Bricklaying Question

Blown bricks and damp in cellar

We have a little used cellar. I went down to read the meter today and realised that a large portion of the bricks have turned to dust. There is also damp coming up from a section of the earth floor.
It’s a traditional Victorian end of terrace house.

Who should I call out to see the problem? I am unsure if this is a job for a builder or a specialised damp proofing company? I'm terrfiied of opening a can of worms. Would our buildings insurance cover this?
I don't recall any mention of the damp in our structural survey done 3 years ago.

3 Answers

Hi jw2

As you say it sounds like rising damp maybe! Or maybe a earth retained wall?.
It is a remedial issue that normally you would call in a Damp company to take care of.Im not just saying it because its my trade!
Is the wall between you and the neighbour"Party wall"?
Or is it the external end of the terrace and earth retaining "under external floor level"?
Also you say the floor has damp so thats not helping as i imagine its quiet a damp moist atmosphere down there.
The bricks that have turned to dust is due to the moisture getting into the bricks and over the cold season the faces can blow or over time they just get flakey.

Good luck.
Scott.

House Doctors

Why do remedial companies charge double?
What about when you call out a plumber or sparks and before they look at the issue youv`e lost maybe £60! Then its £40/£60 a hour!..
All my work is priced and i charge no more even if a issue comes up and it costs me!

Also why do we have various professions that specialise in theyre said works?
What is a qualified builder these days? Hmmmm maybe a jack of all trades as the saying goes.

Also if a "Qualified Builder" tanks,Membranes or Sika`s the cellar are they offering a 20 year guarantee? I wonder.
Also insurance backed guarantee`s cost to the installer/company and they pass on the cost to the client.

Answered 22nd Jul 2011

Cannon Preservation Ltd

Member since 21 May 2011

A builder should know what to do it sounds like you need the cellar tanked to me.

I do not think your building insurance will cover it.

The company's that specialise in damp cost twice as much as a qualified builder

Answered 22nd Jul 2011

House Doctors

Member since 13 Jul 2011

hello ,the bricks that have turned to dust can be carefully cut out and replaced, constant damp then cold frost combined with 100 years will cause this. mainly soft red or yellow stock bricks do this. as to the damp, you can have a wet cellar or dry cellar, and if you only use it for the services like the metres, and dont use it as a living area its fine, if possible depending on the external ground level a couple of air bricks would give ventilation and help with the damp. good luck Glen

Answered 3rd Feb 2012

period property specialist

Member since 26 Jan 2012

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