What is a Damp Proof Course?
Damp proofing is very important and it has become an essential aspect of every home. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly damp proofing is and why it is so important.
Damp can easily cause damage to the structure of your house, and it can reduce the overall value of your property. That’s why it’s so important to know what the signs of damp are. This is so that you can detect it as early as possible and prevent any further damage.
When the physical barrier – or wall – of a property is damaged, it can lead to a host of other problems, including rising damp, and rot.
A damp proof course is a preventative measure that can be taken to prevent damp from causing any problems in the future. This can be a barrier made from bitumen, slate or plastic and built into the walls of the property, just above ground level.
This will help to prevent damp from rising up through your walls. You don’t have to wait until damp causes problems before you install a damp proof course. You can install this as a preventative measure to prevent damp from causing problems.
When a damp proof course has been installed, it’s not always necessary to re-plaster the walls. This is only recommended where there are obvious signs of damage, or where the plaster has become degraded.
You can choose to have your wall re-plastered, for it to look brand new and have a guarantee. It’s important use the right plaster with a waterproof additive. This will prevent damp from occurring again and causing problems in the near future.
You may pick up on issues with your current damp protection, which may be the result of long term deterioration. This can lead to damp rising through your walls and showing important signs that you should look for. These signs can be salt stains, discolouration, peeling wallpaper or paint, and crumbling plaster on your inside or outside walls.
The Signs of Damp
Damp may not always be as easy to spot, but it’s important to know about all the different signs that you should look for. Damp can easily appear after a flash flood, or it can emerge slowly over time. In most cases it may take years before you’ll notice signs of damp.
It’s often necessary to get the help of an expert, as it’s not always easy to do an assessment yourself. No two cases are the same, but an expert will know exactly how to spot the signs of damp, no matter how small they are. The earlier you identify your damp issue, the less expensive it will be to fix.
Some of the classic signs of damp include the following:
- Dark patches on your walls
- Mould forming on your walls
- A damp or musty smell throughout your home
- Discolouration of your plaster
- The appearance of salt stains on your exterior walls
- The decay of timber
It’s important to do a regular inspection of your home, to ensure that you don’t overlook any signs of damp. The sooner you pay attention to these signs, the easier they will be to handle. You can then damp proof your house and prevent any future damp from causing damage to your home.
Rising Damp Treatment
Rising damp refers to the movement of water up the walls of your home. This can result in the damage of the plaster and internal decorations, causing you to undergo expensive repairs. The longer rising damp is left alone, the more damage it will cause to the structure of your home.
It may be necessary to re-plaster the walls or make use of products like a damp proofing rod. When you do re-plaster you walls, make sure you use a dense cement and sand mix with a waterproof additive. It will help to prevent damp from causing further damage and you can finish it with a smooth coat.
Rising damp can be a slow process, which is why many home owners choose to delay treatment. But it should be treated as soon as possible, and the cause should be eliminated as well. You can treat rising damp in a variety of ways, including installing damp proofing at your home.
But the first place to start is to do a proper survey to carry out an inspection, and decide on the right treatment for your rising damp. This can include a damp proof course as well. Older buildings are more likely to show signs of rising damp, especially since older building methods have likely been used.
Condensation refers to the condition when humid air is trapped within an environment. This is usually where there is very poor circulation that prevents the humid air from escaping. Moisture will condense when it touches cold surfaces like walls or windows, and this can lead to moss growth.
Condensation can happen due to everyday activities like washing and cooking, as it releases hot air in to the atmosphere. You need to improve your insulation, and make use of a series of other methods to help reduce or eliminate condensation from your home.
Some of the common signs of condensations in the home is:
- Wallpaper that is damaged or peeled
- a musty or damp odour in the home
- black mould growth that usually happens along the edges of the windows
Eliminating condensation can be challenging, but it’s definitely possible with the right treatment of your home. But it’s important to remember that you should also take care with certain activities. For e.g., when you cook, cover your pots and pans, and don’t leave kettles boiling. Install an extractor fan to remove excess moisture and properly ventilate bathrooms and kitchens.
Penetrating Damp Treatment
Penetrating damp refers to moisture that penetrates through walls, windows or roofs of your property. Things like cracked tiles and defective seals can easily allow water to sip through and cause damp.
Lateral penetrating damp refers to water that moves through walls from the outside of the building, but not as a result of rising damp. That’s why it’s important to recognise penetrating damp as soon as possible. Penetrating damp will usually damage the plaster of your room, and lead to mould growth.
Penetrating damp can be as a result of building issues, like cracked brickwork, defective roof coverings and more. You can choose to have a penetrating damp survey done, in order to determine the extent of the damage, as well as the options you have available.
If your damp issues are caused by building defects, it should be repaired by a professional. You can also lower the external ground level that supports the wall, although this can be a bit expensive to do.
You can also get a treatment that is aimed at rooms below ground level. It will help you to get a dry internal wall surface, and the room will be made comfortable to live in. This is a great option for a basement area or a cellar in your home, and the treatments are very effective.
You can ask for a thorough inspection of your home. This is to assess what type of damp treatment you’ll need and also provide general tips and advice on how to prevent further damp.