By shedfish , May 5, in House prices and the economy. AFAIK, red ash is waste from mining activity that was used several decades back in the foundations of some houses. Unfortunately, it was found to draw moisture into the brickwork, and quite a number of houses around here were affected, but there are others as well. I had a red ash survey done on a house I wanted to buy some years ago, and it would probably have put me off buying if the test had been positive.
Red Ash – Whats The Problem?
Red Ash is a common problem in the Staffordshire region. During the post-war period, there was a real shortage of building materials hence also the proliferation of various types of system built housing and thus the government promoted the use of substitute materials. In the case of flooring it became common to use fill materials below a concrete floor. It is the sulphate content of these materials that caused the structural problems in properties where it has been used. If moisture penetrates through the concrete floor to the red ash below, then the sulphate reacts and begins to migrate into the concrete. The concrete then expands causing the floors to crown or heave.
Join the conversation
Red Ash was a filling used under the concrete flooring typically between and After the war building materials were hard to come by, therefore various fillers were used and a concrete slab was formed on top of the fillers. Red ash and blast furnace slag were common filler materials particularly in areas like stoke-on-Trent where they were readily available.
As you become more experienced in property you become more familiar with the things to look out for when purchasing a property. No doubt your first purchase will not be the best one, as you will make mistakes. I started off by viewing properties in the north, in about 18 months. I soon learnt to see the obvious. With my Quantity Surveyor background I understand buildings and their structure and technical terms do not overwhelm me. With experience, you will also become familiar with building issues. Let me give you a head start by showing you some of the pitfalls to look for in viewing a property and why. You can save yourself time and money by dismissing a property that is in too bad a condition for your needs.