Damp and salt marks on house plinth,4'0" above ground l

6 Mar 2011
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United Kingdom
I've got a funny situation here. There appears to be a damp patch 2'0" in size on the gable end side of the brick house plinth. My house is a 1980s Wimpey No Fines house and is built into the side of a hill. The plinth is shallowest at the party wall side and then the hill falls away towards the gable end where the plinth is approximately 4'0" high. The wierd thing is the damp seems to originate from the top of the plinth where the concrete wall meets the brick plinth, about 4'0" above the ground! There is a lot of salt deposited on the face of the bricks. It seems this has occurred since the winter and I don't feel it is down to rainwater running down the outside of the wall. The damp patch is approx 3'0" along the gable end from the front corner of the house and the kitchen, bathroom and all feeds and wastes are at the front of the house.
I've looked under the kitchen cabinets in that corner of the house and cannot see any evidence of damp in the screed nor of leaks fom any pipework above the screed floor. The internal soil pipe and feed boxing is on the other side of the kitchen towards the party wall approx 14'0" away from the damp plinth face and there is nothing on any walls,internal or external, at that point.
Is it possible that a pipe could have fractured under or within the plinth and is draining across 14'0" till it meets the brick plinth wall? Is it possible that the pebbledash render could have failed and any rainwater running down that face of the house is entering the concrete and draining out the underside of the concrete, down into the brick plinth or onto the face of the bricks?
Who would I consult, a plumber, structural engineer?

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What about this? Sorry about the bad perspective and scale!!!!
Tough one that!

Can't believe the soil pipe etc 14ft away will effect that area. Water will find the easiest route every time.

Seems strange after 20 odd years that salts are coming out now. Check for boxy render and as for removing salt use a stiff dry brush. good luck
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Boxy bloody render! I actually googled that to see if it was a condition affecting the pebbledash render. I did it on paintbrush, very primitive!
From your diagram, I presume the internal floor level is level with the top of the brick plinth. If this is the case then I am 99% certain there must be some sort of leak causing this.

As you say it has appeared only this winter, I suspect some hidden pipework could have frozen and if it is only a tiny leak may not show in the screed as it could be wicking very slowly downwards.

Only a hunch, but I would ask a plumber for their opinion. :confused:

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