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Old Yesterday, 05:34 AM
 
4 posts, read 83 times
Reputation: 10

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I'm in the process of buying an old (1890s Victorian style) house in Australia. Fortunately it's had limited updates in its time - still has outside toilet and wood fueled hot water.

One of the unfortunate updates was that they poured in concrete to replace the timber floor at some stage.

The house is made of locally made bricks - made on site. The concrete floor is probably the cause of the damp issue in the house. The damp has made a lovely environment for termites. The termites have eaten the ceiling joists.

Nearly all rooms are damp affected. The outside brick is deteriorating. Inside the paint is peeling and there are tide marks in the worst affected rooms. The ceiling is falling in from termite damage (one room has collapsed).

Ant suggestions on how to manage the damp with the concrete floors in place? Do I need to remove it?

Any other hints or tips with a house of this vintage?

I want to keep as much of the orginal as possible. I do plan to redo all the joists (essential), wiring (it's probably 60s). Three rooms will need ceilings redone.

It's going to be a very interesting few years!

Last edited by oldfarmhouse; Yesterday at 05:47 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,772 posts, read 49,532,492 times
Reputation: 14587
The only thing that I see that will help-

A Cat D9!

I think the line in the sand has been drawn- don't throw good money after bad!!!
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Old Yesterday, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
9,342 posts, read 8,628,948 times
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Are you going after this house as a labor of love, where you are willing to spend more money on a restoration than a demo and rebuild? Or are you trying for a cost effective solution?

Termites are ground dwelling creatures, unless there is an Australian species that is substantially different. If I hear that termites have eaten roof joists, my assumption is that they have eaten every piece of wood from the ground to the rooftop.

Brick is deteriorating. Not sure exactly what you mean by that, but brick is a facing in front of wood. An extensive structural rebuild will result in those brick walls coming down, which will give you a pile of building material. It will cost you less for new brick than to reclaim the vintage stuff.

If you are ripping out the electric, that is a major system. Do you have radiator heat? Any type of AC? Do those need to be redone? Plumbing? My guess is lead pipes, do you really want those?

I hope that you are buying this for the value of the land, minus the amount it will take to demo and remove the structure. Sorry to have to say it, I love old houses, but sometimes they cannot be saved.
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Old Yesterday, 02:59 PM
 
4 posts, read 83 times
Reputation: 10
It's definitely not earmarked for demolition. A building inspector has been and set out a list of items to be sorted, but overall the house is in reasonable shape.

There is no timber below the roofline, apart from window and door frames. It's double brick. The wiring is all in the ceiling. No furnace, we're only in a mildly cool climate, no snow.

Exterior brick is crumbling on the first two courses where the damp is worst. I'll see if I can sort out how to post pictures.

It is all very fixable, will just take time. It's on a farm so the land is most of the value and a knockdown rebuild is out of the question.
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Old Yesterday, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
9,342 posts, read 8,628,948 times
Reputation: 16042
Ah, I had the construction all wrong. I was assuming wood frame. If it is primarily brick with wood trusses, that changes things. Assuming it is structurally stable, no reason a new roof, including trusses and purlins, could not be added.

I would get an engineer involved. The question about how to stabilize the bottom two courses if brick is going to take a specialist.
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Old Today, 06:39 AM
 
4 posts, read 83 times
Reputation: 10
[url]https://photos.app.goo.gl/vxNCZb7EZkisEGf67[/url]

[url]https://photos.app.goo.gl/DvLqqhRKbUmb3UTM6[/url]

[url]https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZXXNLDEsaDEwiMgK9[/url]

[url]https://photos.app.goo.gl/fApzLpyFQLHhWnNU8[/url]

These might explain a bit better. I'm mostly curious whether the concrete floor poured in around the 60s to 80s (I'm guessing) would be the main factor in the damp. I am considering whether the plaster inside may also be the cause - if it is non breathable.

I do intend to engage an expert, however given that the house is 100 miles from the nearest large town and these houses are uncommon it may not be simple.
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Old Today, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,772 posts, read 49,532,492 times
Reputation: 14587
From the pics those appear to be "adobe bricks"- which are sun dried; not kiln-fired. Can you clarify?

If they are- refer back to my original post.
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Old Today, 03:43 PM
 
4 posts, read 83 times
Reputation: 10
Probably. Sand and concrete I believe.
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Old Today, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
25,526 posts, read 24,419,555 times
Reputation: 31618
Buy a dehumidifier.
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