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Sand pouring from walls

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by D.T., 3rd Apr, 2016.

  1. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    So we've been looking for a turn of the century period / character home as a PPOR that we can renovate.

    I took this photo at a home open today. There were a few spots (photographed one was by far the biggest one, others were about the size of my hand) where the plaster has come away from the wall and the mortar has turned back into sand. It gives the illusion of sand pouring out of the walls.

    What causes this (guessing salt damp?) and how is it fixed? Is it possible the fix is needed everywhere as opposed to just the plaster-exposed areas?

    P_20160403_124906.jpg
     
  2. Coota9

    Coota9 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    This may help @D.T.


    How Rising Damp is Treated
    The exact extent of the damp is detected by a moisture encounter meter which works by sending an electronic current through the wall. If the wall is damp, the current will be conducted by the water in the wall and will be displayed as a reading on the machine.
    In straight forward rising damp situations the process is as follows. The render or plaster is removed from the wall up to the height the damp has reached, exposing the masonry work that must be treated.
    [​IMG]

    A line of holes are drilled into the brickwork along the base of the wall. (usually two holes per brick) A silicone based solution is then injected under high pressure into the holes using a high pressure pump. This solution penetrates through the brick and the surrounding mortar creating a permanent barrier in the wall which arrests the damp cycle.

    The wall is then re-rendered with a salt resistant cement mix and, if required, replastered to match the original surface and finished to match surrounding walls.
    [​IMG]
    Quite often however, there may be more than one cause of the problem and a number of remedial techniques must be utilised.
     
  3. Johnny Cashflow

    Johnny Cashflow Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert but if looks like the mortar that holds the bricks together breaking down.

    Me and my brother installed a split ac on a 100 year old house once.

    As we started drilling into the walls they just crumbled like a sand castle. We found all sorts of random bricks, rocks, sand as we were drilling back then they used whatever they could find and just shoved it in. It was a nightmare to install the splits.

    If I were you I would be asking someone that knows about brick laying etc
     
  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Needs a dampcourse installed (injection of silicon either as above @Coota9) or by removal of bricks/mortar and inserting alcor dampcourse and repointing, move to next section and repeat - painstaking, slow but effective.
     
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  5. Coota9

    Coota9 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @Scott No Mates
    Sounds pretty costly!!
     
  6. Agent99

    Agent99 Well-Known Member

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    @D.T. RUN ;)
    been there done that, wouldnt do it again.
     
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  7. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    @Agent99 - me too. 8" ankle grinder, masonry blade, alcor, trowel, sand, cement, lime, ppe. Just add water ;)
     
  8. Agent99

    Agent99 Well-Known Member

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    I know where there is a freshly painted external red brick house where 36 tubes of No more gaps was used in the mortar joints to hold the paint from falling out, looks a treat too even the joints match existing ;) Not saying I would do that though :D
     
  9. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Few houses up Elizabeth Park like that :cool:

    Place I looked at in the original post was in Prospect.
     
  10. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    We've tried all sorts of salt damp treatment in various rentals, the only thing that works long term is knocking the wall down and starting over.

    I agree with agent 99 - run.
     
  11. Agent99

    Agent99 Well-Known Member

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    I dont mind walls where the bricks are not loose and there is at least 70% of the mortar left, ok to redo joints and move it on
     
  12. Helicrete

    Helicrete Active Member

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    View this company's website Home located in Sydney and they specialise in Heritage restoration products and have worked all over the world restoring very old heritage listed buildings. They have a product called cocoon which you apply to the wall as a paper compound, which works by osmosis and draws out the salt from the wall. The wall can then be repaired using a breathable render/plaster. Ask to speak to Barry or son David for advice, top blokes and I now use their products myself. Barry has invented all the products himself.

    This is a common problem in coastal regions which is pretty much all of Australia's populated areas, my mate just spent the best part of 2 weeks on his back under a house in Bondi re-pointing the brickwork for the same reason.

    Cheers
     
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  13. Nemo30

    Nemo30 Well-Known Member

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    The bricks weren't loose, but if you touched the mortar it just crumbled into sand. These were the internal walls.

    Some of the plaster had bulges at the bottom where the sand was accumulating behind the walls.

    Thanks for the link @Helicrete . Out of curiosity do you have any idea on ballpark pricing? It looks interesting. I'd heard of the other traditional methods of treating salt damp, but not that one.
     
    Last edited: 4th Apr, 2016