a concrete pad. The affected wall is an internal single brick wall thats been plastered & painted on the bedroom side. The pipework leading to the shower rose & taps has been cut into the wall rendered over and then tiled on the shower side. As I mentioned the actually Shower recess tiling & grouting appears to be in excellent condition.


Happy Investing,
Rixter :)
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1
From: Michael Croft


Bugger! Looks like you'll chipping away the render to expose the pipes for the plumber then? Do the pipes have "pipe hammer" that is are they noisy when turned on or off?(washing machines are a killer). It would be unusual for a cavity brick home on a slab but it happens.

Michael Croft
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1
From: Rixter ®


Hi Michael,
I have a little pipe hammer sometimes from the kitchen tap . Thats all..Kitchen is on other side of house to Shower.

Happy Investing,
Rixter :)
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.1
From: Brian Rich


This sounds like the same style house and problem i had late last year, also in WA. It ended up being a leaking pipe because the lime in the brickwork had affected the weld on the pipe. I was quoted by a re grouter who told me it just needed regrouting, but i got a plumber to have a look and he said it looked like an internal leak. The insurance company ended up paying for the lot, but first the paid for four hours work just to check.

Brian Rich
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.2
From: Michael Croft


Pipe hammer doesn't sound like the problem, more likely as Brian said, a leaking join. Lime in the mortar can do it but usually the join is suspect to begin with. Pipe hammer can open up a join in copper pipes as well, so when in doubt fit an arrestor.

Michael Croft
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.2.1
From: Martin .


The leaking pipe scenario sounds likely, so don't forget to check the taps themselves - even with the result being 30cm above the floor. By taps I mean the spindles - the seal on those can sometimes be improved with a bit of extra teflon tape when screwing back in again.
ML.
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.2.2
From: Aaron Dwyer


Speaking of water hammer.

There is some major water hammer in the reno I'm doing now.

Michael mentioned an arrester. What are my options? and what does the arrester do.

Ta
Aaron
--
Aaron Dwyer
~ To know and not to do, is really not to know at all.
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.2.2.1
From: Michael Croft


They (pipe hammer arrestors)are available from plumbing suppliers and some hardware stores. Prices vary from $45 to $150 depending on the breed. You may need one for hot and one for cold? Often placed in line with the washing machine taps as the w/machine solinoids turn off and on very quickly and can 'spring' the joints if the pipes are loose.

Michael Croft
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.2.2.2
From: Kristine .


Aaron

We built to rent a few years ago, and after tenant No. 2, had occasion to move into the house ourselves for about a year.

The first thing we noticed was the violent water hammer and loud wailing and screeching sound in the plumbing. We couldn't believe that the tenants (plural) had just accepted this a normal. Worse, we could have claimed this as a maintenance item if the first tenants had reported this while the house was still new.

My Michael firstly checked the washers, and found them to be the modern wiz bang type which are meant to slowly close off the flow. Trouble was, this meant the pipes built up pressure, hence the hammering and wailing.

Mike simply changed all the washers in the house for the good old fashioned $0.50 'hard rubber' type, and the problem was fixed.

As the house is at the bottom of a hill and has 'fire hose' type pressure, we later had a pressure regulator fitted but took it out again, as it caused wild fluctuations in pressure throughout the house as various taps were turned on and off.

Sometimes, the simple solution is worth trying first.

Cheers

Kristine
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.2.2.2.1
From: Aaron Dwyer


Very interesting.

I'll check my washers first.

Thanks
--
Aaron Dwyer
~ To know and not to do, is really not to know at all.
 
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