Flaking bricks below DPC - treating mortar render

6 Feb 2011
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United Kingdom
I hope this is in an appropriate forum, if not my apologies.

My bungalow is around 40 years old with the road higher than the properties.
Rainwater tends to build up at the front of the properties, which in my case is gravel on top of solid clay.
This is not normally obvious unless I move gravel after moderate rainfall and the standing water is visible.

The builder unfortunately was in the habit of using poor bricks and in common with my neighbours the bricks below the damp course tend to flake during the winter, at times badly.

The bricks below the DPC have now been rendered (mortar) and the general advice seems to be to use a sealant optionally followed by a suitable paint.
Having belatedly decided to do some homework I'm seeking advice on possibly using a water repellent ie breathable, followed by micro porous paint to help the mortar to breathe since I'm sure moisture will get into the mortar, if only from below, with presumably no easy means of drying out if a sealant is used.

I've read posts, mostly relating to internal work and external wood treatment.

Advice would be appreciated including if possible specific products readily available within the UK.
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