Water coming up through kitchen floor

(17 Posts)
Cattermole Thu 27-Aug-20 09:15:26

... and it's all very confusing.
We have an old cottage with slate tiled flooring downstairs.
There are no pipes in the area - the sink area is dry as a bone.
When it rains we sometimes get a mysterious puddle in the kitchen. The slates aren't lifting, there is no sign of water egress through the external wall. there are no pipes underneath where the water is pooling. It's not coming through the ceiling.

Other than rainwater, there is nothing else it can be. So how the hell is it getting in?? (and do we need to do anything about it other than mop it up - and if so, who do we ask to do it???)

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PigletJohn Thu 27-Aug-20 09:36:10

have a look round your house. The gutter downpipes probably go into gullies. How high are these gullies (and the outside ground or paving level) relative to your floor? Are they blocked?

Is the ground or paving around these pipes and gullies cracked or sunked or repaired? Post (plenty of) photos please.

Cattermole Thu 27-Aug-20 10:01:33

@PigletJohn none of the above! It's not every time it rains - it is intermittent. It's about a cupful of water (we've actually been blaming the elderly cat)
It's now stopped coming in/up/whatever it's doing. gullies are running freely. DH (who isn't a builder but has had quite a lot of experience with heritage buildings) suspects it may be to do with the somewhat bodge job nature of our row of cottages, ie they were all built in different centuries, on different levels, and mostly out of different materials. Our kitchen, for instance, is about 18 inches below thr ground level of next door's patio.....

You sound like you know what you're talking about - how do we deal with groundwater seeping up maybe once every 6 months, in a pre-1800 granite cottage?

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PigletJohn Thu 27-Aug-20 10:11:27

so where do the gutters drain?

Kasparovski Thu 27-Aug-20 10:19:36

Look at where the external brick wall air bricks are located....if they are too low (anywhere) they might be acting as plug holes when ground water levels rise.

Kasparovski Thu 27-Aug-20 10:21:17

A deepish gravel gully around the perimeter of the house with perforated land pipe draining off to a low point might help matters too.

Vslightlystressy Thu 27-Aug-20 10:24:55

We had this in an old house - sometimes when it rained heavily the water table rose and the water would come up through the flagstones in the hallway- there was no damp proof course and they were laid straight onto earth...


WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat Thu 27-Aug-20 10:25:48

I don't think there will be a void under a slate floor, so there won't be any airbricks.

Cattermole Thu 27-Aug-20 10:27:40

It's the side wall - ours drain into gullies at the back of the house. (If I had a device that took photos I would attach photos but I'd have to run out with my laptop...)

Our house and next door's are built at right angles to the main road, and the main body of the terrace, so it's like a backwards L shape? And now I'm not panicking, I wonder if it's to do with the fact that the house that faces on to our kitchen the gullies don't drain into anything at all but just on to the ground, so the water is running downhill towards our kitchen?

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Kasparovski Thu 27-Aug-20 11:51:50

I’m sure this is to do with ground water. To be honest, I would take action pretty quickly because otherwise you may find that it’s only a matter of time before the slate tiles do actually start to debond and create real damage. Is the soil in the area clay or sand btw? I think there is a number of things that you could actually do to try and improve the situation. Firstly I would ensure that all of the soak aways which are taking all of the roof water are functioning and not silted up. If they are silted up, you’re going to need to get builders in to dig them out and put new ones in place. secondly if the cottage is quite old I would really look at digging a gravel gully about 8 inches deep around the property and putting a perforated land drain tube into it to drain off at a low point.
I know all of these things sound like quite substantial building works, and they are, however should you suffer the misfortune of extreme rain you could find that your cottage floods very badly up through the floor and you’re in for a very expensive insurance claim.

TheFaerieQueene Thu 27-Aug-20 11:53:17

My first thought was ground water rising. You might need to consider tanking the room.

Cattermole Thu 27-Aug-20 13:13:36

I'm also pretty sure it's to do with ground water.
I've actually managed to get a builder to call in this afternoon and he'll be able to tell me one way or another hopefully.
If it's a matter of "it is what it is and you just need to mop it up when it rains" that's fine. It's just if it's something that needs to be dealt with, I'd rather deal with it while it's dry ....

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PigletJohn Thu 27-Aug-20 15:15:29

" I wonder if it's to do with the fact that the house that faces on to our kitchen the gullies don't drain into anything at all but just on to the ground, so the water is running downhill towards our kitchen?"

If that's what they do, then yes, it is.

Cattermole Thu 27-Aug-20 16:11:28

Yup, @PigletJohn, that's what it is.
Builder (who lives about 20 minutes away from us and who is absolutely legit) came out, looked at it, looked at the water piddling out of their downspout onto the path, and suggested that either a) they put the downspout at the other end of their roof and put something in to carry it away to their own garden/soakaway, b) they put a water butt on it, or c) we put an A-drain (AT drain? can't remember, he's going to email me tonight, it's an A something drain) along our house wall.

My DH went round and chatted to the neighbours in question who were very sweet about it but say it's a rented property so they can't agree to do any work on the landlord's behalf but they will pass on their contact details to us.

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Cattermole Fri 28-Aug-20 11:53:19

ACO drain! that's the one he was talking about!
I am not entirely sure that it's legal to discharge your gutter onto your neighbour's property. The tenant, bless him, has put a bucket underneath it but we've emptied it twice today already, and the back wall is not entirely dried out from yesterday.....

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PigletJohn Fri 28-Aug-20 13:33:11

sometimes people will put a horizontal extension on their downpipe (with an elbow) so that it runs along and discharges in a safe place, such as a flowerbed or water feature.

The waterbutt is another option, it can have a hosepipe attached to the overflow that runs to a safe place. The hosepipe will deliver water more slowly, so it must be sufficiently below the top of the butt to buffer a day's worth of heavy rain.

Cattermole Fri 28-Aug-20 15:05:21

As far as I'm concerned @PigletJohn I do not care where it goes as long as it's not straight onto my path! :-)
Thank you, that's really helpful. I don't want to be an arse to them, they're a young couple with a toddler and they really don't need grief, but on the other hand the builder said that the reason we've had problems with damp on that wall is down to having about 60 litres of water poured on it every hour it's raining....

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