Reason 1 – Traditional Roofing Issues.
No two traditional roofs are the same, but all traditional roofs serve the same purpose: to protect the interior of a building from the outside elements. Over time, however, even the sturdiest roof can succumb to wear and tear. Damaged roof tiles, for example, can lead to water ingress causing dampness to appear in the roof space. Lack of ventilation can cause condensation to build up causing mould and infestations, This is why it’s important to regularly check your roof for any damage and to make sure that all tiles are intact.
You should inspect the roof copings, ridges and verges for any missing mortar, this is because missing mortar can cause dampness to appear inside your roof. If you do find any missing mortar or repairs have been undertaken with cement mortar, it is important to replace it with a traditional pozzolanic lime mortar. This will allow moisture removal through the joints and help prevent damp and condensation from accumulating inside your roof. Finally, make sure that any lead work on your roof is fitted correctly and also finished with a pozzolanic lime mortar. This is because cement and lead seals will trap moisture behind them and into the masonry, which can cause erosion over time. By following these tips, you can help keep your roof in good condition for many years to come.
One type of roofing that has been used for centuries is the pantile roof. Pantile roofs are made from interlocking tiles that are laid in a herringbone pattern. This type of roofing is very durable and can last for many years with proper care. In addition, pantile roofs are very attractive and can add a lot of visual interest to a home. If you are considering this type of roofing for your home, it is important to work with a qualified roofing contractor who has experience installing pantile roofs. With their help, you can ensure that your pantile roof will provide years of beauty and protection for your home.
Roof felts can also act as a barrier for moisture causing condensation to form on the tiles this makes the timbers damp which then causes mould spores to form eventually creating rot. One of the most important considerations in historic preservation is the roof. The roof protects the structure from the elements, and therefore must be in good condition to preserve the integrity of the building. One problem that can occur with roofs is dampness, which can eventually lead to the rotting of the wooden supports. One way to cause dampness is to seal the roof space with a material that will restrict air circulation. This can cause condensation, which is a leading cause of dampness appearing on roofs.
Before the 1900s, roofs never incorporated under-felting. They were generally torched with lime mortar which was mixed with animal hair to reduce shrinkage and any cracking. This mixture was placed between the tiles and along the joists and battens. This allowed any condensation in the roof and any moisture in the timbers to be drawn out as air circulates. Lime torching allowed for moisture regulation, which in turn helped dry the atmosphere and prevent the growth of mould and mildew. Lime torching also prevents infestations of insects and other pests. Today, of course, most roofs are built quite differently. But it’s interesting to think about how our ancestors approached this important part of their homes.
Reason 2- Roof Insulation
By sealing the roof space with spray foam insulation, air circulation can be restricted to the roof and timbers. This can lead to condensation building up, which in turn can eventually lead to the rotting of the wooden roof supports. Mortgage lenders can refuse loans due to spray foam insulation being applied and the survey community condemn houses with spray foam insulation installed. Open cells and closed cells are both the same and both trap moisture behind them causing dampness, condensation, mould growth and beetle attack. Damp is a serious problem in buildings as it leads to conditions that encourage fungal growth and decay which could result in structural damage if left untreated. It is important to address damp problems as soon as they are identified to prevent further damage to the property.
Sheep’s wool has been used for centuries as an insulation material, due to its ability to regulate moisture and store heat. When used in between floor joists, it can help to prevent condensation and dampness from building up and causing problems. Wool is also known for being self-cleaning, meaning that it requires less maintenance than other materials. As a result, it is an ideal choice for those looking for an environmentally friendly insulation option.
Reason 3-Faulty Rain Water Goods
Gutters and downpipes are an essential part of any building, and they must be properly maintained to prevent water damage and damp appearing within your building. Wooden gutters should be lined with lead to prevent leaks, and all gutters should be regularly cleaned out to prevent blockages. Over time, gutters can become corroded or damaged, so it is important to inspect them regularly for signs of wear. Leaking gutters can cause water to track down the side of a building, which can lead to dampness and erosion. In addition, moisture can build up within the masonry, causing the structure to weaken over time. By regularly maintaining your gutters and downpipes, you can help to preserve the integrity of your building.
