Re-locating Air Bricks

4 Dec 2006
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United Kingdom

I recently ripped up some laminate wood flooring in my conservatory as I am planning to tile the floor.

The house in question is of modern construction (about 10 years old) so is breeze block inner wall and brick outer (with a cavity in between).

My question concerns 3 airbricks in the conservatory.

These airbricks are in the outer (brick) wall which is now in the conservatory. They are below the level of the door step which is the french windows. Whoever laid the concrete floor in the conservatory left a void where the 3 airbricks are as the depth of the concrete is only fractionally lower than the level of the top of the airbricks.

Having left a (smallish) void they simply laid the laminate flooring over the void and drilled holes in it to allow air flow.

There are no corresponding vents in the inner wall of the house so I'm assuming all these airbricks are doing is ventilating the cavity of the wall?

Therefore, my question is, can I simply chip out some bricks a couple of rows higher than the floor and put some new airbricks in - allowing me to fill in the voids left for the original airbricks and do a nice job of tiling the floor? or are there some building regs about where the airbricks must be positioned? (a certain height above the dampcourse or something?)

Seeing as 1 airbrick is actually below the doorstep of the french windows I was planning to move that one up and to the side, but you get the idea.

Thanks in advance...

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If the airbricks are intended to ventilate a suspended wooden floor in the house, they can't be moved to a higher position.

It sounds as if you need to restore the ventilation they once provided, either by installing ducts under the conservatory floor to the outside, or by fitting new airbricks at the correct level adjacent to the conservatory.

This query would be better in the Building forum, where you might get more informed answers.
I'll have to check but I thought the ground floor of my house was concrete?

I'll check this tonight but isn't that usually the way for a house of modern construction?

Anyway, I'll check tonight, but if it is concrete then there's no harm in moving them right?


So I lifted a corner of the carpet in my lounge and as I suspected the floor is concrete.

With that in mind, does anyone have any opinion on what these airbricks are for? are they there simply to ventilate the cavity in the wall?


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They are there to ventilate the void bellow your floor, you will have what is known as a block and beam floor construction with either concrete or screed over. Are there plenty more air bricks around your house at the same level ?
They are there to ventilate the void bellow your floor, you will have what is known as a block and beam floor construction with either concrete or screed over. Are there plenty more air bricks around your house at the same level ?

I have many airbricks around my house. The floor appears to be concrete. When I had cavity wall insulation installed they blocked all the air vents. I have since opened them because they 'must have been there for a reason'. There are no airbricks visible from the outer wall on the interior cavity wall. Could I have a "block and beam floor construction". If so have I caused a problem with the cavity wall insulation?
are there any high level air bricks accompanying the low level ones?

high as in near the soffit.
I hope it's not bad etiquette for me to ask when DIYC raised the original question....

I live in a bungalow and yes there are airbricks both at low level (just above the dpc) and high level (1 brick below the soffit).
Does this give a clue? Thanks.
cavities used to be ventilated, providing a dry inner leaf, as early cavities were for damp prevention only.

twin, high and low air bricks allowed air cross flow.

the problem is, movement of air causes cooling upon the surfaces which it passes - not good.

later, it was realised that a pocket of still or stagnant air would also be a very good insulator.

so, we now fill the cavities with fluffy, air rich insulation, that does not wick water, thus stalling air movement but still provides protection from heat transfer and damp.
Hi noseall,

My understanding from your post is that there shouldn't be a problem. Thank goodness I've been worried.
Especially in case my floor isn't completely concrete.

We have some interior condensation / damp issues and I had thought I had contributed to it. (Unfortunately I didn't have a previous history for the house because I got the CV insulation when we moved in).

Thanks again. I owe you a pint!
I'm still a little unsure about this and so I'm thinking of taking some digi photos this weekend so you guys can see exactly what I'm talking about.

However, applying some more logical thought to my scenario, the airbricks in the outer wall are plastic and as such have an outer sleeve and an inner grill - I'm pretty sure I could get the grill out with some long nose pliers.

Once I've done this, I'm expecting to be able to shine a torch into the cavity and see the back of the breeze block that makes up the inner wall.

Would this be consistent with the type of block and beam floor described by mikric?
If they're ventilating a void under the floor would they be at the same height as the void or not?

Surely, if these airbricks are not at the same height as the void under the floor there's no harm in moving them literally 6 inches (higher) is there?

Thanks (again!)

Just wanted to bring this discussion to a close and put it on record (in case anyone else was thinking of doing what I wanted to do).

Having smashed the middle of the plastic airbrick and pulled all the pieces out what I found behind was not at all what I was expecting.

I was hoping to shine a light and see the inner side of the interior block wall.

What I found was the top of what I assume is a plastic periscope type fitting which vents some void under my concrete floor?

Either way, seeing as my findings were not what I hoped I am not about to re-locate these airbricks and will instead tile around them and out grilles in the floor.

Many thanks to all who posted replies, you've saved me making what I'm sure would have been a costly mistake (even if the cost didn't surface until some years down the line).

Thanks all.


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