Woodworm attacks on the floorboards of the HHGE ground floor flats are becoming increasingly common on the Hanger Hill Garden Estate. All photographs taken at Oxford Court on 11 December 2020.

This is most likely the result of 9 years of HHGE management neglect in repairing leaking drains including,


Gullies and


As a result of this failure to repair these water leaks, every year hundreds of thousands of gallons of rainwater and “grey water” (from baths, and sinks) ends up under the floorboards of your ground floor flat.

When the flats were built between 1933-1939 the buildings were provided with an elaborate drainage system so that both the rainwater from the roofs and the grey water from baths and washing was drained away into the main sewer and after treatment ended up in the river Thames.

In addition a small proportion of rainwater was drained into soakaways in the lawns but these soakaways are now silted up and the rainwater ponds in the heavy clay soil next to your flat.

If you live in a ground floor flat on the HHGE you may not have realized that there is no vapor barrier between the under surface of your floorboards and the damp soil below. See this diagram.

This means that if the soil surrounding your flat is wet, the soil underneath your flat is wet and the water vapor can rise up into your flat as a result of the central heating in your flat causing hot air to rise by convection. This adds to the condensation in your flat.

In addition the warm, damp under surface of your floorboards provides the ideal feeding site for Anobium punctatum the Common Furniture Beetle. See also this article about woodworm at Essex House.

Link to the Wikipedia article on Anobium punctatum the Common Furniture Beetle

If you live in a ground floor flat on the HHGE this is what you will see if you lift up your floorboards. A thin layer of porous “oversite” concrete covers the soil beneath your flat. If the soil is wet the concrete will be wet and the the damp will rise into your flat by convection because as we all know “warm air rises”.

Notice the rotting pieces of wood on the damp concrete below many HHGE ground floor flats.