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Historic cottage near Pendle Hill
25 October 2023

We have recently been awarded a contract to reinstate a charming cottage in the village of Newchurch-in-Pendle following frozen and then burst pipes back in December 2022. The property, originally two separate cottages merged into one, boasts walls as thick as two feet. But even these solid walls couldn’t withstand the wrath of frozen and split pipes.

The Initial Damage

The frozen pipes which burst, led to significant water damage throughout the cottage. Whilst the strip out work was undertaken earlier in the year, the reinstatement work took insurers longer to approve, giving us the green light to now proceed.

The Independent Surveyor’s Assessment

Whilst the property was fully dried out in respect of the escape of water from the loft, we noticed that there were still areas of damp on the ground floor, so we engaged the services of a PCA qualified damp surveyor to report on the causes of the persistent damp patches, which he identified to be:

  • The original damp proof course had failed.
  • Inadequate ventilation was exacerbating the humidity levels in the property.
  • Some of the windows required remedial work and trickle vents installing.
  • The external ground level was higher than the internal floor level causing rising damp.
  • The external render to the gable walls extended to the floor therefore allowing damp to rise up from the floor.

Additional Work

The surveyor also recommended a new Damp- Proof Course, using a membrane system and injecting DPC to prevent moisture from penetrating the walls, then applying insulated plasterboard to enhance the property’s insulation and further protect against dampness. This work is out of scope of

the insurance claim, but the property owners have decided to invest in the damp proof course to ensure sustainability of their cottage.

Future Work

Action Insurance Repair will also be carrying out the work on the external render and windows to improve ventilation, as recommended in the Damp & Mould Survey.

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