It was a Saturday but I’m counting it in the build as some important work was undertaken. P the damp proofer came by in the afternoon and set up his equipment. He drilled holes into the wall and injected the damp proofing fluid under high pressure. The machine looked like a strange set of mechanical bagpipes. The active ingredient of the injected fluid reacts with the atmosphere to form a water repellent barrier. This halts the capillary rise of moisture (you can see the ‘tide mark’ of salts above the injection course – a classic case of rising damp, albeit a small one). He suspects that the cause of the rising damp is not the bricks but the mortar in between them, which sucks up moisture like a sponge, bridges the blue engineering brick damp course (that line of darker bricks) and then soaks the brickwork above. Modern repointing uses cement rather than the traditional lime, which would have allowed the wall to breathe and dry out more easily. He was still stumped as to why the rising damp is so localised to this one pillar. He was impressed though, as he said that a true case of rising damp is rare, as a lot of damp is caused by leaks of some sort. My theory is that the massive silver birch was helping to keep the ground dry as it would have drunk hundreds of litres of water a day, so the ground has resaturated over the last eighteen months since the tree was felled. In addition the tree sheltered the front of the house from prevailing winds and rain, so rain once again hits the front of the house directly and soaks the front garden. It will also help to remove the crazy paving from the garden as this will improve evaporation. He did the same injection treatment on the internal side of the wall. The whole process took a couple of hours. After this, P treated the roof joist that had signs of past woodworm infestation. If there are any of the critters still eating away at the beam, they won’t be for long. The joist is still stucturally sound, which is good.