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71
Snagging and defects / Re: The Dreaded Weak Mortar
« Last Post by Choppared on September 04, 2019, 10:57:45 am »
If I were you I would read my weak mortar articles here:
Part 1: Weak Mortar new homes scandal

Part 2: Britain's crumbling new homes
See the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1FYn3g33UU

Part 3: Weak Mortar in Taylor Wimpey new homes
See the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msEd5CEcI3A

I am currently working on a Part 4 which will expose the fact that air is being added to the mix during silo mixing on site supposedly for workability but I know of at least one instance where up to 40% of the mortar volume is air. More air voids mean that the mortar is weaker and more vulnerable to  freeze thaw action.

I would accept a 25mm rake out and re point in your case. You don't want tests that would prove your mortar is weak which you will duty bound to show future buyers. Even if mortar is prove by independent laboratory testing doesn't mean the NHBC will either buy the house from you or pay for the brickwork and possibly the blockwork to be taken down and re built.

From your photos I must say I've seen much worse as indeed you will if you watch the Victoria Derbyshire stories in the links.

Thanks for the info, I'll certainly take a look at this when I'm at home and can focus on this.
72
Snagging and defects / Re: The Dreaded Weak Mortar
« Last Post by New Home Expert on September 04, 2019, 10:38:46 am »
If I were you I would read my weak mortar articles here:
Part 1: Weak Mortar new homes scandal

Part 2: Britain's crumbling new homes
See the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1FYn3g33UU

Part 3: Weak Mortar in Taylor Wimpey new homes
See the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msEd5CEcI3A

I am currently working on a Part 4 which will expose the fact that air is being added to the mix during silo mixing on site supposedly for workability but I know of at least one instance where up to 40% of the mortar volume is air. More air voids mean that the mortar is weaker and more vulnerable to  freeze thaw action.

I would accept a 25mm rake out and re point in your case. You don't want tests that would prove your mortar is weak which you will duty bound to show future buyers. Even if mortar is prove by independent laboratory testing doesn't mean the NHBC will either buy the house from you or pay for the brickwork and possibly the blockwork to be taken down and re built.

From your photos I must say I've seen much worse as indeed you will if you watch the Victoria Derbyshire stories in the links.
73
Snagging and defects / Re: The Dreaded Weak Mortar
« Last Post by Choppared on September 04, 2019, 08:20:51 am »
Another photo
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Snagging and defects / Re: The Dreaded Weak Mortar
« Last Post by Choppared on September 04, 2019, 08:17:38 am »
Darker mortar usually means it has more cement in the mix and is stronger.
Your photos do not show evidence of weak mortar or for that matter much weathering erosion, erosion which is surprisingly not covered by the NHBC warranty.

TBC

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, that is what I feared, that the photos wouldn't capture what it truly is like. I have added another one, to try and show the difference in colour. It is the very pale stuff which is very sandy in its composition and which basically just brushes out when you scrape something along it. This is why I wondered whether it was a good idea to get a professional surveyor to do a better job of recording the issues then the NHBC more be more likely not to reject.
75
Snagging and defects / Re: The Dreaded Weak Mortar
« Last Post by New Home Expert on September 04, 2019, 07:48:57 am »
Darker mortar usually means it has more cement in the mix and is stronger.
Your photos do not show evidence of weak mortar or for that matter much weathering erosion, erosion which is surprisingly not covered by the NHBC warranty.
76
Jokes / Site manager question
« Last Post by Repton buyer on September 04, 2019, 04:57:23 am »
What do you mean? That brickwork is to NHBC standards.....
77
Snagging and defects / The Dreaded Weak Mortar
« Last Post by Choppared on September 02, 2019, 04:55:43 pm »
This is my first post and it is a shame that it has to be about this increasingly alarming subject. I have recently become aware of this nationally growing problem across the new build industry and so I have been reading more about the subject, mainly because when we moved in to our house, we had a ridiculous list of snags that took ages to sort out. I had never thought about the brickwork and mortar.

