Wet concrete floors/wet walls

Discussion in 'Forum Rules' started by fixerupper, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. fixerupper

    fixerupper Member

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    Hi all. I have a general floor issue and I'd really appreciate some objective advice.

    My house is a 1910 end-terrace in urban Nottingham, UK. I've lived here for 6+ years and it's been riddled with problems from the off, largely due to poor DIY efforts over many years. The downstairs back room was damp-proofed (twice, in fact) on the two external walls shortly before I bought it, and a stud wall installed on the side wall (which features a fireplace). However the other internal walls of both back and front rooms have symptoms of 'rising damp' including the party wall and external porch area. The understairs cupboard is worst affected, with shoulder-high damp up the stairs (with no light in there it took me a couple of years to spot this).

    Since moving in I have replaced almost all the windows, bathroom, boiler, had the original roof replaced and a new composite front door.

    I decorated the back room last spring and found the skirting boards warped and full of webby stuff. On moving the sofa I found a gap in the parquet floor with concrete underneath which was literally wet to the touch.

    Last summer I had the courtyard back garden done. Unfortunately, and despite best efforts, I was ripped off by a cowboy/thug. The structural work fell apart immediately, but the real damage concerned the patio: the house sits on a corner plot on a hill sloping towards the front of the house. My 'builder' paved directly on top of the existing concrete, raising the ground level above my damp proof course and partially obscuring the airbricks on the back wall. He also didn't control the slope in any way, so the torrential rain we've had almost every day since August sloshed straight under my house, heading for the front wall.

    For my personal safety I chose not to challenge him, and instead had the entire lot redone in December by a good paving/landscaping company, including strip drainage around the rear of the house. I've been hoping this may resolve the long-term damp problems, given some time to dry out. However tonight I found a line of actual water along the top of the skirting board on the front wall of the front room (eg. where I'm guessing all that rainwater has stopped).

    I've consulted lots of tradesmen about the damp since living here, and every answer/suggestion has been different without committing to an actual diagnosis. But at this point I'm pretty sure it's a floor issue. The question is how serious it is; whether it may dry out during the year, whether low level home treatments could sort it, or whether it needs urgent attention (and from whom, since the last round of treatment failed).

    My budget is back down to zero after the garden rescue operation, but I need to know what I might potentially be dealing with in order to move forward. Anyone on here got any experience with this kind of thing? I'd be grateful for some pointers.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. merit

    merit Well-Known Member

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    Only way to solve that is to dig the base out and have it redone to standards. 2 x sheets of dpm and a new screed


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  3. Rugmunching

    Rugmunching Well-Known Member

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    Either way this is not going to be cheap but you will already know that.
    Sounds like you'll need the lot ripping out and fresh slabs with adequate damp proofing.

    ......I'm sure Merit just said that :D
     
  4. dazlight

    dazlight Super Moderator

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    Can you post some pictures up of the areas
     
  5. fixerupper

    fixerupper Member

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    Thanks guys. These pics show:

    - Back room loose parquet (now dry beneath).
    - Understairs damp (pencil line by me in 2016).
    - Damp line in front room (internal hallway wall).
    - Damp line in front room (internal dividing wall).
    - Water marks along hallway parquet.

    I live alone and work self-employed from home, so my house is my livelihood and is in daily use throughout the school year. If, as you say, this is a case of demolishing my ground floor, do I have any options to minimise the disruption? I've seen an alternative to digging out - here it's #2. Thoughts?

    When faced with damp in concrete floors, there are two options available:
    1. Dig up the old concrete floor, install a new damp proof membrane and lap up edges before replacing the concrete slab.
    2. Fully isolate the dampness in the floor using a surface Damp Proof Membrane (DPM).
    Cost-wise, I have no idea what this may involve or how long it takes. Anyone got a ball-park? This (overpriced) house is a money pit, and since I rely on it for work I'm starting to wonder if I should cut my losses. :(
     
  6. fixerupper

    fixerupper Member

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    Oh. No pics. Says too large...?
     
  7. Spacey

    Spacey Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Screen shot your pics then post the screenshots
     
  8. fixerupper

    fixerupper Member

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  9. dazlight

    dazlight Super Moderator

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    Download the app Tapatalk as easy to upload pics with that


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  10. fixerupper

    fixerupper Member

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    @dazlight I posted a screenshot collage above...?
     

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