澳洲Australia property efflorescence - rising damp | Sydney


在澳大利亚 The pool at of an IP needs to be resurfaced (or so the pool doctor says), the cost was estimated to be $10K ($10,000), after recoverying from my impresssion of a cat coughing up a fur ball, it just seems far too much. Its just a standard poo I need some advice regarding a property purchase. Property - semi-detached house Bedrooms - 2 Condition - average needs internal reno to modernise Street - one of the best in suburb Location - excellent Close to schools - yes Transport - 50m


I have a unit in Ashwood,Melbourne belonging to a 22 unit complex. Built in 1983 eleven inch cavity brick. A sloping site. Have just returned to my unit from Japan after teaching there for 12 years. Have discovered efflorescence on the lower levels of brickwork on the lower side of my unit. It is evident that water has been seeping down from the front, from the front garden, over all these years. How the hell can this happen? Can anyone recommend a builder/plumber/landscape architect/etc. to identify the source of water. Many thanks, Jack  

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Can't help you with any recommendations for Melbourne, but pray you don't have an underground spring coming out up that hill somewhere. I've seen a couple of these turn up on building sites here in Sydney in the last few years. They can cost a small fortune to deal with. Just get onto it asap.  

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underground spring.....ah...ah...

Thanks so much for your cheering reply......
I have crawled under the floorboards and it is damp and musty down there with the water apparently accumulating towards the lower end of the unit (downhill), and manifesting itself as efflorescence. I think after 13 years (if an underground spring were operating) there would be a swimming pool under the house!!
Hope you are well in Sydney.
Jack:)  

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jackinashwood said: ↑
I have a unit in Ashwood,Melbourne belonging to a 22 unit complex.

Can anyone recommend a builder/plumber/landscape architect/etc. to identify the source of water. Many thanks, JackClick to expand...
Don't you deal with this through the Body Corp management? I would be bringing it to their attention and letting them sort it out.  

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jackinashwood said: ↑
Thanks so much for your cheering reply......
I have crawled under the floorboards and it is damp and musty down there with the water apparently accumulating towards the lower end of the unit (downhill), and manifesting itself as efflorescence. I think after 13 years (if an underground spring were operating) there would be a swimming pool under the house!!
Hope you are well in Sydney.
Jack:)Click to expand...
Hope I didn't freak you out there too much, Jack, and that it's only a leaking downpipe or something else easily repaired. My own 170 yr-old PPOR is ready for dynamiting, but thanks for asking. :)

As a uni student I shared a house for a year with the house's owner (a mature age student in the same course). It was on a hill too but under the house there was a sort of a pond, which filled every time it rained. He spent a few weekends digging trenches out from under the house and down through the front garden. Hardly ag drains, but they did the trick. That might be all your place needs (ag drains that is, not open-air run-off trenches).  

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go through Body Corporate

Rockstar said: ↑
Don't you deal with this through the Body Corp management? I would be bringing it to their attention and letting them sort it out.Click to expand...
Good point Rockstar and I will certainly deal through the body corporate. However, I want to know myself what the hell is causing it. I`ve had a couple of plumbers glance at the problem and also a bricklayer and they don`t seem to know.
Thanks,
Jack:eek:  

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efflorescence and water seepage.

In the last two weeks I have had a builder inspect the problem, and he was very thorough- crawling under the floorboards. This was followed by an inspection by a civil engineer. Both top quality but not cheap. :)
There has been some erosion of the soil from the footings but this is not considered a major problem - the major problem being the seepage of the water from the garden area and down under the house.
An agricultural drain has to be constructed - down to the level of the footings 1.2 metres.
Jack  

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There you go! Great to hear it was a simple as an ag drain solution for a bit of garden runoff, and not a natural spa coming out up the hill needing diverting. Water is the ultimate enemy of buildings. You did very well to face your problem and get onto it.  

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agricultural drain

Nice response Belbo - thanks

The builder who crawled under the house recommended the following way to construct an agi-drain.

The recommended method is to dig a 300mm trench to sufficient depth and fall to protect the foundations, then fit a 90mm pvc slotted pipe in the bottom of the trench. Fill the trench to the top with 20mm scoria or screenings. Do not backfill top of trench with soil, mulch etc. Sand can be used to cover the top surface. The agi-drain should be discharged via a silt pit with sump and removable lid to an appropriate legal point of discharge, e.g. storm water system. Clean pit regularly. The silt discharge pit is an important component of any drainage system - especially agi-drains - this allows monitoring the flow rate (if there is not a good flow of water into the pit during heavy rain the system may be blocked and require further investigation

I am trying to organise someone to do this work for me and at the same time reading through other specifications online. Other specs suggest laying fabric at the bottom of the trench and then a layer of scoria then the pipe. Sounds kosher!
Others suggest also lining the sides of the trench with this fabric. Any kind person have a suggestion?
Many thanks,
Jack:)  

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Here is a past thread discussing drainage.

http://www.somersoft.com/forums/showthread.php?p=533559#post533559

As mentioned in this thread we always use geocloth to surround all the aggregate making a big sausage to stop the silting up of the drain.

Cheers  

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Agi-drains

Many thanks - for that Handy Andy.

I am about to get quotes for the work and that is vital information.
Regards,
Jack  

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Agi-drains

Hi Handy Andy,
Could you run your eye over the following specification and see if it looks o.k.
It is compounded from the thread you suggested and the builder`s recommendation.
Many thanks,
John


The recommended method is to dig a 300mm trench to sufficient depth and fall to protect the foundations, (in my case the engineer recommended 1.2 metres). First place geocloth at the bottom of the trench. Cover this geocloth with 50mm of screenings. Then fit a 90mm pvc slotted pipe in the trench. Fill the trench to the top with 20mm scoria or screenings. Do not backfill top of trench with soil, mulch etc. (All scoria should be enclosed in geocloth).
The length of the agi-drain is approximately 16 metres.

The agi-drain should be discharged via a silt pit with sump and removable lid to an appropriate legal point of discharge, e.g. storm water system. Clean pit regularly. The silt discharge pit is an important component of any drainage system - especially agi-drains - this allows monitoring the flow rate (if there is not a good flow of water into the pit during heavy rain the system may be blocked and require further investigation)  

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probably agi-drain not required!

A neighbor dropped in this morning and I discussed the planned agricultural drain. He, a mechanical engineer, suggested that, beforehand, we should carry out simple analytical tests - deduction.
First a hose down my unit`s downpipe and then check under the house. O.k. under the house - no water streaming in.
Next a hose down my neighbor`s. Result – water streaming under the house.
Happily it looks that perhaps the expensive agi drain might not be necessary. First fix my neighbor’s down pipe.
A couple of weeks ago a plumber did these tests - with the hose down the down pipe- and when the water flowed away easily he concluded all was o.k. We didn`t realise that the water was flowing easily under the house. WE SHOULD HAVE LOOKED! I have had a few plumbers looking at this problem and they don`t seem to employ common sense.:D  

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