Damp in gable end. Damp walls and floor

Discussion in 'Building' started by Lorraine's Money pit, 3 Oct 2016.

  1. Lorraine's Money pit

    Lorraine's Money pit

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    Hi

    I have just bought an end of terrace house that was built 1890’s. It has been confirmed that there is damp in the lower gable wall where is meets the ground, damp is also coming in through the floor but this is just the part of the floor which meets the wall. It obviously gets worse when it rains.

    At the other side of the wall is waste ground which the soil has been partially removed away from the wall. What I want to know is, if I remove the soil a bit further down than the level of the floor, then have all the waste soil/rubble area totally removed and the concrete over to make a car parking space will this stop rain water penitration the lower wall under the soil or I be creating a further problem/ masking the problem? I guess I was hoping that if I concreted over the area outside that the water would not be able to penetrate the bottom of the wall and soak into the floor/walls.

    I appreciate that the wall needs repointing/repairing. I just don’t want to put down solid concrete just to have to take it up again if this is a bad idea.

    Thank you.
     
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  3. vinn

    vinn

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    Why not post photos of:
    the whole gable,
    the gable at ground level,
    the proposed parking space,
    and the damp signs inside the house?

    Are you on a hillside?
    Are any of the floors solid?
    Who moved soil from the waste ground?

    Who confirmed that you have damp - the mortgage surveyor or a Damp& timber company, or both?
     
  4. Lorraine's Money pit

    Lorraine's Money pit

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    The surveyor said that there was a little damp in the front room but when I moved in I noticed that the cupboard under the stairs smelt badly of damp and there was a half foot high tide mark from the ground up the wall.

    By mistake I got a plasterer in who replaced the plasterboard and said he put membrane behind. He said that wall itself looked dry. He told me that the living room gable wall also had damp with a small machine. That’s when all the trouble started and I noticed more problems.

    The cupboard itself smells bad, worse when it rains. The new plaster has now got a little mould on it and the hoover was wet and rusty. When it rains the plaster looks wet at the bottom and some patches higher up. I took up the lyno and could see that the ground was damp, with darker patches were it meets the wall.

    I asked another company who deals with damp problems who checked the walls with a two pronged machine he told me that the whole wall in the livingroom, the cupboard wall and cupboard floor were damp. When it rains you can see that floor is darker grey and damp to the touch. I have also noticed that when I pull up the carpet when it rains the floor in the living room looks slightly darker in places.

    The kitchen wall is also a problem at the gable. The same guy touched the wall with his two prong machine and said there was damp in the lower part of the wall and needs a damp proof barrier putting on the inside. He didn’t check the floor in the kitchen but you can smell what’s smells like slight stagnant water under the lyno. Also you can see under the units that there are little piles of what I think are salt piles and the smell is horrible. The carpet in the kitchen also smells in places like stagnant water but it's now dry.

    We are at nearly the top of a back and yes, the garden slopes slightly downward towards the gable wall which I why I wanted to level the garden area and cover it with concrete or something similar.

    All the downstairs have solid floors and in bad weather are extremely cold but the carpet in the kitchen sometimes feels damp.

    The smell in the kitchen is not pleasant and sometimes I can smell a wet plaster smell in the air and on my clothes.
     
  5. garyo

    garyo

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    How much higher is (and was) the outside ground level than the inside floor level?
     
  6. Lorraine's Money pit

    Lorraine's Money pit

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    I haven't measured just yet but i think only an inch or two at most.
     
  7. vinn

    vinn

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    OP,
    can you quote from either or both reports exactly what was said with regard to damp conditions, and what the cause(s) might be?
    For example, the mortgage surveyor said that the front room had damp - where in the front room?

    You will do yourself a favour if you post the requested photos. Then, roughly speaking, we can see what you can see.
     
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  9. Lorraine's Money pit

    Lorraine's Money pit

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    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
     

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  10. Lorraine's Money pit

    Lorraine's Money pit

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    The cupboard was plastered 10 August 4.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg
     
  11. Lorraine's Money pit

    Lorraine's Money pit

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    The surveyor, the plasterer and the builder all just said that there was damp, they did not tell me what kind of damp it is. I probably need to get a specialist company out to have a look and tell me exactly what the problem is but now I am a little scared that they will just tell me to fix the inside of the house and I want to get to the bottom of the outside first.
     
  12. garyo

    garyo

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    If the outside ground is sloping towards the gable end wall, and where it meets the house the level is within an inch or two of inside floor level, then that's a big problem to start with- you want it 6 inches lower, but it depends on the construction of the wall and whether you have a slate DPC and what level that's at. Photos of the gable wall outside would help, along with anything the survey has said about the condition of the wall, render, etc.
     
  13. Lorraine's Money pit

    Lorraine's Money pit

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    The previous owners have tried to remove the sloping soil but not enough. We are going to remove more soil and level the whole area and concrete over it to make a car port. I will try and get some outside photos tonight if it is still light.

    Below is the report from the surveyor:

    "The walls approx. 460mm thick, are built of stone and are of solid construction. No major repairs are necessary. However, some external areas need attention. Repointing of the walls has taken place in the past, but has not been carried out in accordance with good building practices. You should be aware that the presence of poor pointing and incorrect mortar mixes an increase the amount of maintenance needed in the coming years. In the shorter term, some repointing and hacking off defective cement work will be needed. Some erosion of the stonework has taken place, although this is typical for a property of this age. We do not think it would be economically feasible to hack off and replace all of the pointing on all elevations, but you should budget for future continued repairs if this is not done.

    Damp was found internally possibly caused by a combination of the lack of an effective damp-proof course and further investigations and repairs/improvements are needed.

    A large amount of wall surfaces in the ground floor have been finished with dry lined plasterboard, and this prevented me from testing the underlying stonework. I cannot comment upon the condition of the stonework nor the existence of dampness in these areas without destructive exposure.

    Wall insulation

    The solid walls in this property will also lose heat quickly and this will increase the risk of condensation and damp forming on internal surfaces".

    Thank you.
     
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