The Importance of Damp Proofing in Construction

11 - 01 - 2022

Damp problems can plague buildings time and again. Effective protection against damp starts at the point of construction. It is easier to prevent the problem of rising damp than it is to treat it once it occurs. This is why the importance of damp proofing in construction cannot be overstated.

A damp proof course means applying moisture control treatments to the walls and floors of buildings. This prevents damp from becoming an issue, and when it is administered poorly then there will be very little protection for the walls and floors. The consequence of this include:

  • Mould
  • Musty odours
  • Dark patches on walls
  • Stained wallpaper
  • Peeling paint and wallpaper
  • Wet rot
  • Decaying timber
  • Crumbling plaster and mortar

When any of these things happen, they can be expensive and difficult to address. The likelihood is that extensive property restoration will need to be carried out.

The health risks of damp and mould

The emergence of mould can come about in other ways besides inadequate damp proofing. Things like condensation, poor ventilation and structural defects can also cause it to appear. These problems can affect the health of more than just your home – they can impact your physical health too.

The presence of damp and mould in your home can have an impact on your body. You may experience:

  • A weakened immune system
  • Respiratory infections
  • Asthma complications
  • Allergic reactions

Different approaches to Damp Proofing

A damp proof course can be applied in various ways that are effective in preventing rising damp. The techniques include:

Chemical damp proof course

This is a special treatment wherein a silicone-based liquid is injected into the wall cavity. This creates a damp proof layer that repels water from penetrating into the mortar and plaster.

Damp proof membrane

A damp proof membrane can be placed beneath concrete slabs to prevent the movement of moisture onto the slabs.

Pressure grouting

This is a damp proofing treatment that uses concrete or grout to fill spaces in the structure of a building. Holes will be drilled into targeted areas in order to inject concrete into the spaces and create a tough, damp-proof layer.

Cavity wall damp proofing

This approach involves the erection of a cavity wall between the inner and outer walls. This creates a barrier that prevents damp from passing through the cold exterior walls to the warm interior walls.

Integral damp proofing

This is the process of mixing damp proof materials into the metals and concrete of buildings during the mining process.

Electro-osmotic Damp Proofing

This technique requires the application of electric charges into the wall. These stop rising water in its tracks and send it back down to the ground.

So what is the Damp Proofing cost?

It is not cheap to have a professional damp proof course applied to a property. Damp proofing costs usually run from a few hundred up to several thousand pounds. There are DIY damp proofing options you can take advantage of, which come at a cheaper price, but they are never as effective as a professional damp proof course.

As previously mentioned, damp proofing is best done at the construction stage. This is because having a damp proof course retrofitted to a building involves extensive work to access the areas the treatments need to be applied. By having the damp proofing done during the construction phase, the risk of damp is prevented and the work can be done as the walls and floors are constructed.

Still troubled by damp?

If your property has a damp proof course in place but the damp is still occurring, it could be penetrating damp. This type of damp is usually caused by structural issues that allow water to find its way into the building. It could be caused by:

  • A faulty roof
  • Cracks in the walls
  • Damaged guttering
  • Crumbling mortar/brickwork

These are just some of the issues that can allow water to find its way into the property.

Whilst prevention is easier and cheaper than treatment of damp, the issues of penetrative damp can be addressed. You will need to identify the underlying cause and have the necessary repairs done by an appropriate firm. There are specialist services for dealing with things like moss removal and roof cleaning.

At JTD Building Supplies we offer tried and trusted products that have been proven to work time and time again. If you need a hand choosing the right product or want to know more about damp proofing, contact us and one of our team members will happily help you.

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