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Yet another day working on the patio

34 comments


Following on from my previous blogs about my patio I have managed to dig out two of the three sides that are going to become borders but I hit on a slight problem!

First things first!

I think we had got this far?

Yesterday I dug out most of the space by the back wall.
There is a YouTube link to a video about this on my last blog!

But I’ve hit a snag!
The muppets that lived here before us had totally buried this drain under six to eight inches of rubble, gravel and sand!

Now I need a solution as I desperately want to get this finished!

I had dug out all these bricks on my way

So I have put them to use (temporarily) until I can get some cement to make it more permanent.

I intend to cover this with a slab and put a planter of some kind on top. I won’t cement the slab down as obviously I may need to get at the drain in the future.

Finally I get to start making good again. I’ve put some soil back (which I sieved with my sifter!)

Hopefully, tomorrow, I can actually plant something in here!

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Comments

 

I watched your video, Ian ...... found it interesting ...
... I like seeing the tools you choose to use etc. ...
... spade with the point at the front ..Lol.
... velcro shoes... different from the old bedroom slippers I often wear for gardening .LOL.

What a pain about the hidden drain !
You've made a good temporary answer ...
... though I guess engineering bricks would be better for something more permanent...

The sifted soil looks lovely :o)

6 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks Tt, that spade is the typical "grave diggers" spade that you might see in an American movie. I got it because of the long handle, it makes digging easier. Lol. I will look into getting some engineers for the permanent fix.

The soil is in really good condition considering.......

6 Aug, 2010

 

The pointed end to the spade is a good idea..
... all my long-handled spades have squared-off ends ...
Did you buy the spade locally ?
.. or was it an American movie prop cast off..? lol.

6 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Ian,
Not knowing what you know about building etc and I'm not saying you done it but I could not help notice that it looks like the previous owners have put soil above the damp proof course.From one of your pix it looks like the damp proof membrane is just above the pipes to the drain,two brick courses above the drain grate.Normally the drain grate height would be the normal ground level.
I would strongly recommend you take the soil level down to well below the damp proof course,normally two courses which should be the correct level with the drain.Also if you cement those bricks in do not let them touch the wall above the damp proof course,or put some DP membrane between them and the wall.If you do go above the DPM you are likely to get rising damp in that wall which can cost you dearly over time.
Apart from that a great blog Ian.

6 Aug, 2010

 

I`m with you on this one Diydick, we had problems with rising damp when we moved into our house due to the previous owners making a border in front of the house by putting three layers of bricks and then back filling with soil thus covering the damp proof course.

6 Aug, 2010

 

Tt, I got the spade from B&Q for £24.99 It's great for digging through rough, stoney ground!

Hi Diydick, all good advice and something I meant to put in the blog but forgot about. I have thought long and hard about taking the level down to that of the grate but I have already moved around thirty barrow loads and don't feel capable of removing another four or five tonnes of hard core. Also as Carol uses a wheelchair it would make landscaping the rest of the garden to fit a bit awkward. Another factor is, I am running out of room to put the waste as I don't believe in using land fills so won't hire a skip! I am going to use the hard core already removed to make a base for my greenhouse (after I have sifted it.) I will be careful about my levels and use a DP membrane where necessary.

6 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Stroller, it can be a real problem when you don't realise what previous owners/tenants have been up to. finding and clearing that drain has allowed our bath to empty quicker! It no longer takes twenty to thirty minutes to drain! Lol

6 Aug, 2010

 

Good idea Ian,I also forgot to mention about the soil level as well which Stroller has mentioned above.Don't let that go above the DPM but I guess you know that.
I can understand that some people as in your previous owners perhaps have got a clue about DPM's,an easy mistake if you don't know what the DPM does.But to bury a drain grate under hardcore and soil tells me they didn't have a brain cell between them.
You may be able to put some DPM up the wall to just above where you want the earth level if you feel you need to go above the existing one.
Good luck anyway

7 Aug, 2010

 

Oh I forgot to mention.....nice soil.

7 Aug, 2010

 

Lol. Richard .. I remembered to mention the nice soil ;o)

I empathise about the ground levels Ian. I had that problem at a previous home where the owners had piled up loads of soil above the damp proof course ...
and it was full of discarded cat litter too ... what a mess ...

Glad your bath is draining faster ....:o)

7 Aug, 2010

 

Lol Tt,
and that sounds awlful.....probably smelt it too :o(

7 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks Diydick and Tt at least I don't have cat litter to deal with. Bits of 70's cortina, broken glass, bricks and nettle roots I can handle but I think that would be one problem too many for me! Lol

Oh yes, I know there is a DPC running where you say but our bungalow is a prefab and the brick skin was added about fourteen years ago. I don't think the bricks are actually part of the structure of the building and that's why we haven't noticed any damp as yet. What do you think?

7 Aug, 2010

 

If you've got the opportunity to put in any membrane to be extra sure against damp, then I would add it while you have the chance..
Will be interesting to see what Richard thinks about this ...