Reason 4-Damp Chimneys.
A damp chimney is not only unsightly, but it can also be a health hazard. If left unchecked, dampness can lead to the growth of mould and mildew, which can cause respiratory problems. In extreme cases, trapped moisture can also cause the structural integrity of the chimney to deteriorate. As a result, it is essential to ensure that your chimney is properly ventilated to prevent the build-up of condensation. Additionally, cowls should be fitted to the pots to help prevent water ingress. The flaunching around the pots should also be made from a pozzolanic lime mortar, as this will allow moisture to be drawn through the mortar and prevent erosion.
When water enters brickwork or stone masonry, it can cause serious damage if it gets trapped there. Not only does it lead to the growth of mould, but the damp conditions can also cause the material to weaken and crumble. This is why it’s so important to keep your home well-maintained and free of dampness.
One area that is often forgotten is the chimney stack. Cement pointing and rendering around the stack trap moisture behind them, which eventually leads to the destabilization of the masonry. As the lime mortar behind erodes, the bricks and stones become increasingly vulnerable to damage. If you live in an older home, it’s important to have your chimney stack inspected regularly to ensure that it’s in good condition. By taking these precautions, you can protect your home from dampness and decay.
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to traditional buildings is that moisture is your enemy. A damp environment is the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of problems, from rot and mould to wood-eating insects. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your chimney is properly ventilated. Without proper ventilation, moisture will build up inside the chimney stack creating condensation. Over time, this moisture will mix with the sulphates in the brickwork, causing dark stains to appear on both the internal and external walls. In addition, the dampness will cause the joints between the bricks to decay, eventually leading to instability and even collapse. So remember: when it comes to historic preservation, proper ventilation is key!
Reason 5-Ground Drains.
Rising damp is a serious problem for any home. It can cause the wood to rot, and the paint to peel. It can also cause mould to grow, which can be dangerous to your health. damp is caused by many things, but one of the most common causes is poorly maintained drains.
When drains are not working properly, they can allow water to seep into your home, which can lead to dampness. This is why it is so important to ensure that your drains are in good working order. If you suspect that your drains may be leaking, you should have them surveyed by a professional. Altered water tables can also cause cellars to flood and dampness to occur.
This can be caused by new construction or altered landscape in the area. If you live in an area where this is a problem, it is important to be diligent about monitoring your cellar for signs of damp. If dampness does occur, it is important to take steps to remediate the problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home.
Reason 6-Ground Levels.
The floor joists in a traditional building are usually fitted just above the air vents and the external ground level would be 150mm or 2 bricks below the air vent. Ground moisture doesn’t usually rise above 2 or 3 bricks in normal conditions, so if you have raised ground levels you have a reduced moisture barrier which causes the tide marks to appear internally this will also rot floor joist ends.
With dampness being such a common problem in the UK, it is important to be aware of the potential effects that even slight changes in ground level can have on your property. By ensuring that your floor joists are correctly fitted and that the external ground level is not too high, you can help to prevent damp and erosion problems in your home.
Dampproof courses. Originally traditionally built homes didn’t rely on modern damp proof courses they didn’t have one, to begin with, and started using slate and Staffordshire blue engineering bricks from around 1875 but they still mainly rely on capillary action to draw the moisture out, this happens through the various stages of lime work within them.
In the early 1900s bitumen was used as a layer between the brickwork this was placed 150mm above the ground level to act as a damp proof course this is the closest version to the type used today but until the 1950s lime mortar and traditional methods of building were still been undertaken however they were phasing out due to lack of skilled labour left from the war and the need for rapid rebuilding.
Concrete floors. While modern homes are built with concrete slabs, many older homes were built with materials that allow moisture to pass through them. This includes materials like stone slabs, bricks, terracotta tiles, and lime ash flooring. These materials were typically bedded with lime, which allowed moisture to be absorbed and prevented moisture from transferring into the walls which would eventually cause erosion. As a result, these traditional flooring types are often found at ground level in older homes. While they may require more maintenance than modern concrete floors, they do not create dampness and erosion. As a result, they are an excellent choice for those interested in preserving the historic character of their home.
