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found the dreaded damp


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Hi all, i am new to Caravanning and having purchased our 1st we found it is full of damp, got caught with a lemon and as its a 1999 the cost of going to a professional are too much, paid €2k for a 4 berth Herald Emblem. no comeback as it was a private sale, went down the legal route as a last ditch but no response from the cowboy who sold it to us.  i have taken on the repir myself and having started last week i have made good headway in locating the damp and removing the wet board to reveal the inulation. I am going back further than neccesary in order to ensure dry ply board only remians. Few issues i am looking for help on (for now) as i am sure there will be lots more as it progresses. It is possibly too far gone but i will give it a right go to try get going again. Iwe ahve a 4 yr old & baby on the way so need it dry and solid going forward. 

 

1. timber battens soaked-are these easy to remove & replace

2. does the inulation dry out over time after being exposed or will i need to strip back to the outter sheet and start from scratch. 

3. after removing some of the roof panels i find alot of condesation on the roof panel, the insulation for the roof is away from the outter shell, is this normal or should it be bonded to the outter shell roof. 

 

I am in the process of locating the leaks externally and resealing areas like the tv aerial and vents on the roof, taking off the awning rails, clean, seal old holes, drill new ones and seal with silkaflex. no damp around windows but have damp around door so door coming off and will remove the timber frame & redo. 

 

Having trouble uploading pictures but will see can i add them later on

 

Thanks in advance. 

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1. If the timbers are rotten they come out all too easily, if they are still solid they can be left when dry.

2. Yes, Once exposed the insulation will dry out if it gets chance.

3. For structural purposes the insulation should be bonded to the outer and inner skins.

Do not forget to find and seal the leaks.

This time of year it will be very difficult to dry it out unless you can get it under cover and warm.

Check EVERYWHERE before investing too much time or money!

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Oh dear me, that looks like a LOT of damp indeed. 

 

My only advice would would be to strip down and find all the areas that are effected and remove any sodden or rotten wood. Damp (but not if it’s saturated) wood WILL dry out eventually. It might be worth buying a dehumidifier and installing that (once you have identified and more importantly sealed, the leaks that are clearly present) When it’s done it’s job you could always sell it on via Gumtree or eBay etc.

 

Having said that once you have figured out what needs replacing you need to do the sums very carefully before proceeding any further. There is no point at all in spending a lot of time effort and most importantly money, on a lost cause. 

 

I wish you the very best in your endeavour and really do hope you get it all sorted to your satisfaction. 

 

Do keep us posted with your prgress.

 

Andy

 

 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Might be a bit pricey on the leccy but I have seen dealers drying out the damp insulation by using hairdryers clamped on to tripods or some such stand aimed at the wet area. 

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Chris - I agree with the comments so far but based on personal experience I'd strongly advise extreme caution before you spend another £2k or more.    If you are really handy, have somewhere to work and access to all the materials you need to make a proper job then you might just make it useable/saleable.   Are you sure there's no more damp or rot anywhere? It does look extensive and could be worse.   Have you taken damp readings everywhere? Don't be too proud to write it off if you need to.

Whatever your decision I hope it turns out well for you. 

  

 

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thanks for the replies and advice thats exactly the details so far i needed. Cost wise i think it will be ok its more so the man hours to go into it. between myself and few family members we are fairly handy with all aspects of DIY and they have kindly offered to lend a hand when needed. i've done readings on the remaining panels and are coming in at around 15% or so, for the current weather conditions i believe this to be normal (open to correction here). From what i can gather most of the insulation is actually dry and will start running a dehumidifier to get the rest dried out. the ceiling was a big concern and was hoping i need not do anymore to it but looks like the majority of the ceiling will need to come down. I know the materials i need just not the quantities yet. Its a doubled edged sword really as i will only know the amount of material needed once all investigation works are done and by that time it may not be worth actually repairing. I'll be putting in a few hours again throughout the week and will come back with updates & pictures 

 

Thanks again for the replies. Wish me luck :-) 

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Hi,

 

I suspect that with the age of your caravan that the roof is not bonded and that the insulation is laid loose on the ceiling board and the aluminium outer skin then placed over this and fixed by the awning rails.  Check to see if outer skin shows signs of rippling or can be pushed in and out.  If so roof will be as described above and therefore no need to worry about insulation etc.

Dave 

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Thanks Dave, yes i noticed when washing down the caravan that the roof was easy to push in and out and does have ripples. my concern is the wet on the inside of the roof panel but this is more than likley attributed to a leak in the aerial or seals around the vent for gas heater. 

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on a side note, if you didn't already know this, there is no point re attaching awning rails until all the rotten timber is removed and replaced, as there will be nothing solid to screw into, you also shouldn't have to drill new holes to refit the rails

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thanks, havent removed any of the outer as of yet, caravan is under cover at the moment and waiting on the dry weather to tackle the outside, cover is keeping everything dry and air is flowing nicely throughtout.  had a quick check yesterday evening and insulation is already back to 15% readings from 47% last saturday, timber is coming down slower and is down from 47% to around 42/43%. will be back down tomorrow for a few hours to strip back and test all areas to make sure i got all the damp. I cannot remove the cooker/fridge/kitchen unit from the van itself due to the door size opening so i am leaving the back 1/4 till last so working down from front window, so far progress is good, floor coming up tomorrow lets hope its not too bad underneath, i'll take a few pics tomorrow and post once i have a chance. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Been a while since i last updated, approx 60 man hours in at the moment. lots and lots of damp but its drying out under a cover nicely with all windows wedged open to get air constantly circulating. in terms of costs for fixing aside from my time materials will be cheap, 8 X 4 sheets of 3mm ply are €8.15 inc vat and need around 6 of them, bale of insulation to replace stuff that was too for gone €50, 1 sheet of marine ply for floor should be around €50 and chuck on €150 for adhesives & battens and so on. now the fun part i need to do some re structure work, part of the floor has sagged and this has caused the wall to belly out in the middle, i have attached some pictures of the floor and wheel arch. My thinking is detach the wall where it meets the floor -(10-12 screws) raise and re support the floor. once level/sound re attach the wall bit by bit pushing in the belly as i go along and attach with adhesive & screws. any advice/comments that can be shared would be great. its an ambitious project to say the least but and happy to take it on try get a few years from this van  if i can before moving onto a newer (dry) caravan 1.thumb.jpg.e8e4f54b4374a6c3a80ddbf9928bb626.jpg

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