building defect report
Rectory, Claypole, Newark
DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY
The Old Rectory is a Grade II listed, large country home
dating back to the 17th Century. The property has an oak staircase
dated 1866. It has extensive attic and cellar space. It is approximately 672
sq.m on a plot size of approximately 1.25 acres. Claypole is set to the east
side of the A1 main road, located 5 miles from Newark, Nottinghamshire and is
seen as ‘The Gateway to Lincolnshire’ -just 14 miles from Grantham. Sizeable
gardens are to the south and east of the house with a large gravelled parking
forecourt to the front.
The building consists of solid brick work to original 120mm.
Flemish brickwork bonds can be found to the side and rear of the property where
the stucco render has not covered the brickwork. This render was likely added
during the Georgian period aiming to give the appearance of stone. Steep gables
over the buildings three levels, are typical of the gothic Jacobean era. There
are single and old double glazed window units across the house with mostly
single glazing to the front and old double glazing to the rear. On the ground floor,
original flagstone flooring tiles and old floorboards can be found. The
property is in a low flood risk area. See floorplan Appendix 1. See The Old
Rectory Appendix 2.
BACKGROUND OF DEFECT
I Blatherwick (client) instructed me to analyse patches of
damp within the property on the front elevation. The room is storage area so
the client is unsure when the damp began to occur but was noticed in
January/February of 2016 after a wet winter. See floorplan Appendix 1, Storage
room highlighted. The damp has caused paint to swell and peel. See Appendix 3.
A humidifier has been used in attempt to minimise the damp however due to the
rooms usage being minimal the action was not consistent enough to make a lot of
difference. The building was painted externally during the summer of 2016 with
masonry paint. Damp patches are found from ground level to midway up the walls
throughout the room and can be found in random clusters.
DESCRIPTION OF DEFECT
Externally the building is mostly covered in stucco render
to the front and North-west side elevations. This render can be found to have cracks
in across the whole of the front elevation as well as have small areas now completely
come away from the brickwork. Much of the render has since been painted over
with masonry paint making it less obvious and likely disguising signs of damp
underneath. See Appendix 4. At ground, level the render also appears to be
hollow. To the rear and South-east elevations where the property is not rendered
it can be seen that the bricks are constructed with the Flemish brick bond and
there are some obvious patches of poor pointing. See Appendix 5. I believe that
it is likely the brickwork is similar on the front elevation underneath the
Across much of The Old Rectory there are wires and cables
entering the wall several of these cables entering in short proximity of the
damp patches within the building.
Internally there is darkening to the paint work along with
patches of peeling and cracked paintwork. These are on several walls in the
room. In these areas, there is predominantly high readings from the moisture
meter however there are some areas where there was once damp that has appeared
to have dried out over time and the moisture meter reading was lower. See
Appendix 6. Whilst there are damp areas across multiple walls, one wall seems
to have more damp areas with higher readings and has provided more damage than
the others. Adjacent to where the external drainage downpipe is placed provides
an example of a possible old damp patch with a lower damp reading. Various
wires and cables entered the room through the wall. See Appendix 8. Underneath
the storage room is an old cellar that has been flooded on several occasions,
currently there is around 2-3 inches of surface water in the cellar. I believe
the flooding to be as a result of several reasons including a fluctuating high
water table, an old poorly constructed drainage system and due to the room
having minimal to no use in recent years. The lack of usage has led to a large
reduction in air circulation and heat and as a result potentially altering the
evaporation rate in the room. The water has been drained several times in the
past however has now been left to sit for a considerable amount of time and
leading to fairly saturated brickwork in the cellars. There has been no damp
proofing carried out in the cellars.
– Whilst there is minor flooding in the cellars beneath the storage room it is
unlikely that the damp patches are a direct result of the sitting water.
Despite the damp being present from ground level there are no continuous, even tide
lines. There are also no records of major flooding in recent years since the
defect has displayed and according to Long term flood risk information provided
by the Environment Agency, The Old Rectory is in low risk area of flooding.
Leak – Pipework can be found on the
external and internal walls and there are signs of old damp patches on the wall
within the room internally. Since the front of the house was painted in summer
2016 there have been no more signs of damp externally around this area of
downpipe. (See Appendix 4, Image 5 for downpipe) Low moisture readings were
found in this area indicating that this is an old issue that has since been
repaired. Bathrooms and the kitchen are located in rear rooms of the house. The
defect is unlikely to be caused from a plumbing leak.
–Condensation occurs when moist air comes into contact with a cold surface. The
excess moisture can be produced through cooking and washing as well as the
change in air temperature from areas such as the kitchen, utility room and
reception room that are nearby, which are all well heated and in constant,
regular use. The client has noticed condensation on the single glazed windows
as well as water droplets on the walls however it seems unlikely that
condensation alone is the cause for damp in the room.
Damp –The property is immediately susceptible to the risk of
rising damp due to it having no DPC in place as well as the flooding in the
cellar beneath. The flooded cellars could easily contribute to rising damp as
the water has been left to sit for an extended period of time in a building
made of porous bricks. As previously mentioned the flooding is most likely to
be as a result of a fluctuating water table there being poor drainage in place
as well as the cellars lessened usage, leading to reduced air circulation.
Externally minor tide marks have surfaced and what appear to be signs of
efflorescence salts typically left as a result of rising damp (See Appendix 9) Despite
these external signs of rising damp there are no visible tide marks internally
on the lower parts of the wall. Due to the buildings old age, it is likely that
the bricks were hand-made from clay and because of this it is expected that
they will be very porous. I do not think that rising damp is the sole reasoning
behind the defect however it is probable that it may be contributing.
