Heritage House Logo
Have a look for some cement rendering companies...

You never know - one day - someone might actually admit that what they do will destroy your home - but I do live in hope.. Reliable, they say - professional - they say.. 'Count on us' they say... to do what chaps - destroy every house you go near... 

Damp & Condensation

You will find ads all over these pages - we dont choose them, they appear. They happen to be VERY useful - research the companies that appear in them - research their claims, and then come back to this site and you'll understand what I'm talking about. Put the postcode into google earth and have a look at some of the shambolic places they are registered to - would YOU use anyone who lived there?

Do they offer a Free Survey?  Would you offer your professional services for free? Of course not. But these people aren't professionals - they are gormless con artists following a set routine to flog you 'treatments' that are not needed - it is fraud. 

Be careful - most damp companies are now charging £75 for a survey - that's right - you PAY THEM to come and try to sell you damp proofing.  Remember - if they charge you, you can sue them for fraudulent misrepresentation as soon as they produce a report that tries to sell you chemicals.  Rest assured that you will never need any chemicals, injected or smeared on the wall.  

All their adverts talk about "Eradicating rising damp"  we are a "Family Run Business", "Established for over 30 years", and every one has a statement that "rising damp is due to a lack of an effective damp proof course" - which is complete garbage.  Peter Cox will give you a 'report' that's got about 30 pages of rubbish and a 1 page 'report' which is a sales pitch.  Nothing technical and no diagnosis.

A Yorkshire stone house...

This is a big gritstone house up in Yorkshire - fabulous place - but damp as hell.  Cement rendered in thick gobs all over it, cracked and hollow.  With the owner, we hacked off a big section during the initial survey - the photo shows detail of what was revealed.  By the time I'd completed the survey, the wall had already started to dry out.  Of course, it had the obligatory damp course injected, above which was sopping wet wall.  Will people NEVER learn?

Removing cement render to expose wet stonework
Wet stonework underneath cement render with injection damp holes beneath..

Cement Render - the worst enemy of old houses...

Cement render first became widely used just after the war.  Since then, it has become the ultimate decorative fad, and is touted by ignorant builders as the only way to keep a building dry - "Stop the water getting in dear - give it a good coat of cement render - that'll keep it dry"

Unfortunately, that's exactly the wrong thing to do.  Old houses are built with stone, soft brick or lime mortar - all of which move around quite a bit with heat and seasonal changes.  Cement doesnt - its rigid.. So it cracks - rapidly.  Then, because its non porous, it traps water.  So within a few months, you get a damp wall - this just gets worse and worse - as the wall gets wetter, it conducts more heat, so the house cools down.

Cement render on old houses is a complete No No... Cement render on an old house needs stripping off.  NEVER render an old house...   Phew.... think I've made that fairly clear to all readers now.  If a builder even starts to say it, sack the uneducated twit and find someone that talks about breathability.

The damp wallies will always use cement render as a means of 'proving' rising damp.  The wall is wet - so it must be rising.  No its not - remove the cement and it dries out.  No ifs, no buts - FACT.  And no rising damp.  It never was.

There is a huge problem looming - Externally Applied Insulation..

Under new government legislation, energy companies are being forced to encourage people to insulate their houses.  A raft of companies are springing up who claim to insulate your house externally with all sorts of cladding.  These are Certain Death to an old house and must be avoided at all costs - they are no better than cement render and are already causing huge problems.

Damp damage to stonework
This is an extreme example of damp damage - in this case, the stonework of the building has been covered with cement render. This has sealed water into the structure - it has run down the face of the stone, and gone behind the render where it has built up to ridiculously high moisture levels. The only way it can escape is to evaporate out of the stone just above the render, and in so doing, it has destroyed the stone. Note that much of the stone is pointed with cement, which has exacerbated the problem. In the room inside, the walls are damp as well - moisture has penetrated through the wall and blown the plaster on the inside. All of this render needs to be removed and the stonework requires extensive repair as a result.

Cement render trapping moisture in old wall

This particular example is near London - a Grade 2 listed building of some significance.  When I first saw it, the building was damp inside, plaster falling off the walls, and the cement render was hollow and peeling on the outside. Over a period of 2 years, working with the local Conservation Officer, and English Heritage - we've stripped the ridiculously thick layers of cement render and dried the building out completely.  Under the render were at least two injection damp courses, and a Holland damp cours - those ridiculous brick things that are supposed to let damp out.  All the snake oil rubbish has now been removed, and the building is snug, warm and dry - its being lime rendered as we speak.

Cement render trapping water into an ancient brick wall above injected damp course
This is a typical example of rising damp madness - you can see where idiots have drilled injection holes into the base of the wall in the black bit - above them, underneath cement render which is trapping water into the wall, the brickwork and mortar is sopping wet. As soon as the render was removed, the wall started to dry out. The idiot that injected this wall should be shot.