Floor composition and repair query - any assistance apprecia

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Hi,

I've recently moved into a new house, a 1930's semi, and have been investigating the source of some damp creeping across the floorboards from the exterior wall under the stairs.

Having lifted a few floorboards it would appear the floor is ashphalt with a very thin layer of bitumen which also originally ran up the wall slightly. The floorboards had been laid on top of this when still wet (though they were also nailed down). Having searched through previous posts I cannot find reference to a similar floor composition.

I assume the damp was simply bridging from the exterior wall below the DPC to the floorboards via debris in the gap between the two due to the breakdown of this bitumen layer, and not throught the floor itself.

Can anyone assist in identifying the composition of the floor from the attached images? Is the surface bitumen and does this form the DPM for the floor?

Chunks of the floor have broken away as I removed the floorboards. What would be the recommended method for filling and repairing this small area of floor? Is there a single product I could use to fill and recover the exposed areas, and lick up onto the exterior wall, before replacing the floorboards? Or would I need to level off the surface somehow and then apply a sealing layer of some desciption?

Any help or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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Looks like my floor.. 1930's bungalow, solid floors.

The DPC is bitumen - you can see it in the wall in the pointing at about 1 brick height.

My floor also broke away in places and looked exactly like your photo.

I have a parquet floor on mine.

My damp is nowhere near as bad as yours is though, but in my case (and yours i think) its caused by the DPC being higher than the floor level.

How high is the external ground level?

I painted bitumen back down on mine and lapped upto DPC but as i said, it wasnt as "wet" as yours looks.

Hopefuly someone else will reply too but this forum is not as busy as some of the others like electric and plumbing for example.

Edit: I filled/rebuilt the broken bits of my floor with rapid setting cement.. seems OK.
 
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Many thanks for taking the time to reply dormermike.

I actually went ahead and refilled the broken section of floor with rapid set cement, leaving a small gap between the wall and floor, and it seems to have dried through which is encouraging. This weekends task is to resurface with bitumous paint, or more likely some bitumen mastic my old man has lying about his shed, and lap up to the DPC. Good to know I'm heading along the right lines :) Fortunately, as this area is under the stairs I can keep my eye on the repairs easily and reasses the situation later if this fix doesn't work.

Would the floor not be damp regardless of the height of the DPC, as it would wick from the ground into the floor and not just through the brick?

The external ground level (the drive) is about a foot below the DPC. The drive has been concreted right up to the wall which I know isn't best practice as water can sit against the brick... but this isn't something I can remedy any time soon.

Fingers crossed this is the only area where the DPM has been breached and I don't uncover more as I remove more carpets downstairs!
 
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