Botched breeze block garden beds

Discussion in 'Getting Started FAQ' started by wanderlust, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. wanderlust

    wanderlust New Member

    Hi everyone. Desperately hoping for some advice here. I'm sure my story isn't all that unique. We gutted our house and ended up spending a lot more than what we bargained for so ended up using our original contractors to build the retaining walls for our garden beds and then ended up using a second cheaper contractor to finish them off. Despite our protests - the original contractors used breeze blocks, and although they claim that they used sika to waterproof them, it doesn't appear they did that. They also didn't put drains in. Fast forward - three of four walls are completely sodden with the render crumbling off and cracks appearing in one of the walls. We can't afford to tear the whole thing down, so the question is this: for a solution that will last a few years, could I scrape off all of the crumbling render/plaster, use a bitumen sealant like blackjack, then use on a 'brush-on' tanking paint, use some type of better render/plaster and then paint? One builder suggested using mesh as one of the steps, but I'm not sure I would be able to do that on my own (or with my husband's help). Any advice you all could give would be greatly appreciated. I realise this isn't a perfect fix, but looking for a solution that will get us through the next 2-3 years. Thank you!
     
  2. wiggy

    wiggy Screwfix Select

    Dig out the soil and waterproof from the inside.
     
    Astramax likes this.
  3. wanderlust

    wanderlust New Member

    Thanks, but as said, we are trying to avoid that as we would have to dig out dozens of tropical trees now. I realise that is the best and most lasting solution, but not one that we're willing to do this year.
     
  4. wiggy

    wiggy Screwfix Select

    Clad over the front of the wall with timber to hide the mess.
     
    ramseyman and Astramax like this.
  5. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Paint it with KA tanking solution, grey looks ok.
     
    Astramax likes this.
  6. wanderlust

    wanderlust New Member

    Thank you. Then, I'd assume plaster/render over it?
     
  7. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    50 x 25 treated and left natural will age well, leave a gap between each length it will look really good. Think of a timber trough look.
     
  8. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    It will still blow from behind surely Jord.
     
    wiggy likes this.
  9. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    I don’t know, you’re probably right mate, my stepfather had damp problems years ago with his garage and old coal shed next to it with the coal shed acting as a retainer for the ground behind it, we knocked the garage through so it was one and he painted the floor and walls with the tanking slurry. I was very sceptical at the time and said it was just a bodge, but fast forward ten years or so and it’s still holding up really well.

    I was saving my best advice for when they post pictures up ;)
     
  10. wanderlust

    wanderlust New Member

     
  11. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Probably also built with breeze blocks from the ground up so also soaking up water from ground level

    Can add drainage by simply drilling 22mm holes through blocks, then inserting lengths of 20mm round plastic conduit, allow to stick past wall by 15mm or so and will help to drain off water but, depends on construction

    Should have a good deep layer of hardcore/rubble in the base and that’s where these drain tubes would go as it acts like a sump and collects excess water. Drill around 3feet apart

    But again, depending on construction, this may have limited benefits as you know, it’s sadly all wrong
     

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