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Landscape Gardening

Should there be soil directly against the house

I live in a Victorian terrace house with the typical kitchen/bathroom extension. There is soil right up against the house. There is a layer of concrete or something over the bricks that is 26cm (just under a foot) in height and I can see the house bricks above and below it. There are no air bricks that I can see, just solid. SHOULD THE SOIL BE BELOW THE BOTTOM OF THE LAYER OF CONCRETE, OR HALF WAY UP.

Firstly, is this a problem (I am assuming it is). Secondly, how best to deal with it. Ideally I do want a bed under the wall but obviously done in a way to protect the wall, not cause damp etc.

It would be easier if I could upload a picture - is that possible?
Thank you for your time and advice.

2 Answers from MyBuilder Landscape Gardeners

The finish height needs to be ideally 150mm below the damp course, it's fine having soil against the footing/foundations below this point. If its higher than that but below the damp course still, then a french drain is required to draw the water down quickly ie. gravel and perforated pipe. It can't finish above the damp course, it will cause damp. If the house is Victorian, look into lime versus portland cement based mortar/plaster/render as it will be lime based and using portland will definately cause damp problems, especially if its double glazed.


Answered 30th May 2018

If you have an older Victorian house then it will most certainly not have a damp proof course. In London only DPC came into use in the mid 1870s so most Victorian houses and some Georgian will not have a DPC or an effective DPC. They will most likely have air bricks however so my advice would be to keep the soil as far below this as possible (at a minimum of two courses/ rows of bricks) or 150mm/ 6 inches. If your house is rendered ( a layer or mortar on the outside of the bricks) it is important to ensure that this render layer is intact.
Hope this helps


Answered 7th Feb 2019

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