Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Hi all,

We have a huge issue with damp in the backroom of our flat. There's lovely black mold making it's way up the wall and the plaster has blown. It's a real horror show.

It's a classic Victorian conversion, so does suffer from condensation issues due to lack of airflow. However the main issue is that some eejit has poured concrete over the pathway around the house and the ground level is now above the damp proof course and only about an inch from the air bricks. The back wall has been rendered, so unlikely to be water coming in that way- my Dad is a surveyor and his solution is dropping the ground level around the house by a foot and putting in a french drain. 

Has anyone had similar work done and can recommend a reliable builder? And a plasterer for when it is fixed? 

It will be a tricky and messy job as the only access to the garden is through the flat (argh!)...However since we have to get this work done, we'd also like to look at updating the garden and either laying a new patio or decking.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


Tags for Forum Posts: builders, damp proofing, french drain, garden

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Hi Liv

I can recommend David O'Doherty M:07830 119 421.  Recommended by other people on HoL, finally got round to contacting him and glad I did.

He installed slate patio and french drain for us, damp course was slightly too high but no concrete poured round the house so task was fairly easy.  Also we have side access, and that was a bonus for them.  Did a top job, price range mid rangeish, had quotes that were much higher from gardening landscape specialists.

Best GLen

Thanks so much for the recommendation, will definitely give him a call for a quote.

A friend had this problem and the drain ( though we call it a Dutch drain) has worked a treat. Rather than just having a drill filled with pebbles it is a concreted channel with a metal grid along its length with water diverted to the soak-away drain. Also adequate air bricks were installed to air the space under the floor and another to air the room.

I'd think twice about decking which is like an ice rink in the winter and will need maintenance, also it leaves a lovely space for vermin.

Regarding decking, we had a deck for 8 years and it did get wet and slippery and did eventually break, so we went for a patio. THe expensive option, but worth it.

Very good point on the decking! Thanks.

Hi Liv

I'd definitely go with Glen's recommendation of David O'Doherty. He's done a lot of work for us including a patio, decking and drainage. He's as honest as the day is long which is great as the last thing you want is to be wondering if you're getting sound advice. I've known of a number of people who have got a job done on the cheap and Dave has had to go in and put it right. His price will be fair and you can rest assured you'll get a good job.

On the decking - Dave advised us not to go down that road directly outside the back of the house due to it encouraging rats and mice so we went for paving there and put a decking area at back of the garden, it has worked well for us.

I'd get him in for a quote and get a couple of others.

Good luck

Thanks Steve- sounds like he is in high demand!



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