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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:23 pm 
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Hi Folks,

we have pretty wet soil touching the external walls all the way around the house and in some parts it is obvious moisture is tracking into & up the walls.

I just wondered what the best practise for this is?

1. My plan is do dig a trench approx. 300mm - 600mm deep and approx. 300mm wide (depending how the ground allows - our property is circa 1850).

2. I was then going to fill the trench with membrane (any best product recommendations?)

3. fill with pea shingle, put the membrane over the top of the shingle and finish with gravel that will go around the house approx. 2m wide.

Some people use pea shingle other people say go for bigger stones as they allow for more air pockets and better ability to dry out!?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:21 pm 
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Is it a solid or cavity wall construction?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:00 pm 
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its solid - rubble wall approx. 2 ft thick lime mortar.

Ironically the worst 2 places are a front and rear porches about 2m x2m that were built in the 80s the moisture is tracking between the render / pebble dash and brick work and coming off.

Either way I need to get the soil (mud) away front the walls.

What were you thinking?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:25 pm 
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I can only tell you what we did with a couple of attached cottages we renovated some years ago. They were both rubble and cob, but the larger one had a cut stone front with lime mortar.
They were both damp, and the ground level outside had built up above the floor level inside. As you say a trench was dug around the properties and filled with stone chippings. No membrane was used. (That might trap more water I'd have thought?) You need to be careful not to go below the footings, whatever they might be, and not to go deeper than you need to. The outside didn't seem to get damp any more than might be expected after that, and the inside appeared to dry out as well, but it was all waterproofed inside later on in the renovation.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:28 pm 
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Thanks how deep would you say you went? I'm well aware of the worry of disturbing the footings.

The membrane was my own idea to stop the gravel getting muddy I was just going to apply it to the garden side, base and top of the trench to stop weeds and mud penetrating. I didn't plan on applying it against the house wall.

A friend tanked their newer house when doing this but my worry is that gives the damp few places to go one inside the wall!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:38 pm 
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Fitting a membrane to soil side is a waste of time, it needs to be against the wall.
Dig the trench down to below the top of footing, the membrane will start from there, lay a perforated drainage pipe surrounded In P-Grit, then fill trench in with a good clean hardcore/ drainable material.

Have a look at the tanking membranes/visqeen to see what suits you.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:59 pm 
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Why is fitting it to the soil side a waste of time? Otherwise the soil / mud will just leech into the new aggregate.
As mentioned before I'd rather not tank the wall as that will just create problems else where as far as I can see.
If a membrane goes against the house are you thinking a breathable but water proof one?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:41 pm 
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Google open French drain and all will become clear - no membrane required as any soil ingress will get wash into the perforated pipe (some pipes come pre covered to stop plant growth)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:58 pm 
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Bob225 wrote:
Google open French drain and all will become clear - no membrane required as any soil ingress will get wash into the perforated pipe (some pipes come pre covered to stop plant growth)


thanks I'm familiar with that we have one at the front fitted by the previous owner which I had to did up it was blocked solid with mud as no membrane had been used and soil had blocked the perforations.

I will struggle to use a perforated drain pipe in this application as there are so many services entering the house and the downpipes exiting it - they would block the route.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:03 pm 
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Have you had the damp proofing looked at ? are the floors in the property lower than the outside ground ?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:06 pm 
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its a very old property so the dpc is minimal / crude.

Sorry just to clarify the French drain installed by the PO was in a different location in the garden.

Just looking at the depths I could probably get a perforated pipe / drain in around the front but would be tricky.


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