Failed concrete gutters, cavity filled with insulation damp bridging

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Mrgreen1234, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Mrgreen1234

    Mrgreen1234 New Member

    A few weeks ago my partner and I had an offer accepted on a house. The house was built in the1960's, semi detached with cavity walls. It has the original concrete "finlock" guttering still.
    A few days ago we received the Rics home buyer report level 2. The report says there are very high levels of moisture on the internal walls.

    Turns out the gutters have failed and moisture is penetrating the cavity and bridging via the injected cavity insulation.

    We planned to remove and replace the guttering anyway and have also been advised to have the insulation sucked out.

    My questions are:
    How long will the cavity take to dry out (if ever)?
    Would any damage to the bricks or blocks occur from the potential of being sodden for years?
    Would we need to replace and isolate the existing cavity ties due to corrosion?
    When water gets to the bottom of the cavity where does it go (does it pool or drain away)?

    We are unsure of whether to just walk away or reduced our offer.

    Many thanks in advance
  2. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Well-Known Member

    No company should have ever installed cavity wall insulation into a building that has Finlock guttering. It's well known to cause the issue you see in your proposed purchase.
    At the moment the housing market is moving back in favour of buyers rather than sellers, as such if i was in your position i would just walk away.
    KIAB and Mrgreen1234 like this.
  3. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Well-Known Member

    Wet cavity wall insulation? I'd walk away too - getting it out would be a 'mare. How would you know it was all out?
    Mrgreen1234 likes this.
  4. Mrgreen1234

    Mrgreen1234 New Member

    We are looking into quotes for this :

    Or if the installation was done by a CIGA registered firm you can make a claim to have it taken out if it was inappropriately installed......EVEN if the company is no longer operating. I am going to request the certificate from the vendor via the estate agent.

    Thank you for your inputs, it is hugely appreciated.
  5. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    1. Weeks if not Months.
    2. No.
    3. No.
    4. Drain away.

    Unless it's your dream home in every other aspect, walk away without a second thought, it will be a millstone around your neck and a big dent in your wallet.
    KIAB and Mrgreen1234 like this.
  6. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Walk away fast, it could/will end up a money pit.

    Will take many months to dry.

    Wet cavity insulation is hell to remove,you seldom remove all of it, also possible wall ties & other metal work corrision if cavity been wet for a long time.

    And cold bridging is another problem with finlock guttering.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    Mrgreen1234 likes this.
  7. Mrgreen1234

    Mrgreen1234 New Member

    The property is our dream home and has plenty of potential. We have looked at various properties over the past year and found nothing that compares.

    You may sense we have become EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED to the property which is true. So we plan to lower our offer by at least £10,000 once I have calculated all the potential costs including contingency.

    If our revised offer is declined by the vendor we will walk away without any doubt.
  8. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Well-Known Member

    As the property is a semi, has the attached house had the Finlock and it's cavity wall insulation removed ?

    If it hasn't, then you may as well just chuck £50 notes on a bonfire .
    Mrgreen1234 and KIAB like this.
  9. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    It's a semi detached house mate, not flesh and blood, ten grand will be a drop in the ocean if the rest of the house needs doing up. If it hasn't sold for the past year or so then that's a real red flag for you, as other people obviously haven't been suckered in.
    Mrgreen1234, kitfit1 and KIAB like this.
  10. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Don't let your heart rule your head!
    Mrgreen1234 and kitfit1 like this.
  11. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Very good point.
  12. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Slapping a fresh coat of paint on the internals of a house,can hide a house of horrors.

    You could find it will cost far more than 10k to sort all the problems.
    Mrgreen1234 likes this.
  13. Mrgreen1234

    Mrgreen1234 New Member


    Next door has had their gutters replaced, unsure whether they have cavity insulation? Great point.....I will investigate.
  14. Mrgreen1234

    Mrgreen1234 New Member

    We have budgeted for the rest of the house to be done up already, that was considered in our offer. The house was on the market for 4 days and had 14 viewings.
  15. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Well-Known Member

    Cold Bridging can also remain as a massive problem if Finlock isn't removed and new guttering installed in the correct way. A lot of companies that do this sort of work take short cuts and don't extend the roof over the concrete slab that has to be left. This leaves the slab cold bridging in the same way it was before removing the Finlock.
    KIAB and Mrgreen1234 like this.
  16. Mrgreen1234

    Mrgreen1234 New Member

    Full finlock gutter removal was priced into our offer.

    Insulation removal,
    Cavity tie inspection,
    Potential Cavity tie replacement,
    Drying out time,
    Internal replastering was not.

    This will be costed into our revised offer along with many other factors.
  17. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Seen that done, one house I looked at, had damp in two bedrooms high up close to ceiling on outside walls, because concrete had been left in place & roof not extended.
  18. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    I would walk away.

    As mentioned this will become an absolute money pit. Not could. Will. £10k will probably only cover the scaffolding and skips cost.

    Even if you eventually sort it you will have to inform future buyers and that will really impact upon future value.

    Find another dream property
    rogerk101 and KIAB like this.
  19. Mike83

    Mike83 Well-Known Member

    This could easily turn from a dream property to a nightmare property.
    It’s a gamble. An unnecessary gamble.
    If you do go ahead you may regret it for years to come.
    The list of jobs required that need done could keep growing.
    Who knows what other nasty surprises await.
    rogerk101 and KIAB like this.
  20. Mrgreen1234

    Mrgreen1234 New Member

    I really appreciate everyone's comments.

    After reading the report which at first seemed really bad and thinking let's walk away! I spoke to the surveyour on the phone for 45 minutes a his comments were along the lines of
    "obviously I cannot tell you what to do, but if you have the money to take on the work and the patience go for it. You are likely to get similar reports for other properties of this age "
    He really did settle my apprehensions.

    Believe it or not the houses in this area really are famous for their build quality. And many of them still have their concrete gutters clearly leaking.

    I've spoken to a damp specialist on the phone and he said just change the guttering he didn't comment much on the removal of insulation.

    Im looking to speak to a couple other damp surveyours/specialists and hoping to get an onsite consultation.

    We budgeted £40,000 to renovate the property anyway and are realistically going to ask for £15,000 off.

Share This Page