Broken Downpipes

Broken donwpipeLouise Hampson, Project Director of York Minster Revealed explains why watering the roses can be bad for your building...

"At my church at Leavening in North Yorkshire, we have an ongoing battle with damp. This is largely due to the building being of local stone, a very porous chalk-based stone that crumbles readily.

However, even within the inherent problems in the stone we had a severe damp problem in one corner, which I decided to investigate.

I discovered that one of the downpipes had been broken off at the bottom. This meant that water was discharging directly into the masonry on this particular corner. It had apparently been left like this "to water the roses" in the flowerbed which directly abuts the wall.

By the simple and cheap expedient of buying a piece of curved pipe and fitting it to the base of the downpipe so the water was thrown further away from the building, the damp corner was cured and the roses are fine!."


Getting rainwater away from buildings as quickly and as efficiently as possible is a fundamental part of good maintenance. If water is allowed to percolate into the base of the walls and the foundations it can do a lot of damage to the masonry as well as internal plaster and finishes.

Problems like broken downpipes or blocked drains need to be rectified as quickly as possible as saturated masonry may take many months to dry out and may need to be repaired or even replaced.