The British Museum in London is an iconic symbol of the city’s history and culture. Founded in 1753, it is one of the oldest public museums in the world and houses a collection of nearly 8 million objects from across the globe. Over time, this incredible museum has grown to become a major tourist attraction and part of Britain’s identity. Visitors from around the world come to marvel at the impressive collections of artefacts, artwork, and treasures from ancient civilizations. From mummies to coins, Chinese porcelain to sculptures, and manuscripts to medals, there is something for everyone at the British Museum in London.

Aside from being home to some of the world’s most treasured artefacts since the mid-1800s, the British Museum is a magnificent architectural feat in and of itself. With the addition of the iconic Reading Room in 2000, it is one of the largest museums in the world.

What We Found

Given that the British Museum is such an important curator of world history and houses some of the most priceless artefacts from our past, it needs to be in an ideal condition to preserve these items and avoid any damage to these collections.

But, this being an old structure and London being notoriously damp in weather, it is a given that moisture damage in the form of penetrating damp and rising damp would occur. And this is exactly what our team found when they arrived on site and conducted their initial survey.

What Is Rising Damp?

Rising damp in London is common, often misdiagnosed, and it can cause great harm to your home or property, as well as pose a health risk. Rising damp is caused by moisture below the wall, usually from the ground, being pulled into the material. It often comes from a failed damp proof course that has deteriorated over time or has been incorrectly installed. Another structure, such as steps that have been damaged, can allow the damp to be carried into the porous walls.

Rising damp can also occur when wall construction ages. The bricks become more permeable, developing cracks in the material and creating channels that pull up moisture into the wall—known as capillary action. If a wall was constructed badly, or a long time ago, then rising damp can be a real problem.

What Is Penetrating Damp?

Penetrating damp is one of the most destructive and invasive problems you can encounter in your property. There are different reasons for penetrating damp depending on where it’s located. Roof problems can cause damp spots to appear on your ceiling. This includes broken or missing roof tiles, or even burst or leaking pipes in the attic of your property. If you are seeing damp on your walls, this is most likely due to defects in the exterior plaster or brickwork, such as the pointing or even an improperly sealed window.

A Solutions to Damp Issues Could Include:

  • Repairing exterior cracks.
  • Repair pointing showing signs of ageing and deterioration.
  • Remove any deteriorated plaster.
  • Introduce a salt neutraliser to walls to dissolve salts present from water penetration.
  • Install tanking, a liquid coating that bonds to damp brickwork and forms a waterproof barrier.
  • Apply a waterproof sand and cement interior render.
  • Add a smooth, skim-coated plaster.
  • Waterproof sand and cement exterior rendering.

How We Tackled the Issue

Once we identified the problem, we put together a plan to tackle the issue effectively but carefully, given the age of the building. Our first course of action was to remove and replace affected plaster on numerous interior walls. Following that, we set out to identify any residual damages, which is when we found exterior cracks. Once all the cracks were identified, our team proceeded to repair them to prevent any future water ingress.

Our damp proofing guarantees are crystal clear. The areas we treat will be covered against damp for 30 years.

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