Cost of Fixing Salt Damp

WHAT IS THE COST OF FIXING SALT DAMP?  

We understand that there is a lot of confusion and misinformation regarding the cost of fixing salt damp.   And whilst a free inspection and quote is helpful we get that you are researching firstly to determine if it’s within your budget.    Or maybe a building inspector has just alerted you to an issue in a house you are considering buying and you need to know what it will cost to fix.

Our aim with this article is to provide you with up-to-date honest and reliable information to help you budget for your project and understand the hidden costs involved.

Please remember that this is a guide only.  It is not a quote and prices will vary at your property. 

Firstly there a few things to consider:

  1. Is your problem definitely Salt Damp?
    It is worth reading our checklist first. Click here to read. Often the issue relates to another form of damp, condensation, mould or musty smells and so therefore these costs won’t apply.
  2. Will maintenance fix the Salt Damp?  Are there other tasks around the home that will fix the issue?  For e.g. Could you lower the pavers and expose the existing damp proof course?   Or could you improve the issue with increased drainage?
  1. Will you be removing these walls in the next 1 -3 years?
  2. And lastly how badly affected are the walls?  In some rare occasions it may be impossible to inject a wall for structural reasons and it will therefore need to be rebuilt first.

COST OF FIXING SALT DAMP?

Now let’s get down to the reason you are still reading… what is the cost of fixing Salt Damp?     Our advice relates to the injection of a waterproof cream barrier to the base of your walls to prevent the rise of moisture and salts.

The cost of injection does vary significantly from property to property and is dependent on things such as:

  • Thickness of walls

    Treatment with cream is done from one side of the wall only regardless of the situation.  The price increases as the thickness of the wall increases.  A single brick wall is charged a lot less than a double brick / double brick with cavity.
    Price Guide:
    Single Brick                                                                  $70 – $95 per lineal metre
    Double Brick/Block                                                    $85 – $105 per lineal metre

  • Fabric of the walls

    There are many types of masonry and each has its own issues.   Limestone is more porous and may have greater damage but bluestone is harder to drill into and requires more product.
    Price Guide:
    Brick:                                                                                as above
    Block:                                                                               as above
    Stone below 450mm thickness:                                 $120 – $150 per lineal metre
    Stone above 450mm thickness:                                 $150 – $200 per lineal metre

  • Damage to the wall

    Treatment only stops further moisture and salt from rising into the wall.    After the initial treatment  follow-up internal and external repairs are required.  e.g. removing and replacing damaged plastering, removing and replacing damaged render, replacing missing mortar or badly affected stones.   These costs should be considered in your overall budget and you should request a quotation for these at the time of inspection.  The amount you pay for these repairs will be determined by the client and is dependant on how far you wish to take the repairs.  Some people only wish to repair damaged areas others wish to restore the home fully.    Dependent on the damage too some tasks will take a couple of days others will take a few weeks.

  • Height of the problem

    Salt Damp normally does not rise any higher than 1 metre.   However, sometimes the issue has been left for a long time and the height of the problem has risen beyond what is considered normal.   The repairs of this could therefore cost more.

  • Number of metres
    You may find also the more metres you do the less it will cost.     Also a minimum charge to cover setup may apply.

ADDITIONAL COSTS:

As with any building project there are additional costs which may be relevant in your situation and these should therefore by factored in.   These can include (but are not limited to).  It is important to ask about these at the time of your onsite inspection.
– Removing and replacing power points, data points and telephone points.
– Removal , refitting and/or replacement of skirting boards and tiles
– Temporary relocation of air-conditioning unit
– Painting / flushing joints
– Generator Hire
– Rubble / Waste removal

There is a lot to consider yes.   But by using a fully licenced and trusted professional the fear and uncertainty regarding the treatment and repairs should be less.       An onsite inspection, fixed price quotation and discussion with professionals should give you all the information you need for your project.

Ready to get a quote? – click here to request a call to organise a time. 

Lateral Damp… Salt damp is not the only damp issue.

What is Lateral Damp?

Our homes are traditionally built to protect us from the elements and be watertight.   However damp issues are one of the most common maintenance complaints around a home.   Commonly we are able to advise our customers that their issue is not Salt damp but in fact Lateral damp.

Lateral damp or penetrating damp is the result of the passage of water through a wall in a horizontal direction.    In South Australia most properties are built with brick or stone.   This masonry is very porous in nature.   If these walls become exposed to excess water the masonry will absorb the water into the wall.  This process is similar to that of putting a sponge in a bowl of water.

Many times the water also carries soluble salts.  The water and salts eventually move through the wall and evaporate onto the surface side on the opposite side.    A moisture stain appears and salts are deposited on the surface.   Signs to look for include staining, blistering paint, drummy plaster, salty deposits and efflorescence.

Unlike rising damp, lateral damp can occur at any height on a wall and will occur even where a suitable damp proof course is in place.

There are many issues which can result in your home suffering from lateral damp damage. Before fixing the issue you will need to identify the source of the moisture.  Please note that the remedies below are suggestions only. We always recommend that you consult with a damp specialist for correct diagnosis first.

Some common examples we encounter include:

Garden Bed has been built directly against the house wall.   No issue outside but the customer notices that the paint is bubbling in the room on the inside.
This is common.  Many homes have garden beds placed against an outside wall.   This causes an issue as it covers (bridges) the existing damp proof course but it also allows the passage of moisture from the soil directly to the wall surface.  Constant watering of the plants in this garden bed only makes the issue worse.
REMEDY:   If possible remove the garden bed so that soil is not directly against your wall. 

Plaster has begun to bubble in hallway or bedroom.   Occurs quickly over a short space of time.   A wet area is on the other side of the wall.  
In this situation the problem is often due a leak from the wet area.  It can be as serious as a pipe leak, or tap washers dripping.  In other cases it can be due to minor cracks in the tiles and grout allowing water to pass through into the wall.

REMEDY: Get a plumber in to pressure test your pipes, check for leaking bridging pieces or perhaps additional waterproofing or sealant requirements for your bathroom.

Salt Attack, Efflorescence and moisture stain on retaining, backfilled or cellar walls.
This often occurs when the waterproofing membrane is either missing or has broken down behind the wall.  Without the membrane ground water and salts are able to pass easily into the porous masonry wall.
REMEDY: Ensure there is no moisture sources leaking into the backfill (subfloor draining issues, leaking downpipes etc.). The best solution in this instance is to remove the backfill and place a waterproof membrane between the backfill and the wall. However, in most cases this is not possible and the wall surface will need to be dealt with as a regular maintenance issue e.g. cleaning off salts, poulticing to remove salts and inside sacrificial plastering.

Sprinkler systems; excessive moisture penetration on one section of wall from constant water.
This causes an issue as large amounts of water constantly hit the same area of the building over long periods of time.    Especially during summer when we all water more often.

REMEDY: Whilst your system is running check the perimeter of each of the sprays and adjust if any are consistently spraying directly onto your walls.

Leaking downpipes, a leaking air-conditioning system, a leaking hot water system; again excessive moisture penetration on one section of wall from constant water.

REMEDY: Home maintenance to check the perimeter of your home and then consult with roofing, guttering or hot water service specialists. Fix the issue asap.   

NOTE: 

Once the problem has been accurately diagnosed and rectified please allow a minimum of an additional 3 months before carrying out any repairs to the aesthetic damage.  For further information or assistance please contact us.