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Damp around base of fireplace

August 7, 2011

Very damp at base of chimney breast

When attempting to diagnose dampness defects it’s best to think of simple explanations first before indulging in more complicated reasons.

The other day I was surveying a house in Camden and discovered that the base of the fireplace in the rear reception room was very wet indeed. There were a whole host of potential reasons why the corner of the fireplace was damp, e.g. a pipe leak, below ground moisture or simply water entering through an adjacent air vent.

Before you start thinking about switching the computer on and typing “damp at base of wall” on your browser, just STOP and THINK!! You can solve this problem yourself.

Looking up a chimney flue

Inside the chimney breast is a flue which runs up the building and out through the chimney pot on the roof. If the chimney pots are left open, rain will run down the flue and make the fireplace damp. If the fireplace is blocked up as well, this rainwater can’t evaporate and WILL cause serious dampness.


Rainwater is probably coming down the chimney pots


Open the fireplace up to allow evaporation and put clay cowls on all the chimney pots. The cowls will stop rain from falling down the pots while allowing through ventilation of the chimney flue.

Your damp fireplace will soon dry out because the rain will no longer be able to enter the building.



From → 3. Dampness

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