DIY Doctor

External Wall Underground Damp Issues

Postby tomw67 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:00 am

Hi everyone,

Very new to the forum and I've tried to search for a similar topic to answer my question but unfortunately haven't found an answer as yet.

We live in a Victorian end terrace which is on a steady incline hill. You enter from the street on the first floor and the ground floor has a cellar and a kitchen. The kitchen leads on to the garden which gives you an idea of the gradient of the ground from front to back. Neighbouring our property is an electricity box with about a metre gap between our external wall to the kitchen and cellar and the walls of the electricity box. In this metre gap is a concrete covering and my thoughts at the moment are that under this concrete cover is just earth.

We have had damp problems ever since we moved in 15 years ago. The previous owners cladded the walls just before they put the house on the market so we weren't aware of the issues when we purchased. We've had a company in who put an internal damp proof course on the walls, replastered and installed a heat exchanger but that hasn't helped at all (they are now dodging our calls as the work is guaranteed for 25 years - but that is an issue for a different part of this forum).

I'm thinking of breaking up the concrete topping of the area between our walls and the electricity box to confirm what is piled up against our wall. It is approximately 1-2 metres up from the foundations. If it is earth that is up against the walls would a good course of action be to put a damp proof membrane on the external walls and simply put the earth back?

I hope all the above makes sense. Many thanks in advance for taking the time to read this post.

Cheers.

Tom
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Postby stoneyboy » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:59 pm

Hi tomw67
It is difficult to advise based on your written description only.
Its certainly worth digging out the area between your wall and the electricity box - dig carefully in case there are cables in place.
Once you have a clear gap you can decide whether to leave it clear or install a vertical dpm and backfill with a porous materials like rubble or loose laid bricks.
Regards S
stoneyboy
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