Salt Damp in Heritage Buildings

Conservation of Heritage Buildings in SA

At Tech-Dry SA we are dedicated to the preservation of heritage buildings in South Australia.

We are also specialists in the treatment and repair of Salt Damp in Heritage Listed and Significant Heritage Buildings.

Our sensitive approach to restoration and our desire to maintain the existing fabric of buildings means that we have been called upon to assist on:

  • International government projects
  • building article submissions
  • university lectures
  • heritage presentations and
  • heritage documents

Tech-Dry SA also prides itself on its continued learning and research into issues relating to Salt Damp in Australia. Predominately, how best to deal with the ongoing and destructive problem that is salt attack.

Salt Damp in Heritage Buildings

Salt Damp is a significant issue in heritage buildings. In modern buildings to prevent salt damp it has become legislation to place an impermeable barrier at the base of the wall just above ground level. Most properties use a thick black plastic sheet to create the damp proof course. Some of our early buildings used lead sheets, bitumen based mortars, overlapping roofing slates and glazed ceramic tiles/brick to create the barrier.   Moreover, some of these remain effective today.

However many early buildings in South Australia were either built without a damp proof course or the original DPC has proved over time to break down or be ineffective.  Additionally, non-sensitive renovations, additions or external landscaping has “bridged” or covered the existing damp proof course.  These practices result in many of our heritage buildings having inadequate protection against salt damp.

The damage caused by salt damp to the existing masonry and bricks on a heritage building can be costly and extensive.  If left for an extended period both the moisture and salts will cause long-term decay to your walls. The mortar will fret and crumble away, and the face of the stones/ bricks will rupture and begin to erode.  This damage can leave the building structurally vulnerable and visually unappealing.

How can Tech-Dry SA help?

The first step is an on-site inspection and assessment by our estimators. They will work with you, to provide you with the most acceptable and sensitive solutions for your property.  Plus they can discuss all works in conjunction with your local heritage adviser

One of the first things to identify is any maintenance issues.  Maintenance of the property should be considered and attended to as a priority.   We will discuss with you if we think that increasing sub-floor ventilation, drainage and plumbing improvements, lowering paths and removing garden beds will remedy the situation.

Where a suitable maintenance alternative does not exist Tech-Dry SA can quote on:

  • a range of treatments including undersetting and water-based chemical diffusion
  • poultices / sacrificial renders
  • heritage plastering/rendering
  • structural stone and brick repair work
  • lime mortar mixes
  • sub-floor ventilation options.

Need some more information or wish to book a free inspection and quote?   Click on our contact us page or call our office on 81321166.   Or jump on our blog for more heritage information and videos.

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Tech-Dry SA – proud partners with the National Trust of South Australia.