I like this blog, because I seem to spend a lot of my time in similar situations ~ moving old bricks about ... digging, scrubbing ... and adding downpipes and guttering to prevent my sheds becoming damp... I shall watch your progress with interest :o)

7 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks Tt, my knowledge of building work is limited to general diy so hopefully Richard can help out.

7 Aug, 2010

 

Hi again Ian & Tt,thanx for putting your trust in me.
I won't pretend I'm an expert on building work as I am not a builder,I am an electrician.But I have worked along side other trades and picked up tips etc.from them.I like to feel that I am reasonably good at diy and fairly confident in what I do like plumbing,decorating,basic carpentry and a bit of brickwork etc.What ever job I do,if I don't know enough about it then I research first.
As Tt has said if you have the opportunity to put a membrane against the wall you intend to put soil against then do it if you go higher than the existing dpm in the course of bricks.
Although you say the outer skin of bricks are not attached to the main structure you still have the potential to damage the outer skin of brickwork.The bricks will draw moisture out of the soil and at the least you will get is white powdery stains on the wall,this is salts in the earth.You can normally see this on bricks below the dmp and they always look damper/darker than those above the dpm,look at your pic no.3,also common on garden retaining walls not attached to the house as there isn't so much the neccesity to put a dpm here.The other problem you may get is the brickwork and more importantly the mortar between them will be constantly damp/wet.This in time will weaken it.That is part the reason we have gutters on our houses so rain does not continually pore over the brickwork and penetrate it.I know it gets wet when raining,but when the rain stops it gradually dries out.
If you have soil against it which will have the added bonus of you keep adding water to when you water your plants then you are feeding the wall too.
I would strongly recommend putting a dpm up the side of the wall where the soil is going,starting at gound level.The stuff to get is like a thick polythene either blue or black normally,it is used under the screed on concrete floors in the home to stop rising damp.Places like screwfix,wickes and jewsons do this.
Another alternative is paint on membrane which is a black bitumen paint,a bit like underseal for the car,it's called aquaseal,I have used this on a project and find it works well.
I know it may be more work for you Ian but a job done properly is a job done well.Good luck and let us know how you get on.
BTW watched your vid,very impressed.

8 Aug, 2010

 

I will put a PDM against the wall, it seems silly not to really. Thanks very much for your help Richard and you Tt.

8 Aug, 2010

 

Your welcome Ian
all the best.

8 Aug, 2010

 

Useful and helpful advice about the bricks, Richard.
Hi Ian..
I'm adding this blog to "Weed Suppressing Membranes" ...
I realise the comments are more about dpm, but it might be of interest to be on that GoYpedia category ...
I've put the blog on "Bricks" as well... just for good measure ;o)

9 Aug, 2010

 

Wow thanks Tt.

9 Aug, 2010

 

Do you think there should be a GoYpedia "Oscars" category, to award for your Youtube videos ? ;o)

... Best Screenplay
... Best Actor
... Best Stunt Man.

9 Aug, 2010

 

Lol Tt, you should see the bits that get cut out!

....Best "fail" with a shovel
....Worst singing.
And a special award for "inventions gone wrong!" Lol

9 Aug, 2010

 

Lol. Ian..
Can we please have a blog made up of the out-takes ? ;o)

Had a thought... woke up in the night and the idea came to me .. honestly ..
if you add gravel to that nice sifted soil, that would also assist with drainage in that area near the wall ...

10 Aug, 2010

 

I don't think so Tt, I would get flagged (For the singing alone! Lol)

That's a very good idea about the gravel but you really should take more water with it! Lol ;~))

10 Aug, 2010

 

You don't think so ?
You'd get flagged for using gravel ???
Wow... GoY is getting VERY strict ;o)

oh, you mean the singing and sieve-dancing ..

I'll try to take more water with my gravel ... :o(((

10 Aug, 2010

 

Errrr............... Well, you see............. I mean................. Humph! Lol

10 Aug, 2010

 

Terra, I think our poor Ian is lost for words! I'll have whatever you're on! Such great insightful advice on this blog~wonderful! Great blog as ever Ian... :~))

12 Aug, 2010

 

Thank you again Flori. :~)))

12 Aug, 2010

 

No, thank you, Ian, you have kepted me truly entertained this evening, I am so glad I checked out your blogs my friend....

12 Aug, 2010

 

Well in that case Flori, you're very welcome. ;~))

13 Aug, 2010

 

Watch what you do with that gravel Ian ...
... I'm in charge of GoYpedia Gravel Gardens ;o) x

13 Aug, 2010

 

Unfortunately Tt, it's destined for a very un-Goypedia life, as the base for my greenhouse!

13 Aug, 2010

 

Ah... could end up on the Greenhouse page...
... David is in charge of that category :o)

13 Aug, 2010

 

Well we'll just have to see then. It'll be a while before I can start on it but rest assured there will be a blog and possibly even a video! Lol

13 Aug, 2010

 

Another interesting blog, Ian - and I agree wholeheartedly with diydick re the DPC, he's absolutely right in everything he says.

13 Aug, 2010

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