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I have a 300 year old cottage, and the carpet seems to have water marks on it around the edge. It smells badly. I am wondering if the water is coming up through the flooring. I have taken part of the carpet up and it seems to be some sort of cement there, but I cannot see any actual places of deteriation in the cement part. Should I ask a professional to come and look at it? What type of contractor would deal with this sort of thing?

I am an older lady (widow), and I have no idea what I am doing. I'd appreciate any help you can provide!

  • Is the water stain new (or old)? Either way... water is seeping in. – Kris Krause Jun 9 '15 at 17:46
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I'm guessing you're in the UK, right? If so, the cause is probably rising damp. Likely your cottage has no damp-proof course between the foundation and the floor and walls. So moisture is simply constantly trying to push its way into your house.

The true solution is to radically improve the waterproofing and drainage of the cottage. This is probably not a DIY job; you'll need to hire professionals. In the UK there are a lot of people who can do this kind of work.

A cheaper solution would be to remove the carpet (bad choice for a non-waterproofed foundation in a wet and rainy climate) and replace it with something that's immune to the effects of moisture, like ceramic tile or stone. But damp-proofing the foundation is really the right solution.

  • If you are on a limited budget, a good start is to have a dehumidifier that can at least help collect and mitigate the moisture that has made its way into the basement. This will help in the meantime while you look for a solution, especially the smell. – BrownRedHawk Aug 30 '15 at 17:57

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