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Damp Caused By Neighbours Driveway

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morethanamum | 19:23 Tue 25th Mar 2014 | Property
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Help!! I live in an end terrace house & my neighbours drive runs along my end wall.( theirs is a semi detached with side drive). Years ago, they had their drive resurfaced and it partially covers my sub floor vents. It seems that over the years, water has poured through my vents, probably blocking them in the process & the air has not been circulating properly under my house. I have damp along my lounge wall and the floor boards are rotting. I spoke to my neighbours who are in their 90's & they asked me to speak to their son because he deals with their affairs ( they did also let slip that the drive was resurfaced by gypsies who just threw a load of Tarmac over the existing surface). I spoke to their son & basically he doesn't want to know! He thinks because the drive has been there for years, that my damp cannot be caused by it! What he has said is that I should get the work done (ie break out the vents, renew and rebrick, damp injection, te plastering etc) and then make a claim against his parents insurance?! That sounds strange to me? I'm furious but feel trapped as I do not want to start legal action against pensioners! Any suggestions would be gratefully received!!

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Oh dear. Yes, I've seen this sort of thing a few times. Whenever works involve Building Control (local council), there are very keen to see that there is no detriment to neighbouring properties. Of course, here, the bad guys have been and gone. I would imagine you have a good case in Law, but, a long and upsetting scenario for all concerned if you did get...
20:22 Tue 25th Mar 2014
I would get professional help with this More, although the Builder will give you the solution it seems that the Air Vent covering by Tarmac causing the reduction of Air Flow.
A pretty heartless answer from the son but basically he's right.
Get someone to have a look at it and confirm the drive is the cause of the damp.
Oh dear. Yes, I've seen this sort of thing a few times.

Whenever works involve Building Control (local council), there are very keen to see that there is no detriment to neighbouring properties. Of course, here, the bad guys have been and gone.

I would imagine you have a good case in Law, but, a long and upsetting scenario for all concerned if you did get solicitors involved.

Being pragmatic, I would be prepared to do some remedial work yourself. Permission from the neighbours should be academic, as they are technically at fault.

A simple solution is to dig a small trench the length of your building. The depth only needs to be to a little below the original level... below the airbricks, and approx 6" (150mm) below the dampcourse as a minimum.

The width of this trench need only be 150mm (6"). A neat cut with a disc cutter would give a nice edge, but not terribly durable. Better, would be to widen the trench to 9" and fit concrete edging kerbs. They're only a couple of inches thick.

If clean chippings are laid in the bottom of the trench, then this will drain water to the ends, where this water can be led to a very simple soakaway or surface water drains.

This is necessarily only a brief description of the work, but you should get the picture.

For a decent builder/handyman, it really is a very simple operation... not as scary as it sounds.

An alternative to kerbs would be to use linear drainage grids ......... I'm sure you've seen them.......... about 3' long by 4"..... metal with slots in them.

The idea is to expose the airbricks and the lower brickwork to the air to keep it "breathing"
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Thanks all for your answers:- by the way I forgot to mention that I had an inspection carried out & it was confirmed that my damp has been caused by the neighbours driveway. I gave the inspection to their son but he still doesn't believe it is their problem :/
The builder:- the trench/drain has been suggested as a poss solution and this along with all the internal work will cost about £2000. I'm pig sick that it's not even my fault but I'm gonna have to foot the bill
I sympathise, but life tends to be like that.

Try doing as I suggest rather than as I manage to do, and not to let it all stress you. Sometimes the healthiest course of action is to shrug one's shoulders, take the hit, and get the thing sorted for yourself and in the past. Sure you feel hard done by, but you only harm yourself getting het up about it.
I completely agree with OG there... my philosophy exactly.

With internal works as well, that doesn't seem a bad price at all.
Don't dwell on it. You'll feel much better when it's all done.

Good luck
just an afterthought - would your house insurance cover it - worth a look. jjcon

/// I had an inspection carried out & it was confirmed that my damp has been caused by the neighbours driveway.///

If that's the case, their actions or the actions of those employed by them are causing you both disress and financial loss, get after them now!
For what it's worth, I agree with The Builder & OG. Although I agree with his sentiments if you go the way Baldric has suggested the £2000 could escalate X 3 if you start involving solicitors.

WR.

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