Preventing damp in outside annex?


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Old 11-19-07, 03:23 PM
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Preventing damp in outside annex?

Sorry if it's the wrong forum, I wasn't sure if this went under waterproofing. I'll try to explain as easy as I can, I'm not too good with remembering the DIY words haha.

A few months ago the garage we have in the back garden was converted into an annex to stay in. It has electricity, telephone, front door, windows, bathroom, shower etc.

Everything is fine except that near the front door there seems to be a damp rising through (you can tell because if you lift up the carpet near the door there are huge water stains on the plasterboard flooring). It comes out at least a foot and if you touch the part nearest to the door its almost always wet.

At first we assumed it was a problem with the bricks of the garage allowing the water to come through (as they are years old and there is no special damp proof material over it) but at a closer look it seems that it's dripping from the inside of the door.

Now that may not be the whole problem, it could also be the brick, Before I go off about the door, how would I stop the bricks from allowing water in? There are no visible holes or anything so we can only assume that it's because the brick must be permeable.

Back to the door. You have the door, and the door frame. The water seems to be dripping (only when it rains obviously, or in the morning because of condensation) from under the top of the bottom part of the frame (if that makes sense hopefully).

We really don't know how to stop this, but if we don't soon it's going to ruin the floor then it will all be a waste of money. Hopefully somebody here knows a solution, and that I explained it properly.
 
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Old 11-20-07, 06:08 AM
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could it be coming from the roof ? ? ?

plasterboard flooring ? ? ?,,, never heard of such a thing in my life,,, are you sure its not plywood ? ? ?

the brick walls should've had 'weeps' on the lower courses,,, as you describe the problem, i'd guess its the brickwork, too,,, someone in who specializes in restoration incl repointing would be my suggestion.

i'd bet its the mortar before the brick,,, there are silicone siloxane materials avail but they're not a ' silver bullet ' all by themselves,,, you also need some physical improvements.
 
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Old 11-20-07, 09:54 AM
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Preventing damp in outside annex?

LucaGS -

Is this in the UK by any chance?

What is the brick wall construction? - All brick with 2 wythes(leafs)? - Brick over a wood frame interior? - Concrete block? Do you know if the brick are concrete or clay?

It may be a roof leak or water penetration at the facia (front edge of roof). It could then find its way way into the masonry wall and then down to the lintel or other barrier at the top of the door that forces it to exit to the inside.

Since it shows up with morning dew, there is not a great volume of water and apparently is not wind related. If your wall above the door is saturated, it does not take too much water for it to show.

A description of the probable wall construction or a photo would be very helpful

Dick
 
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Old 11-20-07, 11:39 AM
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Hi thanks for the replies. Sorry I did mean plywood

I will take photos of the problem and post them, and also get onto these suggestions.
 
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Old 11-20-07, 01:23 PM
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If you could post some pictures of the location that you think the problem is coming from, I think that would help alot in getting some advice on how to fix it. As soon as you post some, I'll be glad to take a look at it and see if I can help you come up with a solution. Cheers.
 
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Old 11-23-07, 10:48 AM
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Okay I now have some pictures. I haven't been able to find out which material the bricks are made from yet.

The images make the damp look like there is simply a lot of water sitting on the flooring. The water has infact soaked into the wood and it's simply damp. If that makes sense.

In the first one, just under the door where it appears shiny, that is where the water drops from.

www.ruthlessintent.com/DSC00054.JPG

www.ruthlessintent.com/DSC00055.JPG

www.ruthlessintent.com/DSC00056.JPG

www.ruthlessintent.com/DSC00057.JPG

Sorry about the picture quality. If you use Firefox and have large images resized automatically to fix your window then they will show alright... If you zoom in they aren't too good.
 
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Old 11-23-07, 11:34 AM
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I haven't really been following this too closely, and I don't think I understand it completely...

This "wetting" occurs both inside and outside the home, even when there is no rain? Is this problem related to the temperature outside... only occurring in cold weather, and not when it is warm?

