Posted on
December 12th, 2014

The Beginners Guide to Damp Proofing

Although it often obvious when damp is a problem in a property, it can sometimes be hidden. This is arguably worse than an obvious problem as it can remain unchecked and untreated for much longer than an obvious problem.

Ideally it will not be an issue if a damp course has been installed correctly, but if you are unsure about where to start, take a look at the information below.

Which buildings are susceptible?

By Charlesdrakew (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Charlesdrakew (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

All buildings should be protected, but there are some which are at higher risk than others and may require special attention. Areas with high water tables or prominent water sources are obvious risks for damp problems as the property will have a much greater exposure to damp – both above ground and below.

 

The age and condition of a property is also a major factor, with older and more dilapidated properties requiring special attention. Almost any property can suffer from damp problems though, so proper investigation and testing is required. It is also a good idea to look at surrounding properties and similar builds for further information.

First Steps

Surface Treatments
All cases are unique with different builds, problems and treatments available, but the first step in nearly all damp proofing treatments should be the floor. A plastic damp proof course creates an initial barrier, providing a non-porous layer to stop water passing from one point to another. It is vital that this is installed correctly, as breaks or gaps can create problems and make the damp course redundant.

Moving On

Rising Damp Solutions
External walls are the next step. This is incredibly important for walls below ground level, but should not be neglected on those above ground either. If walls are hidden below ground then it is important to use a barrier on them, either internally within the wall or as a layer between the ground and living space. It is important that the above sections meet, otherwise you are creating an opportunity for damp to creep in.

 

Other areas which are often forgotten about include window sills and roofs. Wooden window sills are great at passing through moisture, so a barrier should be created. Broken and loose roofing tiles should also be checked and repaired when required.

Ongoing Treatment

Technoseal Damp Proofing Paint
Hopefully once treatment is administered or products are installed, there should be little concern. However, if the installation was sub-par or areas were missed, then damp can ingress on your property easily. It is a good idea to keep an eye out for increased damp issues though, and if any treatment is needed it is best to act fast.

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