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Step cavity tray to prevent water penetration

Steve Dickinson, from our Building Surveying team, has provided some images of a recent building defect investigation in Bournemouth.

step cavity trays water damage

Steve was instructed by the estate managers to investigate the cause of water entry which was damaging the interior of a flat adjacent to the junction of a gable wall and roof pitch, the wall facing towards the south west and prevailing weather. As the property is in close proximity to the sea, during storms, wind driven rain had entered the cavity to the wall, causing internal water ingress and dampness within the flat.

This is a common occurrence where a sloping roof abuts an external wall. Due to the porous nature of the outer leaf of brickwork and inner leaf of blockwork, water penetrated through the outer leaf of the external wall into the cavity and subsequently into the flat via the inner leaf of masonry. Inspection indicated no cavity trays had been installed at this position when the property was built.

The solution to prevent this moisture from entering the building was by installation of stepped cavity trays, with weep vents to intercept and drain water from the cavity and prevent it bridging the cavity and causing internal water damage. As an additional measure, new soakers, stepped cover flashing and secret gutter were installed as the elevation is at height and particularly exposed.

Steve specified the remedial works and oversaw the installation of the corrective measures by a local contractor.

Find out more about our building pathology, defect analysis and repair service.