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Gutters gulleys and ground levels.

September 20, 2010

Blocked gulley and high ground levels in one photo!

When I find dampness at the base of an external solid brick wall, I’ve found that the cause of the dampness to be little more than a simple lack of maintenance outside.

The 3 most common causes of internal dampness in my experience have been defective gutters, blocked gulleys and high ground levels. Gutters and gulleys can be resolved by little more than annual maintenance. High ground levels, by contrast, are more costly to resolve and usually require a skip.

A clean and efficient rainwater gulley

Routine gulley maintenance should include cleaning out all the gulleys at least once a year. This involves scooping out the debris at the bottom of the gulley and flushing a bucket of water down it to flush through the remaining silt. Some strong disinfectant can be poured down the waste water gulleys to help reduce smells. But never pour disinfectant down the rainwater gulleys!

A clean and well maintained cast iron gutter

With regards rainwater gutters, a good method of finding leaky gutters is to go outside when raining. Once a leaky gutter is found it should be repaired immediately. Annual gutter maintenance is most beneficial as it allows efficient rainwater discharge. The best time to underatake gutter clearing is around October.

Finally, lowering the external ground levels requires a skip and some hard graft! Lowering the ground levels increases the amount of external brickwork exposed to the drying effects of the sun and air. It also increases the distance between the damp soil and the dry timber floor joists, which need to remain below the critical 20% moisture content level.

Ground levels have been lowered in front of bay

The photo to the right shows the ground level lowered well below the position of the damp proof course. This is one of the best ways to help keep a masonry wall dry from ground moisture.

Damp salesmen will prefer to inject a wall rather than to lower the ground levels. Their approach still remains a mystery to me.


From → 3. Dampness

One Comment
  1. Antonello George permalink

    Thanks for your Blog. Also thanks for answering my questions before. I will be doing exactly this. Digging out the ground level well below damp proof now. You have inspired me to attempt to make a blog of my own to show what I will be going through, to stop the damp in my flat . Thanks again

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