breeze blocks

  sunnystaines 21:53 24 Apr 2015

looking at a bungalow an old victorian rprefab which has been altered over the years. The outer walls are breeze blocks which have been painted white.

Am I right in thinking these will make the place very cold in winter and should only be used as an inner wall unless somewhere in a hot climate.

  bumpkin 22:22 24 Apr 2015

A bit more info would be useful, are they cavity walls or solid for example.

  bumpkin 22:36 24 Apr 2015

Unless it is going to be your main residence I don't think that I would worry too much about extra heating costs which may not even be the case anyway. If it concerns you then you have to equate the cost of extra insulation with the payback time in terms of fuel savings.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:46 24 Apr 2015

Victorian Property

High ceilings lots of "features"

Solid walls - Hard to heat

Modern properties - bland featureless boxes - well insulated cost a lot less to run

I moved from a Victorian semi to a 60's semi and my heating bills halved.

  wee eddie 22:56 24 Apr 2015

Victorians did not have breeze blocks.

The Prefabs were created after the 2nd World War and were built of prefabricated panels, not breeze blocks.

If I were you I would find an Estate Agent that knows what he is talking about

  sunnystaines 07:44 25 Apr 2015

these were described by a local surveyor as victorian prefab holiday chalets so I presume they were once wooden walls, the blocks may be concrete i suppose but there are two areas where thin vertical cracks go up from the ground almost straight rather than zigzag round the blocks. hoping to get a builder to look and give an opinion but its good to be pre armed with some knowledge.

  Forum Editor 09:40 25 Apr 2015

"there are two areas where thin vertical cracks go up from the ground almost straight rather than zigzag round the blocks."

You need to find out a bit more before even considering this property. Vertical cracks - those which run through bricks or blocks, rather than following the mortar course - can be an indication of subsidence, or of inadequate or faulty foundations, and should be investigated very thoroughly.

The Victorians did use concrete in construction, and for a while there was a movement which saw concrete as the building material of the future. Some Victorian houses were even built entirely of concrete, but they are rare. I have never seen or heard of a Victorian dwelling built from breeze or cinder blocks, or of concrete blocks for that matter.

It's easy enough for someone who knows a bit about construction to tell the difference between concrete and breeze or cinder blocks, and cinder would be a very unlikely external wall material.

If this property really is a Victorian original there's a possibility that it was subsequently given an outer, insulating skin of blockwork (although this would normally be rendered before painting). That may be what is behind the vertical cracking - if there was an insufficient foundation for the blockwork it would move. My guess is that you are looking at lightweight building blocks, but it will be very easy to find out - get a decent surveyor to take a look if you are seriously interested. He/she will be able to tell in about ten minutes.

  sunnystaines 21:36 28 Apr 2015

been round with a builder it would appear the wall rendering has makings on it to look like blocks, but without chipping away could not say what the walls were.

He said house has a damp problem so thats the end of this one.

thank you for the replies.

  bumpkin 22:37 28 Apr 2015

Rendering marked to look like blocks is not that uncommon. Dampness depending on its source and severity can be dealt with fairly easily although not cheap it should not be a reason to dismiss the property without further investigation. You are in my opinion unlikely to find any genuine bargains in your desired area so I think that you have to accept some faults on older properties or pay more in the first place. Anyway good luck with your searching.

  sunnystaines 09:18 30 Apr 2015

bumpkin thanks it was a serious damp problem with bodged silicon treatment

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