We moved into our victorian terrace 6 years ago and on viewing the property twice, the cellar was completely dry and free of damp, despite it pouring down on both occasions. In fact, its one of the first things that we noticed and commented on it at the time. The owner reckoned that her son had actually used it as a bedroom for many years due to its lack of moisture! - so we were happy.
2 months after moving in, we were up to our ankles in water.
After months of deliberation and many opinions of various builders we have had in, it appears that the problem is coming from a bodged job on the tanking underneath the small stairwell. We've taken away the bricks that forms the bottom step and discovered that the join in the tanking covering the steps had been taped together with ordinary packing tape. God knows when this was done - but suffice to say, its created a huge problem for us. On the up side, the tanking throughout the rest of the cellar seems to be fine as once the water has stopped flowing in, it stays put and has to be manually pumped and baled out.
You may wonder why we've not had it fixed so far and the only answer I can give is that we don't seem to be able to get a builder in to do the work for anything less than at least 10K! - which we've never been able to afford.
Also, we have terrible rising damp and my husband suffers with a chest complaint that means it would be harmful to him to be messing about with damp plaster etc.
Can anyone possibly offer us some advice on how we might get this work done without it costing an absolute fortune. In the final analysis, it amounts to a fairly minor repair on the tanking and re-plaster of the wall where the moisture has been seeping through for years and I cannot believe that this would cost the extortionate amounts of money that has been quoted thus far.
If you've got this far...thanks for reading all this and apologies for the outpouring (no pun intended) and if you can possibly offer any advice, it would be very much appreciated.