First time posting, as I've found the forum really helpful as a first-time house buyer and caretaker of a Victorian property. My girlfriend and I recently purchased a Victorian house built in 1862 in London in a conservation area in SE18 (Woolwich/Plumstead). We have a damp issue we've been trying to investigate and determine the cause of. We want to do what is best for the building and are restoring many of the elements to their original Victorian style and would appreciate any advice on the below. I've included some photos of the issue against the floor plan which hope are helpful.
- 1. The damp is located in these two walls, both brick, one exterior and one interior. We had the regular run-of-the-mill damp survey done which stated rising damp in the x2 affected walls and recommended a damp proof course. We have resigned ourselves to doing the DPC, however we see this as extra insurance. We are mostly concerned with eliminating any on-going cause though that could be behind it and don't want to be ignoring an underlying cause outside of moisture from the ground type. The build is early-Victorian so don't believe there is an original slate DPC, as from my casual research, this came into fashion in later Victorian builds. Our Build Site Director who is overseeing our renovations commencing in June agrees that there may actually be a leak that needs investigating. The guttering is newish and clear and no obvious leaks going into the walls themselves.
- 2. We've spoken with our adjacent neighbour who has no rising damp issues, and their cellar is dry. There are damp spots on our cellar walls though, but the damp is spotty and not uniform.
- 3 & 4. Other images from the interior of the damp.
- 1. The most immediate cause we thought was the concrete which has been laid in the back garden. It's old and broken apart now, and we will eventually have removed and put a conservatory in its place. We've had conflicting advice, as some have said this could be causing the damp and is not-levelled correctly. However, our Build Site Director says it's actually not necessarily a levelling issue, as it's not blocking the vents going under the house floors which are shown in the additional photos. We were tempted to immediately remove this regardless, but as we aim to eventually put a conservatory here, we didn't want to spend the money to put down clover or something similar to prevent the garden turning into mud in the interim.
- 2 & 3. As part of renovations, we aim to ensure these are completely unblocked, but they are not currently obstructed by the concrete. We were worried that the concrete may be causing rainwater to drain under the house though? This was put to us by another Build Site Director quoting renovations.
- 4. One major concern is that we have drainage pipes from both the bathroom/toilets as well as the guttering going beneath the concrete. From what we gathered from neighbours, the drainage system goes out under the back of the garden into a system in the parallel terrace behind us. There is no manhole on our property or the neighbours. The backs of our gardens sit against the one from the parallel terrace. I've contacted two companies who specialise in leaks to get quotes (£400 approximate + VAT) who said they can use cameras to see if anything is leaking. We think this might be a good thing to do regardless, but we want to make sure we aren't barking up on the wrong tree?