Wet bricks below DPC

10 Sep 2004
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United Kingdom
Along the front of my house I've noticed a stretch of bricks getting pretty wet under the DPC.

This really started when we had scaffold up for 3 months (Nov to Feb) and with all the rain / snow/ wind there was a point where water was running off the scaffold board down the wall and pooling near this area, the gutter above also had a leak which splashed the wall, which I've fixed to be about 95% OK (when rain is really hard it can drip a little). The roof pitch is steep at 47 degrees, which was marvellous for our loft conversion, but the water does rush down the roof!

The ground next to it is tarmac drive, which does slope a little back towards the house as it gets near. In fact we can get a little puddle there, but there is like an concrete edging strip between wall and tarmac.

I have noticed a few "chips" off the bricks in the region as a whole (even above where it's not obviously wet) but put that down to the scaffold / builders bashing the wall, but worried now it's the dampness softening the bricks.

Question really is - should I worry about it getting wet below DPC? Should I protect the bricks with some kind of sealer, should I be digging up the drive (expensive!) and creating a fall? Should I get the guttering replaced to ensure no drips / leaks at all?

Is it just rain spashing off the drive against the wall that can make it quite wet or should I be looking for something from below?

I'm imagining if the bricks get damaged it's almost impossible to get them sorted so want to act now while I can.
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Obviously some wetting is inevitable but bricks sitting in water should be avoided. Normal design would say that the tarmac should not abut directly to the brick but that there should be a drainage strip - something like a strip of chippings - along the edge to drain water away and prevent back-splashing. Also of course the tarmac should not fall towards the brick, it should fall away.

What you do now is going to involve some work and disruption. If it were me I would probably cut a drainage strip. As a minimum you could consider a cement/sand fillet along the wall/tarmac junction. Cheaper to do and would help keep water off the brick but not as effective as the drainage strip.

It goes without saying that you should prevent any serious leaking from the gutter but even if the gutter is 100% the surrounding ground is still going to get wet.
Thanks for the quick reply

If I cut a drainage strip where should I direct it to - the whole front of the house is surrounded by the drive - or is it good enough just to let the water run through into the ground underneath?
Ideally you would have a soakaway some distance from the house but if that's not feasible the strip will still drain to some extent and will be better than nothing.
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How about sealing the bricks - when dry of course (if we ever get a dry spell long enough) - worth it?

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