|Part of my walk around the block|
We are based in a residential part of Cardiff. Lots of solid walled properties and also some newer infill houses with cavities. Despite the ravages of time that have been served out by well meaning but not necessary best informed builders and DIYers, it still has great character – lots of different colours, features etc all based on a common theme.
All looks rosy then and in fact it is an area in demand as far as estate agents are concerned. Can you feel a but…. coming on??
Letting my casual eye wander across the urban landscape I did spot lots of very common issues affecting the houses, so here goes:
No end of cement render (should be lime based and ideally the mix I advocate)
Cracked render everywhere (letting rain into the structure)
Re-pointing with cement (rather than lime)
Damp proof course injected into bricks (should be into the mortar – if used at all)
Damp proof course holes not filled (thus letting water into the structure above the DPC)
Ground levels clearly above the internal floor level (there should be a 15cm difference between inside and out)
Blocked vents for the floor (suspended floors require good draughts under them)
Paint peeling off of dress stonework (should be left bare, or painted with a breathable paint eg. silicate)
Guttering broken, warped, joints snapped, loose downpipes, …..
Window seals broken (they need to be checked and repaired regularly)
Phone and internet lines roughly drilled through walls leaving holes around them (should be sealed up properly)
PV panels covered in pigeon poo (aerials need to be moved to remove the temptation!)
Letter boxes broken (should be repaired to ensure better airtightness)
And that was a quick 15 minute stroll along three streets!!
Correct maintenance is really important with buildings otherwise we shall see these houses slowly degrade. In the heart of the city we need a well informed population, but who apart from us is trying in Cardiff??