Reason 7-Non-Porous Internal Wall finishes.
Gypsum plaster and plasterboard are not porous like lime plaster, so they trap moisture behind them. This trapped moisture can lead to problems like mould and mildew, as well as weakening the structure of the wall itself. In addition, trapped moisture can cause paint to peel and pockets of salt to form on the plaster surface. To prevent these problems, it is important to use a breathable material like lime plaster when creating walls and ceilings.
Lime plaster is pervious, meaning that it allows water vapour to pass through it. This allows any moisture that does get behind the plaster to evaporate, rather than being trapped and causing damage. As a result, lime plaster is a much more durable and long-lasting material than gypsum or plasterboard.
Non-permeable or low capillary active paints It is essential when working with historic buildings that the materials used are appropriate for the job and will not cause further damage to the fabric of the building. Non-permeable or low-capillary active paints are one type of material that should be avoided when carrying out repair work. These paints trap moisture behind them, causing condensation to form on the surface of the paint. This can lead to further damage to the fabric of the building as the trapped moisture starts to break down the paintwork. It is therefore essential to use breathable paints that will allow moisture to escape, rather than trapping it behind non-permeable materials.
Reason 8-External Wall finishes.
Damp is a common problem in historic buildings. It can cause damage to the fabric of the building and create an unhealthy environment. One of the most common ways damp gets into a building is through cracks in the masonry. These cracks can be caused by movement or by the lack of lintels over windows.
Checking for cracks and ensuring that lintels are properly installed is an important part of preventing dampness. Another way damp can get into a building is through cement mortar. This type of mortar does not allow the building to breathe and can trap dampness inside the walls. If you find that previous repairs have been undertaken with cement mortar, it is important to have these repairs removed and replaced with an air-curing lime mortar using pozzolans where required. By taking these steps, you can help prevent damp from causing damage to your historic building.
Damp and masonry decay is often caused by cement mortar pointing. When people choose cheaper repairs, they often ignore this fact. As a result, damp and masonry decay can spread quickly and cause serious damage to buildings. Cement mortar pointing is a big cause of dampness because it seals the joints in the masonry, preventing them from breathing. This can lead to problems with damp because the bricks retain moisture which then evaporates and creates efflorescence. This process can damage the bricks and mortar, as well as any decorative features such as plasterwork. In addition, cement mortar is more prone to cracking than other types of mortar, which can also lead to damp and masonry decay. As a result, it is important to choose a repair method that will not cause further damage to the building.
Masonry paints and weather seals are not advised for porous masonry as they create a barrier that disables any capillary movement within the mortar. This can lead to efflorescence and erosion of the masonry, as well as trapping moisture which can cause further damp problems.
As anyone who owns a historic building knows, the maintenance and upkeep of such a property can be a delicate balancing act. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, traditional materials and construction methods often provide superior protection against the elements. However, they can also be more vulnerable to damage if not properly cared for.
This is particularly true of cement render or pebble dash, which is often used on historic buildings. While it may provide an additional layer of protection against the elements, it can also trap moisture behind it, causing the masonry and mortar between the joints to decay. If left unaddressed, this can lead to extensive rebuilding work. As such, it is important to remove cement render or pebble dash from historic buildings as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs. If you must render again, be sure to use an air-curing lime render and protect it with lime wash. By taking these precautionary measures, you can help ensure that your historic building will stand the test of time.
Reason 9-Climbing Plants.
Climbing plants are often seen as a beautiful addition to any home, but what many people don’t realize is that they can cause a lot of damage to masonry walls.
One of the main causes of dampness is penetrative damp, which occurs when water enters the building through cracks in the walls or roof. Climbing plants are a common cause of penetrative damp because the roots of these plants can penetrate the masonry, causing cracks and dislodging roof tiles allowing water to enter the structure. This can lead to damp problems and structural instability.