Damp – Penetrating damp refers to any moisture sourced from
outside the habitable space. This includes precipitation, moisture from
external plumbing leaks (Parrett, 2003) The Old Rectory is
particularly susceptible to symptoms of penetrating damp a due to it being an
older building with solid brickwork. The property displays localised, blotchy
patches of dampness on the internal walls along with blistering plaster and
paint deterioration along with stains. On one of the internal walls, minor
signs of mould can be found producing a mild musty smell in the room.
Externally spalling is can be found as well as excessive moss growth. The
reason for this could be due to the aging bricks and blistering render losing
the ability to keep out rain penetration. Externally there are both concrete
paving slabs and gravel over concrete probably holding lots of moisture against
the wall. (See Appendix 9 for example) It is probable that penetrating damp is
the largest cause for the damp in the property and responsible for the defect.
–This defect is likely to be predominantly caused by penetrating damp with some
excess moisture in the walls from possible rising damp and condensation.
Masonry paint and stucco render are holding moisture in the wall and not
allowing appropriate air flow.
–Generally it is very unlikely that issues with damp can be completely
eradicated especially within older properties, however the effect of damp can
be reduced. Basic measures can be put in place to resolve issues. Efforts to
use a dehumidifier should be put in place in order to reduce the impacts of
damp within the property and reduce moisture levels within the air. Small spot damp treatment is available in the
form of ‘Anti Damp’ and ‘Anti Mould’ paint. Brands such as Ronseal provide such
items. Whilst they do not straightforwardly treat the causes of damp, if the
causes have been treated then items like these may be a suitable remedy. Along
with other actions I would recommend these paints be used in the home, in areas
prone to damp within the storage room and possibly adjacent rooms too.
Other alternatives such as dry lining walls could help in damp reduction as it
allows the moisture to collect behind as well as provide insulation and warming
the home however it is not always 100% effective. Room size is also slightly reduced
however with the room in question being a small storage area this may not be
too much of an issue to the old rectory. This may cause issues with damp to
become apparent elsewhere. Pressurised Tanking is a below ground level method
of remedying damp. The process is very expensive however is almost guaranteed
to work. Membrane is plugged to the wall, over plastered and then drained to a
sump. As the cellars have been flooded on multiple occasions I would suggest
that the client should take this into much consideration.
Non-Pressurised Tanking is an available solution for the
client, requiring masonry to be cleaned, levelled and potentially rendered
internally. Multiple coverings of bitumen paint are coated in a continuous
layer to prevent moisture from getting through. After this the room will
require plastering. A condensation resistant and breathable plaster should be
fitted. Unlike pressurised tanking this method is only suitable above ground. Whilst
this does not guarantee that no further damp defects will occur the actions
come at a far lower cost to the client and will be less invasive.
Repointing deeply eroded mortar joints and localised
pointing can be conducted so that gaps that have been developed can be closed.
This would be a relatively easy step for the client to take and will prevent
further damp defects occurring in the future. Masonry protection creams can
also be used to provide protection against penetrating damp and without impacting
on the visual appearance of brick or stone work.
As the clients’ intentions are to sell the property, it
should be known that a purchaser’s surveyor may identify the issues stated
above leading to the mortgagee being unable to agree to the loan until damp
proofing actions have been completed or guaranteed. The property may also be
List of Appendices
A.1: The Old
Rectory Floorplan Page
A.2 The Old
A.3 Damage to
paintwork Interior Page 9
A.4 Damage to
A.5 Brickwork to
rear of property Page
A.6 Signs of Old
A.7 Damp in
Entering the Property Page
A.9 Minor Tide
Marks and Efflorescence Salts Page
Appendix 1: The Old
2: The Old Rectory (Chewton Rose, 2016)
Appendix 3: Damage to Paintwork Interior
Appendix 4: Damage to Render
Appendix 5: Brickwork to Rear of Property
Appendix 6: Signs of Old Damp
Appendix 7: Damp in Property Storage Area
Appendix 8: Cables Entering Property
14 Cables entering property from
Appendix 9: Minor Tide Marks and Efflorescence Salts
Image: 16 Minor Tide Marks and Efflorescence Salts under window of damp room
APEX Coating Services. (n.d.). Penetrating Damp.
Retrieved 2018, from APEX Coating Services:
Chewton Rose. (2016, October). 9 Bedroom detached
house ? Claypole, Newark, Nottinghamshire ? £799,950. Retrieved Janurary
2018, from Chewton Rose:
Kent, D. (2008, December 18). How to Deal with
Damp. Retrieved 2018, from Homebuilding & Renovating:
North East Plastering and Rendering. (n.d.). Damp
Proofing. Retrieved 2018, from North East Plastering and Rendering:
Notebook, S. (n.d.). Cement render entraps
moisture against a solid masonry wall. Retrieved 2018, from Surveyors
Cement render entraps moisture against a solid masonry wall
Parrett, R. B. (2003). Diagnosing Damp. RICS
Property Care Association. (n.d.). Damp-Proofing
Barriers – Tanking . Retrieved 2018, from PropertyCare.org:
SHU Building Pathology. (2017). Condensation Lecture.
Retrieved from SHU SPACE:
SHU Building Pathology. (2017). Dampness Lecture.
Retrieved from SHU SPACE: https://shuspace.shu.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/pid-7154752-dt-content-rid-15780442_2/courses/77-505164-AF-20178/1.%20Dampness%20%202015-.pdf
SHU Building Pathology. (2017). Sem 1 assessment
brief.pdf. Retrieved from SHU SPACE:
STORM DRY. (n.d.). STORM DRY. Retrieved 2018,
from What is Penetrating Damp?: