The tragic loss of gardens

4(T)

LE
I was thinking about putting down a layer of chuckies in the basement to try and lock some of the moisture in without making it a tight seal. There's no damp etc in the building, but it's moist in the basement. Some old wood on the ground left by the previous was damp rotted through.

Fucked if I know what to do about it. No doubt whatever I do will end in an explosion.


A lot of Edwardian/Victorian houses have "wet" cellars. My old place even had a soakaway drain in the centre of the cellar floor. In very wet weather, the cellar would eventually flood a few inches. The ground floor of the building was bone dry though, as were the joists over the cellar. Air bricks kept everything properly ventilated. They built things properly in them days...
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
A lot of Edwardian/Victorian houses have "wet" cellars. My old place even had a soakaway drain in the centre of the cellar floor. In very wet weather, the cellar would eventually flood a few inches. The ground floor of the building was bone dry though, as were the joists over the cellar. Air bricks kept everything properly ventilated. They built things properly in them days...

I'll agree there. Whilst I was somewhat concerned by the amount of moisture in the basement, having ripped the house back to shell for various conversion works, there is not a single fault, issue or problem with any part of the house other than what I have so far fucked up myself.

I feel sorry for the people buying a Cala four bedroom shoebox for £700k on an old bus depot and wondering why they're getting flooded out every year.
 
My basement is concrete with a sump well in the lowest corner, the water comes from perforated drain tile around the outside of the foundation. Rather than water building pressure on the footings and causing damage, it goes into the sump well inside then pumped out 500 m away. In 2008 the power went out during the night and the pumps didn't switch on, the hydraulic pressure from the water under the floor shifted the entire house and was spouting mini geysers out of any crack it could find. I installed a power outage alarm as well disposable water alarms that screech if the floor gets wet, not sure which was worse, the damage costs or sheer aggravation.

Our last house before we moved here had a crawl space with a pump and the pump sat in a small well that gathered water. Laying in bed I asked herself if she could hear water dripping. Open up the crawl space and there was about two feet of freezing water down there.

What had happened was the the ballcock arm had got stuck on the side of the well and the pump couldn't click on to empty the well. Wading through two feet of freezing water and then have to kneel to sort out the pump and stop it moving was such joy on Christmas Eve.
 
Our last house before we moved here had a crawl space with a pump and the pump sat in a small well that gathered water. Laying in bed I asked herself if she could hear water dripping. Open up the crawl space and there was about two feet of freezing water down there.

What had happened was the the ballcock arm had got stuck on the side of the well and the pump couldn't click on to empty the well. Wading through two feet of freezing water and then have to kneel to sort out the pump and stop it moving was such joy on Christmas Eve.
That's exactly why l have a third pump that kicks on if water gets to within an inch of the top of the well. If the floats hang up on the lower ones the top will kick in as it's a column type with nothing in the path of the gravity activated float.
 

Smeggers

ADC
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
A lot of Edwardian/Victorian houses have "wet" cellars. My old place even had a soakaway drain in the centre of the cellar floor. In very wet weather, the cellar would eventually flood a few inches. The ground floor of the building was bone dry though, as were the joists over the cellar. Air bricks kept everything properly ventilated. They built things properly in them days...
I think there is an answer in what you say. So many houses have cavity wall insulation, double or triple glazing and every possible air hole sealed up. The result is, the house cannot breath and any moisture caused by condensation, has nowhere to go. We were offered cavity wall insulation by our local council who were quite astonished when we declined. The same when we declined loft insulation. Mind you, with the amount of crap stored in our loft, you would be hard pressed to find the floor!
The truth of the matter is, if you want a nice snuggly house with wet feet, insulate. If you want a properly built house, with real fresh air - do not insulate.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
My last house was a solid-brick (nine-inch, no cavity) two-up, two-down built in 1898. Someone had fitted double-glazing with no trickle vents.

We repainted all the walls in breathable paint and effectively turned the whole place into a giant Goretex jacket.

Lovely house, but still it was 11 years of rotating a dehumidifier around the rooms in the winter, fully airing the house at least once a week because of spores, using a tumble dryer with a condenser, making absolutely sure that the extractor was on every time you cooked.

Even then, a sponge and a bowl of bleach was needed on occasion to wipe down the walls.
 

Hairy-boab

War Hero
I think there is an answer in what you say. So many houses have cavity wall insulation, double or triple glazing and every possible air hole sealed up. The result is, the house cannot breath and any moisture caused by condensation, has nowhere to go. We were offered cavity wall insulation by our local council who were quite astonished when we declined. The same when we declined loft insulation. Mind you, with the amount of crap stored in our loft, you would be hard pressed to find the floor!
The truth of the matter is, if you want a nice snuggly house with wet feet, insulate. If you want a properly built house, with real fresh air - do not insulate.
Well... every house in France must have a VMC (mechanical ventilation). There are discrete grills in bathrooms, kitchens etc, no noise, and it keeps the place fresh. You can even get a 'double flux' one, where the outgoing air is used to heat air from outside, which is piped to an area of your choice. This is useful for background heating of extensions, garages etc.

Air inlets are often built into window units, and our house also has variable air-bricks. The flux of air is strong- close the house up, and it sucks air down through the wood burning stove (not if it is lit obviously).

Having said all that, the best advice I was given is that you can't skimp on a) heating; b) opening windows in the morning, especially in bedrooms. It is a disaster if e.g. a place is rented out and the tenants don't understand this. Black mould everywhere...

Edit: My brother has a passive 'eco house'. I'm not very curious to visit given how minging his wife kept their previous places. The smell must be atrocious with no air circulation! I'd take sensible continental building regulations over UK green shite any time.
 
Well... every house in France must have a VMC (mechanical ventilation). There are discrete grills in bathrooms, kitchens etc, no noise, and it keeps the place fresh. You can even get a 'double flux' one, where the outgoing air is used to heat air from outside, which is piped to an area of your choice. This is useful for background heating of extensions, garages etc.

Air inlets are often built into window units, and our house also has variable air-bricks. The flux of air is strong- close the house up, and it sucks air down through the wood burning stove (not if it is lit obviously).

Having said all that, the best advice I was given is that you can't skimp on a) heating; b) opening windows in the morning, especially in bedrooms. It is a disaster if e.g. a place is rented out and the tenants don't understand this. Black mould everywhere...

Edit: My brother has a passive 'eco house'. I'm not very curious to visit given how minging his wife kept their previous places. The smell must be atrocious with no air circulation! I'd take sensible continental building regulations over UK green shite any time.
I must take issue with you good sir. We moved into a house with no insulation, and single pane windows. We are at 550 Feet above the deep blue sea level, and its open fields behind us, the same direction of the prevailing winds, in winter, colder than a witches tit. We have over the last 34 years have had double and triple insulated new PVC windows fitted, and loft insulation, and a new Central heating system, with new state of the art gas boiler and new modern efficient radiators. Along with thick black out curtains, and on 3 windows, secondary internal glazing fitted, the old homestead is as snug as a rug in a bug. As long as you leave a few windows slightly open, for ventilation , you are safe from mold and condensation, and use the ventilation fans in the kitchen and bathroom. The only down side, is house spiders, millions of em guv. :p
 
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philc

LE
I have been doing this don't cut the grass in May thing, I have no flowers as such in my lawn however the grass is knee high which surprised me, so it will have to strimmed, raked and then mown, I think I will buy some wild flower seeds and scatter them for next year.

 
I think there is an answer in what you say. So many houses have cavity wall insulation, double or triple glazing and every possible air hole sealed up. The result is, the house cannot breath and any moisture caused by condensation, has nowhere to go. We were offered cavity wall insulation by our local council who were quite astonished when we declined. The same when we declined loft insulation. Mind you, with the amount of crap stored in our loft, you would be hard pressed to find the floor!
The truth of the matter is, if you want a nice snuggly house with wet feet, insulate. If you want a properly built house, with real fresh air - do not insulate.
In Scotland all new builds are pressure tested to confirm that they are airtight. There is no requirement for heat recovery ventilation, or indeed any ventilation other than closeable trickle vent's.

Yes there are some issues when humans occupy them.
 
I have been doing this don't cut the grass in May thing, I have no flowers as such in my lawn however the grass is knee high which surprised me, so it will have to strimmed, raked and then mown, I think I will buy some wild flower seeds and scatter them for next year.

My wife has turned our lawn into a meadow. We currently have a lawn full of buttercups, with daisies popping up in between, and forget-me-nots around the edges.

She's planted other wild flowers and we usually get some late cornflowers near the flower beds. It all blends in with the shrubs and trees around the garden to create the feel that we are on the deg of a wood. Very relaxing to just sit ount and enjoy it.

The lawn won't be cut until September.

In the meantime we have lots of flowers, nice long grass to sit on, or for the grandchildren to play on, lots of bees and bugs doing their thing and providing food for birds.
 

philc

LE
My wife has turned our lawn into a meadow. We currently have a lawn full of buttercups, with daisies popping up in between, and forget-me-nots around the edges.

She's planted other wild flowers and we usually get some late cornflowers near the flower beds. It all blends in with the shrubs and trees around the garden to create the feel that we are on the deg of a wood. Very relaxing to just sit ount and enjoy it.

The lawn won't be cut until September.

In the meantime we have lots of flowers, nice long grass to sit on, or for the grandchildren to play on, lots of bees and bugs doing their thing and providing food for birds.

I am looking in to that, did she just sow wild flower seeds amoungest the grass or take the whole lot up and start again?
 

Hairy-boab

War Hero
I
I am looking in to that, did she just sow wild flower seeds amoungest the grass or take the whole lot up and start again?
If you are lucky, just leave it. However it is possible that the soil of the lawn is too rich for wildflowers. I’ve taken the approach of seeding wild flowers into the edges, in the gaps between patio and grass. Works a treat.
 
I am looking in to that, did she just sow wild flower seeds amoungest the grass or take the whole lot up and start again?

I think she just planted the wild flower seeds in the lawn - there are various companies which sell the seeds or live plants over the web.

She says these websites are a good place to start:

Buy flowers and vegetable seeds and plants online from Mr Fothergills UK

Wildflower seed - for garden use only

Here's some pics taken this afternoon...

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Edited to add - my wife is a member of the local organic gardening society. They are always helpful and if anyone has spare plants etc they often give the surplus away to the other members. Worth Googling to see if there is a group in your area...
 
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TractorStats

Old-Salt
I think she just planted the wild flower seeds in the lawn - there are various companies which sell the seeds or live plants over the web.

She says these websites are a good place to start:

Buy flowers and vegetable seeds and plants online from Mr Fothergills UK

Wildflower seed - for garden use only

Here's some pics taken this afternoon...

View attachment 666192View attachment 666193View attachment 666194View attachment 666195View attachment 666196


Edited to add - my wife a a member of the local organic gardening society. They are always helpful and if anyone has spare plants etc they often give the surplus away to the other members. Worth Googling to see if their is a group in your area...
I have a more than grudging admiration for your wife's 'meadow'. Psychologically, I just couldn't do it though.

Mine has to look like Wembley. I am going out in half an hour to cut it to exactly 100 mm after I have hand sharped the mower blade. Its lush and green and not a weed in sight with stripes and neatly trimmed edges which are set back exactly 35 mm from the brick edge because I measured and marked and cut it that way in Spring. I will sweep the gap between lawn and bricks on my hands and knees after its been cut and then gently hand fertilise with a meat and bone meal and water that in. This makes me feel happy.

I don't really like it when the roses drop petals on it. Its just possible I may be working through a few deep seated issues though. ;)
 
I have a more than grudging admiration for your wife's 'meadow'. Psychologically, I just couldn't do it though.

Mine has to look like Wembley. I am going out in half an hour to cut it to exactly 100 mm after I have hand sharped the mower blade. Its lush and green and not a weed in sight with stripes and neatly trimmed edges which are set back exactly 35 mm from the brick edge because I measured and marked and cut it that way in Spring. I will sweep the gap between lawn and bricks on my hands and knees after its been cut and then gently hand fertilise with a meat and bone meal and water that in. This makes me feel happy.

I don't really like it when the roses drop petals on it. Its just possible I may be working through a few deep seated issues though. ;)

Do you still make bed blocks as well? ;-)
 
I have been doing this don't cut the grass in May thing, I have no flowers as such in my lawn however the grass is knee high which surprised me, so it will have to strimmed, raked and then mown, I think I will buy some wild flower seeds and scatter them for next year.


Did the same last year, was a pain to put the grass right.
The wife made some planters and went mad with some "Bee Bombs"
Quite like the results so do the egg factory staff...

PXL_20220528_142229513.MP~2_compress86.jpg
 

philc

LE
I have a more than grudging admiration for your wife's 'meadow'. Psychologically, I just couldn't do it though.

Mine has to look like Wembley. I am going out in half an hour to cut it to exactly 100 mm after I have hand sharped the mower blade. Its lush and green and not a weed in sight with stripes and neatly trimmed edges which are set back exactly 35 mm from the brick edge because I measured and marked and cut it that way in Spring. I will sweep the gap between lawn and bricks on my hands and knees after its been cut and then gently hand fertilise with a meat and bone meal and water that in. This makes me feel happy.

I don't really like it when the roses drop petals on it. Its just possible I may be working through a few deep seated issues though. ;)

Do you live next door, around here some of the lawns, or grass are like the putting greens from some golf course. They cut all year round, very **** to the point of OCD.
 
I have a more than grudging admiration for your wife's 'meadow'. Psychologically, I just couldn't do it though.

Mine has to look like Wembley. I am going out in half an hour to cut it to exactly 100 mm after I have hand sharped the mower blade. Its lush and green and not a weed in sight with stripes and neatly trimmed edges which are set back exactly 35 mm from the brick edge because I measured and marked and cut it that way in Spring. I will sweep the gap between lawn and bricks on my hands and knees after its been cut and then gently hand fertilise with a meat and bone meal and water that in. This makes me feel happy.

I don't really like it when the roses drop petals on it. Its just possible I may be working through a few deep seated issues though. ;)
Have you thought of retraining as a hairdresser?
 
I go past a detached house on the way to work. Not grand, standard 1990's tacky.
There's approx 12 foot all round between the house & the boundary (5' brick walls & railings above).
At least this last week he's put down gravel to cover the white cement/concrete crap that covered every square inch.
I hope he floods And gets subsidence. And a swarm of wasps and seagulls.
 

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