In addition, climbing plants can harbour pests and diseases that can spread to other plants. For these reasons, it is advisable to keep climbing plants away from your masonry walls. Taking these precautions will help to ensure that your home remains in good condition for years to come.
Reason 10-Window paints and silicone sealants
According to the National Association of Home Builders, windows are one of the first places that homeowners should look when they want to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Many people don’t realize, however, that windows can also be a major source of problems if they aren’t properly maintained. One of the most common problems is rotting or eroding window frames and sills.
This can be caused by several factors, including poor ventilation, condensation, trapped moisture, and damage from sun and rain. In addition, many window frames are covered in plastic paints and silicone sealants that trap moisture behind them, causing the timber to rot and the masonry surrounding the seals to erode. If you notice any of these problems with your windows, it’s important to have them repaired as soon as possible to avoid more extensive damage.
Traditional window and door voids were filled with oakum docka rope, wooden splints and hidden pieces of brickwork this was then finished with a bead of lime mortar, the lime beading allows moisture to be drawn out of the timber or rope through the mortar and out towards the air. Windows can be painted using linseed or lime wash. These types of paints are porous meaning that they ‘breath’. This is important as it means that any moisture that is within the woodwork can be released and will not get trapped. This helps to prevent problems such as wood rot from occurring. We would always recommend using these types of paints if you are looking to conserve your historic windows.
Reason 11- Non-Permeable Paints.
Today, there are many different types of paints on the market that claim to be permeable or breathable. However, not all of these products are created equal. Some paints and sealants are non-permeable, meaning that they will trap moisture behind them. This can lead to condensation and mould growth, which can damage both the paint and the underlying surface. When selecting a breathable product, it is important to ensure that it is also capillary active. This means that it will allow moisture to be drawn out of the surface, preventing condensation and ensuring that the paint will last longer. When used properly, breathable products can help to prevent moisture damage and preserve the life of your building,
Traditional lime washes were made using a Quick lime and water mixture that was then tinted with natural pigments. These lime-based paints were highly porous, meaning they were breathable. This helped to regulate moisture levels within a building and prevent the growth of mould and mildew. Lime paints and washes also had the benefits of being naturally antiseptic and antibacterial. In addition to their functional properties, lime paints and washes come in a variety of different colours. From soothing earth tones to vibrant jewel tones, these paints could be used to create any desired aesthetic. Today, modern formulations of lime paint and wash are available that offer the same benefits as traditional products. However, some of these products are now made with synthetic pigments, which means they are no longer considered natural or breathable.
A dry home is a warmer home.
As anyone who has ever owned a traditional home can attest, there are many benefits to be had. For one, traditional homes are often built in established neighbourhoods with well-maintained infrastructure.
This can include everything from sidewalks and streetlights to parks and public transportation. In addition, traditional homes are typically constructed of high-quality materials that stand the test of time. This is in contrast to many newer homes, which are often made with lower-quality materials to cut costs.
Furthermore, traditional homes often have a sense of character and history that is simply not present in newer homes. This can give them a unique charm that is hard to come by.
When it comes to insulating traditional homes, there are a lot of different options available. For instance, hemp fibre can be used in plaster, sheep’s wool can be placed between floor rafters, and underfloor heating can be installed.
Each of these options has its benefits and drawbacks, and it’s important to weigh all of the factors before making a decision. However, all of these options can help to reduce energy costs and improve the comfort of your home. With careful planning and execution, you can find the perfect solution for your needs. Finally, traditional homes are built to last.
They’re constructed with high-quality materials that are designed to stand up to the elements. And if they’re well-maintained, they can provide a comfortable and inviting environment for years to come. That’s because traditional homes are designed to take advantage of the climate. In winter months, they’re built to be snug and warm, with thick walls and sturdy foundations that keep the cold out. And in the summer months, they’re built to be cooler, with wide windows and eaves that shade the interior from the heat of the sun. As a result, traditional homes can provide a comfortable home for families for generations.