I'm wondering if it isn't simply condensation that is collecting inside the aluminum frame of the door. It's caulked on the outside, but warm air on the cold aluminum can cause condensation to form inside the aluminum tubing, even inside the door, I would suppose, and if there is no place (weep holes) for it to escape, it's going to come out somewhere- most likely at the corners of the frame, or along the bottom of the rough opening.

It suprises me that it would wick up the block so much, though, as shown in http://www.ruthlessintent.com/DSC00057.JPG
 
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Old 11-23-07, 01:08 PM
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Well it's two individual problems.

1. The rain water from outside getting into the brick and coming through, and also raining so much it drips through the bottom part of the door.

2. The condensation from the door dripping onto the floor, but this is not the problem I'm really worried about right now it's problem one.
 
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Old 11-23-07, 01:38 PM
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Preventing damp in outside annex?

Better information is needed to provide a more accurate answer?

Where are you located? - This can provide some information on the climate, construction practices and materials. Most places do not build like the current typical U.S. practices (for better or worse). Your choice of terms suggest a non-U.S. location or a non-U.S. background.

The material on the wall appears to be a concrete material and not typical clay brick. - Is the wall made up of two layers (concrete & concrete or concrete nad wood inside) or one layer with hollow cores inside?

If it is a climate issue without severe temperature changes, there may be a possible coating solution and the brand names are different in different locations and some good products have not found their way to the U.S.

If it is due to someting like a accumulation of moisture on the roof that drains down (outside and/or through the wall and shows up near the floor), there would be a different solution.
 
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Old 11-23-07, 01:46 PM
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I'm not sure you'll fix the door leak problem without replacing the door. That doesn't look like a very high quality exterior door to me.

You might be able to find or order a different adjustable door bottom sweep that would work better than what you currently have, similar to this one:



Image credit: M-D building products

No idea why that one block is so wet. It could be coming from the door, door jamb, door rough opening, from a mortar joint, from the roof, etc. The sidewalk poured in front of the block might be concealing something below the surface as well.
 
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Old 11-24-07, 06:53 AM
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Sorry about the poor detailing.

I live in Oxford, England so it's pretty cold most of the time and rains quite a bit, especially now in the winter.

The garage that was converted goes like this:

- Wooden frame put on all walls to hold insulation
- Insulation installed into the frame
- Plasterboards placed over the frame/insulation then plastered
- Plasterboards painted

- Wooden frame put on the floor to raise it for insulation
- Insulation installed into the frame on the floor
- Plywood flooring placed down, then covered with carpet

- Whole new roof installed, the old one had asbestos and was poor
- Waterproof material placed on the roof and bolted down for rain water

- Hole drilled/broken in the wall to make room for the door
- Door frame raised by a few inches using wood and the blue brick seen in the pictures

So basically no coating or anything extra was put onto the surrounding bricks. If we were to find some kind of waterproof mixture to paint on the bricks maybe that would help? And I do not think it's a high end door, but that was because of all the money used for the other parts of the garage.

I've just had a look at the wall on the inside (painted) near the door frame. There appears to be small amounts of mold building up near to the side of the door where the hinges are. Not a good sign...
 
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Old 11-25-07, 07:57 AM
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Did you leave ANY breathing space in the walls, and under the floor? Are those areas packed solid? Is the attic packed with insulation? Is it vented, with only the ceiling joists having insulation?
Also, we need pics of the outside of the building to see it's elevation with the land.
 
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Old 11-25-07, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tinner666 View Post
Did you leave ANY breathing space in the walls, and under the floor? Are those areas packed solid? Is the attic packed with insulation? Is it vented, with only the ceiling joists having insulation?
Also, we need pics of the outside of the building to see it's elevation with the land.
I'll have the photos asap.

The annex is a garage which has been converted, so it has no attic.

The walls are basically the original bricks with the insulation pushed up against them (not squashed on, but still pushed on tight) then the plasterboard was bolted/nailed in so I don't think there is much of a cavity there. Same goes with the floor.

As for ventilation, there is only the fan in the bathroom and the two windows and front door.
 
 

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