Casa de Sá: how to safeguard your library from the effects of rising damp



In an article that preserves the past and looks to the future, we visit Casa de Sá – a historic manor house and farmhouse in the municipality of Ponte de Lima, in Viana do Castelo.


Registered as a historical property of public interest by the IGESPAR institute of the Portuguese government, Casa de Sá appears as a typical manor house of the rural aristocracy of the time, combining the residential area with an extensive and organized farm.


So, Prudêncio’s team worked hard to safeguard the library from the effects of rising damp to which it was subjected so that it can continue to be appreciated by all who frequent it.



Safeguarding the Casa de Sá library from the effects of rising damp by capillarity



The History

Built in the early 18th century by the Barbosa family, one of the most important families of the time, this estate contains a chapel, a winery, an 18th-century granary, and landscaped gardens.


Connected to the figure of António Pereira Pinto de Araújo de Azevedo, great-great-grandson of the first lord of Sá, named Count of Barca by D. João VI (some years after having accompanied the royal family in their flight to Brazil), Casa de Sá also includes a caretaker’s house, stables, a threshing floor, a wine press, a pond, a lake and a grove of oak trees.


The living area has two floors, the first floor being older. The upper floor was built in the eighteenth century, as the estate was being enriched by the fruits of mining in Brazil. 


On the main floor, there are three large halls. Providing access to the main house, the first floor is where the exterior staircase starts. Under this floor are also the old cattle courts.





Unique Features

The complex is in an excellent state of preservation after rehabilitation work was carried out that managed to preserve the original character of the buildings and decorations. The three halls, for example, include ornaments and period furniture as well as more recent decorations.


The building has a privileged position on the land so that it dominates the cultivated fields. Adjacent to the house, in granite, is the threshing floor, built of granite slabs.


The chapel, consecrated in 1739 and annexed to the main house, has a baroque altarpiece carved in wood and a baroque façade, with a straight lintel and broken pediment of volutes under quadrilobed eye, the axis, and triangular gable with urns and a central cross. 


The first floor has wood-lined ceilings and the exterior staircase there is made of stone.


The farm buildings and the caretaker’s house are in granite from the region, and the winepress and the cellar keep beams and woodwork, machinery, barrels, jugs, grain measures, ploughs, and other agricultural artifacts.


The house, surrounded by compartmented gardens and distinguished by its magnificent shaded spaces, is open to the public for visits and is a popular tourist destination in Ponte de Lima.


To preserve the integrity of this building, our team was assigned to eliminate the dampness problems in the library. Read on to know more about this great challenge!


Prudêncio at Casa de Sá



The Challenge

In this work, Prudêncio’s main goal was to safeguard the library from the effects of rising damp by capillarity.


The injection was performed from the outside of the walls of the room to be treated, given the impossibility of removing the solid wood bookcases, loaded with books, which fill the walls inside this valuable library.


On the robust stone walls, which can reach thicknesses of 90 centimeters, about 250 conductive cords were placed, reaching 85 centimeters in depth. The main purpose of these cords was to conduct the KÖSTER Crisin 76 Concentrate to the active moisture-carrying capillaries in the walls and seal them permanently.



The goal was to safeguard the library from rising damp by capillarity



The Result

One week after the application of this system, absorption was almost complete and the values in the area of the newly installed Crisin barrier dropped from 99% to 13% and 16% humidity.


These results are even more positive than the percentage that is usually acceptable to exist (approximately 18%) after the two to three weeks required for the system to fully cure.


For Prudêncio’s team, carrying out this work was an opening of doors to memories rooted in a fabulous heritage and the unique people who bring it to life.



Prudêncio's Team



Trust Prudêncio to solve the rising damp of your construction site

KÖSTER Crisin 76 Concentrate stops rising damp, the problem found in this intervention. The first applications of this solution are more than 30 years old and keep the horizontal barriers intact and functioning 100%.


We are the exclusive representative and applicator in Portugal for KÖSTER TPO products and systems and we are recommended certified applicators for Crisin and negative waterproofing systems. 


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