The weak mortar scandal is still ongoing and shows no sign of stopping.
Numbers are increasing of new home buyers reporting issues with soft or weak mortar in the brickwork of their new builds. Unfortunately, the solution if carried out could, in the worst-case scenario, involve the demolishment and rebuild of the home. In some cases, weak mortar can affect a whole development meaning this practice would have to happen to every home if the circumstanced of weak mortar are the same for every property. Warranty providers and housing developers want this issue hidden in an attempt to not deter any new potential buyers from a new build home. However with increasing numbers of new build property owners opening up about the issues how long can they keep this under wraps.
What are the NHBC guidelines for mortar?
In a report by the BBC (New homes ‘crumbling due to weak mortar’6th December 2018) there were reports of weak mortar in at least 13 estates however has this number grown in the past year? – We suspect the answer is yes.
NHBC guidelines state mortar in most areas of the UK should be made of one part cement to 5.5 parts sand. To make the mix stronger there should be more cement in the mix however this practice is only used on housing developments situated in severe weather areas.
No matter where in the country the house is or the housing developer, an increase of new-build homeowners are discovering similar issues with the mortar in their brickwork. The weak mortar is crumbling or seems to be “powdery”, in some cases, the mortar can be brushed or lightly scrapped from the mortar joints and is being washed away by the effects of weather. The solution (the most common one offered by both housebuilders and the NHBC warranty) is to rake out mortar joints to a depth of 25mm and re-point using new, sometimes higher strength mortar. However, the mortar that has not been replaced will sill be of inadequate strength.
I have problems with my New Build. What do I do?
STEP 1: Register for the group action below or call 0333 344 5324 and one of the team will get back to you
STEP 2: Join our Facebook group New Build Homes -Failed promises and Start a post about the issues you’re having and the housing developer (include pictures if you can) or sent it us via emailing Newbuild@stratuslegalsolutions.co.uk
STEP 3: Create a snagging list: If you’re planning to move in or have moved into a New build property be sure to make a snagging list before you move your belongings into the property. Ensure to check measurements of stairs kitchens and gardens.
STEP 4: Be sure to contact NHBC or your warranty provider and follow their complaints procedure.