Repairing a House with hidden WW2 bomb damage


This terraced house in Plymouth, Devon, (built circa 1890) had serious structural issues.

The Render was literally falling off in chunks, the bay window was collapsing, and it had bad penetrating damp!

It badly needed Repairs and rendering.

MAJOR PROJECT: This house was used as a rental income by it’s owner, but it had deteriorated so badly that it could not be rented out until several issues had been repaired.

If we can fix a house that’s actually FALLING DOWN then we can certainly fix your home!

The house had suffered bomb damage by the German Luftwaffe in the horrendous Plymouth Blitz during WW2 and was hastily repaired at the time, as were any homes and buildings around affected by the conflict. (there are in fact many places in the city where Bomb damage is still evident!)

So if we can repair a home damaged by Bombs, I’m confident we can fix up your house with whatever is wrong with it! LOL!

Removing pebbledash to find previously unknown bomb damage beneath.

The temporary repairs and rendering were covered over by previous builders and forgotten about over time, until recently, when the bay window at the front literally started to collapse into the road!

When we took the old pebbledash away, we realised it had been covered over with this for a reason. To hide the damage the bombs has caused many years ago. We had to support the walls before working on them, for fear of collapse!

We pinned the walls together using reinforced steel rods, replaced the lintels over all the doors and windows, rendered it, and then coated it with an exterior textured wall coating.  This house is now free of damp and also structurally sound. It will also look this good for potentially the next 25 years.

As you can see, Never Paint Again don’t just paint house walls, they do a whole lot more! No matter how bad a house is, we can restore it to its former glory, AND make it free of future maintenance!

Want to see more on this story?

We could have written an epic about the work needed to this place but we thought best to just show you the images instead!

This is when we we re-doing the rendering along the side of the house.

This is us tackling the extensive rendering

This is us tackling the extensive rendering


Here is a shot of the front of the house and eagle-eyed readers may spot the dropping lintels, pay attention to the lines of mouldings to see that this place had been patched up and was hiding some real horror stories.

The original lintels, from around 1880, had rotted over time and the window frames were the only thing holding the wall up! This was more or less fit to collapse into the road, so we certainly took on a monster job.


What a house of horrors! This is before we started rendering

What a house of horrors! This is before we started rendering

For those of you who have never seen first hand, a house that has been damaged by bombs, here you are!

Much of the city of Plymouth was bombarded by Hitler’s Luftwaffe and many were simply patched up and covered over, such was the shortage of men and materials during the war, and for some time after. Just look at what we found under the pebbledash. Note the lump of what looks like a slab of granite, probably picked up from the cliffs around the docks near here and placed to fill a shrapnel hole in the render.

A hastily repaired wall after bomb damage

A hastily repaired wall after bomb damage with a new lintel

This image shows the rendering in an advanced stage.

We were of course using traditional (Plymouth) silica sand and cement to render this building which although more difficult to work with than browner building sand, we wanted to stick to the original recipe in this case.

Getting on quite well with the rendering

Getting on quite well with the rendering of this awful house!


This was one of the WORST condition homes we have ever worked on.

I personally had experience of working with bomb damaged homes before, notably one just off Kensington High street in London, which I will always remember as when I was sat outside having lunch (A pasty, typical Plymothian!) then who should walk past but Frankie Howerd! Surreal! Although he never said “Titter ye not! ” Or ooh no missus! so you can understand my disappointment!

Anyway, this is what it looked like when we had finished the job and were waiting for the rest of the scaffolding to come down! The finish was not perfect we think but we did our best and the client was happy, but it just goes to show that buying a house unseen at an auction can cost the new owner far more than they thought!

And this is the finished house after rendering and wall coating

And this is the finished house after rendering and wall coating

To see all the images from this job, we put together a slideshow for you, with some cool music too so turn up your speakers!

Please note the images on this page are copyright Guy Alexander Bell and you may NOT use or steal them for your own website.

Leave a comment below...