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Sad looking wall

Discussion in 'Building' started by sirprancealot, 25 Oct 2020.

  1. sirprancealot

    sirprancealot

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    Kind people of diynot, before I start, I apologise on advance for my ignorance of all things building-related.

    We moved into a end of terrace 60s townhouse 3 years ago and ever since the bricks at the bottom of the gable end wall have been a source of anxiety.

    As you can see from the photos attached, there is a narrow passage with a neighbouring hedge making it a pretty dark and damp place and there is no drainage apart from this gravel channel\soakaway thing.

    To me the bricks seem really manky. Many are looking wet\damp, even after fairly long dry spells, and a few have a lining of some sort of fungus plus a lot of the wall has a dusty look (white) to it which is not something we see on any of the other walls. There is a DPC and for the most part it doesn’t look like the wet bricks are north of this. Whatsmore, I recently discovered that there are a series of drill holes (pictured), spaced every 70mm or so, at the same level as the DPC which spans the entire wall and in some places the mortar around these holes is no in not in great shape.

    We’ve had a few people around to look at it and recommendations including an aco drain, more DPC and some sort of waterproofing but I’m feeling unconvinced and I'm also keen to do as much a possible myself so this is a plea for some impartial advice as to how we can get things looking a bit healthier.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    20201025_144316.jpg 20201025_144420.jpg 20201025_144352.jpg

    Cheers folks.
     
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  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    What's the actual problem again?
     
  4. JohnD

    JohnD

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    How high above ground level is the DPC?

    How often is the hosepipe used, and what for?

    Why are parts of the path wet?

    When you scrape away the stones at the bottom of the wall, how deep do you go before finding mud or water? as you can see, the bricks at the bottom of the wall are wet, but the damp is not currently rising beyond them, which is typical of good, clean brickwork.

    please stand back and show the whole wall, including the eaves, guttering and downpipe, or verge.
     
  5. Charlie George

    Charlie George

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    The drill holes are for an injected DPC,you could try cleaning the wall with jeyes fluid,the dpc level looks right to outside paving,is this in the Manchester/North west area?.
     
  6. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I think the white powder is efflorescence. Jeyes fluid willl not cure damp or remove efflorecence.

    There is a source of water somewhere.

    The chemical DPC is pretty certain to be completely useless.
     
  7. Charlie George

    Charlie George

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    Who said Jeyes fluid will cure damp? them brick are notorious for looking damp and covered in algae in shaded areas, the use of jeyes was to clean the wall.The injected DPC is useless,it's actually drilled through the existing DPC in some areas,unless he buys sunlamps theres not a lot you could do to keep it clean.
     
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  9. bennymultifinish

    bennymultifinish

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    Thats what a wall looks like. get on with your life.
     
  10. Nige F

    Nige F

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    It'd look better if you lime rendered it, benny;)
     
  11. bennymultifinish

    bennymultifinish

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    are you the new ted?
     
  12. sirprancealot

    sirprancealot

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    Right, fair enough, having re-read what I wrote that wasn't a lot of use - thanks for having a go though.


    How often is the hosepipe used, and what for?

    Once a week at most. Just used to clean a bike, no pressure washer.

    Why are parts of the path wet?

    Rain water. With heavy rainfall the path turns into a channel of water.

    When you scrape away the stones at the bottom of the wall, how deep do you go before finding mud or water?

    I've just had a look as it's just bucketed it down, there's a fair bit of mud mixed in with the gravel and then quite a lot of water about 50mm down. I'll have another look later to see how quickly it drains away.

    So my, more direct, questions are:
    1. Should I fill in those holes?
    2. Is this gravel causing me more mither - I think the idea was that would stop rain from splashing back onto the wall but I don't think it's wide enough, maybe it would help if the whole path is gravel?

    Thanks again
     
  13. JohnD

    JohnD

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    the holes were probably for injecting a greasy chemical alleged to cure rising damp. But your wall looks fairly modern and appears to have a correct DPC so the chemical is probably useless (it is probably useless anyway). There is currently no sign of the damp breaching the DPC, or even reaching it. See what happens in winter though. There is a faint chance that if the cavity in the wall fills with water, for example due to a roof, plumbing or gutter defect, the water would drain out of those hose. It would be very unusual, and most interesting, so see if that happens. Such water would be unlikely to rise any higher than the foot of any doorframe or windowframe.

    You can fill the holes in with bricklaying or pointing mortar

    if the hose splashes or sprays onto the wall it could cause damp, and limescale bloom which appears to be on the wall (the white dusting).

    The stones beside the wall are probably intended to help water drain away. It sounds like they are not deep enough. You can make a French Drain by digging a trench or ditch around your house, sloping it so it leads water away from the house to a lower point, such as a soakaway under the lawn. Porous ground will drain, clay won't. The stones or pebbles are to prevent you falling into the trench. Bigger ones are better for drainage. Mud mixed in defeats the objective.

    If the paving, water or wet ground is more than two brick's height below the DPC, then it should not make the wall wet.

    It's possible that the bank or sloping ground beside your path are causing water to run towards your house. But I can't see why it should be damp or mossy above DPC level, unless it is just a damp, shady corner.

    Look at the gutters during and after rain in case water is falling from them and wetting the wall, due to blockage or leaks.
     
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  14. sirprancealot

    sirprancealot

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    Really appreciate you taking the time to reply JohnD. I think the french drain might be the way to go as I know a lot of water is splashing back onto the bricks when water collects on the path so hopefully a french drain would stop that and give better drainage. I'll do some research :)
     
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