Services: Rising Damp Location: Chelsea, London
The Saatchi Gallery in London is a world-renowned gallery that showcases some of the best contemporary art, design, and photography from around the globe. The gallery was founded by Charles Saatchi in 1985 as a venue to showcase his personal collection of modern British art. Since its inception, the Saatchi Gallery has become an influential part of the London art scene, displaying artwork from some of the most renowned names in contemporary art.
The gallery is also an important educational resource and has been instrumental in introducing new generations to contemporary art forms through its exhibitions and educational programs. As a result, the Saatchi Gallery is highly regarded as one of the UK’s most influential artistic institutions.
The Importance of Maintaining the Right Conditions in the Building
The proper storage and maintenance of artwork are essential to ensuring its longevity. Art pieces must be kept in ideal conditions, free from extreme temperatures and humidity, to ensure their structural integrity is preserved. Furthermore, artworks must also be regularly monitored for signs of deterioration or damage, such as cracking, fading, or discolouration.
Given how essential it is to keep art in optimal conditions, it was vital that our London Damp Specialist team quickly diagnosed the problem, found its cause, and presented a plan to cure it. In this instance, rising damp was apparent.
Our Findings of the Site
As discussed earlier, the Saatchi Gallery suffered from rising damp, which posed a serious threat to both the building and its artworks. But what exactly is this phenomenon known as "rising damp," and how can you tell when it's become a problem?
Why Does Rising Damp Occur?
In London, rising damp is an all-too-common problem, and it can oftentimes be misdiagnosed. Moisture buildup in walls has the potential to cause extensive damage to your property as well as a health risk. This occurs when groundwater below the wall absorbs into porous material, perhaps due to faulty or absent damp proof course systems that have degraded over time or were incorrectly installed initially. Another possibility is damage caused by steps near the building, which allow for this moist air to enter more easily inside permeable barriers like walls.
When brick walls age, they can become more porous and acquire cracks that permit water to seep through—a phenomenon known as capillary action. In these cases, the construction of the wall is either flawed or outdated, which leads to an increase in rising damp—a serious problem when left unresolved.
What Are the Signs of Rising Damp?
- Peeling wallpaper
- Damp or damaged plaster
- Damp or damaged skirting boards
- A tide line on the walls that can reach 1 metre or higher
- Yellow or brown stains on the walls
- Fluffy, raised, powdery residue on plaster
How We Handled the Problem
After a thorough investigation of the property, each instance of rising damp was identified, and plasterwork that had been compromised was removed. The replaced plaster was waterproofed to prevent any further damage from occurring in the future.
Given that bricks are highly permeable and can soak up moisture quickly, it's imperative to have an experienced surveyor conduct an inspection should you suspect that your building may be affected by this issue; only then can preventive measures be put into place for long-term results.
Some other solutions may to handling rising damp may include:
- Removal of any damp plaster.
- Chemical injections to the damp proof course to repair it.
- Adding a salt neutraliser to walls to dissolve salts present from damp penetration.
- Installation of tanking, a liquid coating that bonds to damp brickwork and forms a waterproof barrier.
- Applying a waterproof sand and cement interior render.
- Making good with a smooth skim coat plaster.