Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Combating the damp in our house

Since moving in we have noticed that the kitchen area is always quite damp, the old kitchen cupboards stink with damp mold and the concrete floor that we put down when replacing the manhole was taking forever to dry.

We also know that the patio area outside likes to fill up like a swimming pool every time that it rains, Looking into this further we noticed that the outside patio area was actually sitting higher than the level of the floor in the kitchen. Meaning that every time it rains the water naturally falls to a lower level and thus into our house and down!

To combat this we decided to dig up the patio slabs to make the outside lower than the inside. We really didn't want to start destroying yet another area of the house but the more you start exposing the more jobs you create. Maybe now i'm thinking for our first house we should have bought something that we could just live in and taking on such a project was a bit adventurous for our first one. But James loves a challenge and we both love a bit of hard work so we continue with the project and don't think too much about it.

Having removed the patio slabs we were quite surprised to find several inches of concrete.
Removing patio slabs
Help from James's mum removing the concrete.
Removing the patio
Even more surprising was finding the sheet of plastic under the concrete!!!!! No wonder the rain water was draining into the house rather than draining away outside. I appreciate putting plastic membranes down to stop weeds coming up through a new patio but laying this amount of thick plastic meant that the water had no where to go but in our house :@(
How not to lay a patio
With help from James parents we soon had the patio lower than the house.
Smashing out a concrete patio
Unbelievably under the plastic was yet another layer of concrete. Clearly the previous owner had just built up the layers over the years rather than removing the old and replacing with new had just built up layer upon layer upon layer. By the end of the day we had removed about 7 inches deep of material. 
Removed patio

All we need now is some heavy rain and to see where it goes, hopefully not in the house.