Esoteric London

No. 938: Regis Road, NW5

Posted in Housing by esotericlondon on October 2, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_4472 copy

Regis Road, London, NW5. Photo © Roger Dean 2013

Dickens’s Dictionary of London, An Unconventional Handbook – Charles Dickens [Jr.], 1882:

[…] Most London houses have basement storeys below the level of the street, and most basements are damp. Their dampness arises from several causes. The use of porous bricks in the walls, and the absence of a damp-proof course to arrest the absorption of moisture from the earth in contact with the lower portions of the wall, is of frequent occurrence. In some parts of London land-springs may give considerable trouble, and in this case land-drains must be laid, care being taken that they are not in direct communication with any soil drain, or with the public sewer. Another source of damp is the absence of air space under the floors, and arrangements for the free admission and passage of air. Air bricks properly distributed, and, perhaps, lowering the level of the ground, will then be necessary. In all cases it is desirable to well drain the subsoil, and to have a good layer of concrete 6in. thick under all basement floors. The level of the ground externally being higher than the floor internally is frequently the cause of damp, and in this case the construction of a good open area is often practicable, but, if not, a properly constructed dry area will be the best remedy. One of the greatest dangers to health is the presence of sewage gas in the house.

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