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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorkristeva
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2021 edited
    Hi all

    Yesterday I stripped the wallpaper from the walls of my small bedroom back to the lime plaster and discovered this black tar -like mark on my chimney breast. It has some kind of metallic foil / paper over it.

    Does anyone know what this might be or why its there?

    I wondered if it was an attempt to cover up damp patches - problems with salts in the chimney.

    I was going to skim the room with lime plaster.
    I would suggest tar deposits coming through the brickwork/mortar. Has the chimney had a slow burning wood stove attached?
    In my experience you won't be able to re-plaster without the stain coming through. - Hence the ali foil previously used as an insulator.
    Strip back the plaster to see any brickwork/mortar failures and act according to the findings.
    Tanking might be needed to prevent restaining
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2021
    soot/tar bleeds through both oil and water based sealers best cover with something like several layers of foil and redecorate
    • CommentAuthorkristeva
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2021
    Thanks for your comments Peter & Tony.

    Yes I suspected tar also but looking at it again today the black stuff looks like its been applied as a paint. It did get a little sticky last night, like a tar, when I was applying the hot steam to remove the wallpaper.

    Anyway this morning I decided to remove the old Victorian fireplace and open up the original, so its gone back to the original brick which looks much better and opens up the space more. I saw no evidence of any soot or tar in the brick work, although some of the bricks in the centre of the flu looked a bit 'peppered', like they'd been under some chemical attack. I'll clean up the brick work tomorrow with a wire brush and it should make a nice original feature with the surrounding walls skimmed and painted.

    This old fireplace will be sold for a song to someone who needs it more than me
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