So a couple of months ago, with some nervous trepidation, I walked around the outside of the house and inspected the mortar. My heart fell through the floor when I realised just how shoddy it was. Could it be normal though, I thought? Maybe it is just weathering effects, I tried to reassure myself. I mulled this over for a while and then called in a friend who is a professional builder and he was shocked at the standards. "You need to get in touch with the NHBC" he advised.
I then read around on the Internet and came across this site and there seems to be a lot of others in this same boat. So I thought I would add my woes to the forum in the hope that some kind souls can answer my questions and provide some sound advice on how to handle this given, from the sounds of it, the NHBC certainly aren't here to give us peace of mind and sort out these problems.

For information, we moved into our new build in Summer 2012 and the builder was Redrow Homes in  North West England. So the house has had about 7 years of weathering, with the rear of the house facing a south westerly direction.

When Redrow and myself looked at the mortar, there seems to be so much wrong with it. For starters, it seems most of the lower level of the house (up to around the lower windows) seems to be built from a different type of mortar. It seems lighter and sandier, and when I scrape my finger across it when it is dry, powdery sand just crumbles away from it. There are quite a few places where the mortar looks to be severely indented as if it has washed out, as well as other places where I can spot gaps with bits missing having presumably dropped out. The upper level of the house seems to be constructed with a darker type of mortar, which on the face of it, doesn't crumble as easy, though I have been able to snap a couple of sticking out bits of it off. You might get a better idea from the attached pictures (these are just a few of a wider selection I have taken).

Last week I submitted a claim to the NHBC and received a reply a couple of days later asking me for pictures. At this point I thought it might be useful to ask the forum how to proceed.
My concern is that I might not be able to capture the full range of the issues with photos and that they may then reject the claim on grounds of lack of proof of defects, or that the claim amount would be too low (it had to be just over £1,500 to be valid I think). It is difficult to capture the nature of the issues on photos, especially the alarming way the sandy mortar just falls out when rubbing it.

One of my questions is whether I should just go ahead and send the photos, or before I do that, see about getting a Chartered Surveyor to inspect the mortar and provide a neutral report on it, which might add more weight than just my pictures (cost dependent, I am not sure how much this sort of thing would cost!).

I am also not sure what I should be fighting to obtain from the NHBC. I have seen in other posts that they have at times offered a 25mm rake out and re-point, but will that be enough or is that just like sticking a band aid on a broken leg? I mentioned to the wife that perhaps we would need to have the internal walls looked at as well, and as you can imagine, stress levels shot through the roof at the thought of ripping into the internal shell and load bearing walls, and all that decorating we did etc.
On that point, Redrow I knew suggested a rake out to 25 mm might work because the weaker stuff would be protected from the elements, though he wasn't 100% on this and I think he was just trying to protect us from the bad news.

Another thing I thought about was how would this affect a future sale? Not that we are planning on going anywhere right now, but you never know what can happen in the future, and I would dread a sale falling through because of this shoddy mortar work. Also, would this be considered a buildings insurance issue, and something that needs to be declared to insurers with probably an horrific impact on buildings cover premiums?

Safe to say this is all giving me some sleepless nights at the moment so any kind advice would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance.
 
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Snagging and defects / Re: Parking bays- size and regulations
« Last Post by New Home Expert on September 02, 2019, 07:53:17 am »
The Consumer Code for Homebuilders is all their is for new home buyers until the New Homes Ombudsman is created by government.

Whether it is worth the effort of a claim is up to you. Most get around £250 compensation at best and any money incorrectly lost reimbursed.

At least now you can lodge a complaint for free. Until this year, it would have cost you £120!
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Snagging and defects / Re: Parking bays- size and regulations
« Last Post by QEOP on September 01, 2019, 10:25:02 pm »
The issue of undercroft is misleading as clearly you do not have full 100% cover.
This means your car will develop faded paint and worse perhaps even be affected by degradation from the mortar or concrete structure above.

Regarding the parking spaces, the developer really should have spaced them between columns so everyone has the 2,4m minimum. As it stands, you can expect some door damage as inevitable.
However there is no solution I can see as your space is 2.4m.


Would there be any value in taking it up to the consumer code?
80
House Builders / Re: Barwood homes
« Last Post by adamp on August 30, 2019, 03:25:54 pm »
Things are getting interesting since posting this - I am now starting to have bigger issues and Barwood are struggling to resolve.
I will report back in a couple of weeks.
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