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Water leak, damp, blown render, what next?

(15 Posts)
curlingandtwirling Sun 23-Nov-14 14:28:52

The house is rendered, not my choice, but it is. It's not in good condition and at the top (gable end) it's falling off in lumps. It's a terraced house and I'm worried that it's going to cause issues for my neighbour. Following heavy rain, water has started to drip down the wall from the ceiling in kitchen. This is on the exterior gable end wall so I assume it's caused by the damaged render and it's running down the wall. The bathroom above the kitchen is not showing any damage.

Basically, I can't afford to get it fixed at the moment.

What next? Shall I ring some builders? Get quotes? Try buildings insurance? I already have retention on mortgage for damp works in cellar to be completed. Shall I ring mortgage company and talk to them about issues as the problem is only getting worse?

I don't know which tradesman to call? Builder? Render repair? Damp?

Advice would be appreciated as I haven't got a clue!


PigletJohn Sun 23-Nov-14 16:45:40

How old is the house, and how old is the render? Is it smooth or pebbledashed?

If it is loose, it has to come off, as it will trap rainwater and make the wall damp.

You don't have to hack off the firm bits, but depending on age, it may be better if you do.

Tutt Sun 23-Nov-14 17:04:04

Phone your insurance company and then a builder.
It will get worse and if not repaired quite quickly could run into a lot more money.
Good news is the building insurance should cover it so all you should pay is the excess.

curlingandtwirling Sun 23-Nov-14 18:32:20

House was built in 1901 and it's pebbledash render. I can't get to it to hack it off as it's at roof level and a third of the way down the rear wall.

I'll give insurance company a call and see what they say but from reading all the small print about maintaining property, good state of repair etc I'm sure it won't be covered. It's gradually got worse over the past two years but now I know I need to try and sort it.

PigletJohn Sun 23-Nov-14 18:46:22

there is a faint chance it will be old lime render, which by now will be very perished and coming loose in big scabs the size of dinner-plates. More likely it will have been renewed at intervals of about 50 years, and hopefully the old stuff hacked off first. Perished lime mortar you can scratch to powder with your thumbnail or a pencil

You might find a builder willing to hack it off from a ladder, but really the job (hack off and renew) should be done from scaffolding.

curlingandtwirling Mon 24-Nov-14 09:36:15

I've spent ages looking on the internet for tradesman, damp proofing reports etc and I don't know where to start.

Buildings insurance will cover unexpected damage but it's obvious that lack of maintenance has caused the issue.

I think I may have to sell up, because I can't afford to have the works done and its only going to get worse. sad

PigletJohn Mon 24-Nov-14 10:10:42

The 'net is not a good place to look. Ask neighbours and local friends. When you see a builders van outside a local house, ask for a card, but write the address of the house they are working at on the back. A few weeks or months later, ask the householder what they think. Householders are often very willing to say and may even want to show you the work.

All houses have things wrong with them, and if you move to a different place, it will probably have a different set of defects.

Blueskies80 Mon 24-Nov-14 13:39:08

We had the same problem, the render looked like it had been chucked up and was totally blown one side of the house, it literally peeled off. This didn't show up on survey - prev owners hadn't maintained at all.
We had someone hack it off and re render and paint. It wasn't cheap and messy job but it did give the house an awesome makeover (went from hideous pebbledash to smooth render- which was actually cheaper than pebble dash) and is watertight now.
I would say if you can find the money or save up it will be worth it to do the work.
Get lots of quotes as the price did vary a lot. Also do it when it's warm so bricks can dry out. Good luck.

curlingandtwirling Mon 24-Nov-14 15:41:56

I'm going to save hard and hopefully get something done over the summer next year.

I just hope that the leak doesn't get any worse over the cold winter.

I've contacted my mortgage company as there is a retention for some works to repair joists in the cellar. A damp and timber report was done 3 years ago, but the company are no longer trading. Another headache.

Are there companies who just do rendering? Or would I need to contact a builder?

OutDamnSpot Mon 24-Nov-14 15:51:12

Our rendering was done by a plasterer who did interior and exterior work. Found him by emailing the class contact list and asking other local parents for a recommendation. I've seen people do similar on local FB groups - maybe one of those methods might help finding someone?

This probably isn't something you can afford on top of the work but we have various damp issues and as all the free surveys from damp companies lead to them selling you stuff, we are paying for an independent surveyor to id the problems. We can then ask people to quote knowing what work is needed.

Don't move because of this. Repairs will be less than moving costs I expect and all houses need work at some stage. If you need to save, spend that time finding some decent trades people so you can get good work done when you can afford it.

curlingandtwirling Mon 24-Nov-14 16:39:51

thanks you everyone for your advice. Its a minefield out there for someone who hasn't got a clue about DIY!

I really don't want to sell, but couldn't see another solution.

I will try fb and see if anyone can recommend a reliable cheap plasterer! grin

PigletJohn Mon 24-Nov-14 17:11:58

not all plasterers do rendering, as it is heavier work, and outdoors. Any small builder will either do it, or know someone who can. But if you drive around, you will probably see a nearby house that has recently been done, and the householder may be happy to tell you about it if they are houseproud. Working off a ladder is possible but will not be as good as working off scaffold.

If you don't get a recommendation, ask anyone who quotes to give you the addresses of a couple of local houses similar to yours he has recently done, that you can go and look at. Be suspicious if he can't or won't.

curlingandtwirling Tue 25-Nov-14 16:40:51

I've had a recommendation from a friend, but the guy is booked up until the end of August 2015!

Maybe it won't get too much worse and give me some time to save?!

PigletJohn Tue 25-Nov-14 16:56:30

see if you can get him to have a look and say if he thinks the old stuff should come off, and if he knows someone who can do it.

He might possibly know someone else he thinks is nearly as good.

EcoHomeCentre Thu 07-Sep-17 12:48:30

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