If your home is suffering from extensive damp, a damp proof course treatment may be your best solution to ward off damp and the potential problems it causes, such as mould.
So, what is a damp proof course? In this extensive guide, we’ll discuss the different types of damp proof course, as well as the advantages of damp proof course installation in your home.
What is a Damp Proof Course?
A traditional damp proof course is essentially a barrier designed to act as moisture prevention. A damp proof course treatment stops damp rising up your walls from the ground. Often, there is no damp proof course in old houses, which is why many period properties suffer from excess damp on the walls.
What Causes Damp to Occur?
There are many reasons why damp occurs in your home. These include:
- Poor ventilation
- External flooding
- Plumbing leaks
- Defective damp proof course
- Defective cavity wall insulation
- Structural issues
- Guttering problems
- Chimney or roof issues
- Poor window or door pointing
What are the Effects of Damp on the Home?
Excess moisture or damp within your home can lead to potentially serious consequences, including:
- Extensive damage to furniture and furnishings
- Unpleasant odour
- Unpleasing atmosphere
- Structural damage to your property
- Increased heat loss, meaning higher energy bills
- Health problems, such as asthma, skin rashes and allergies
What Are the Different Types of Damp Proof Course?
Take a look at the different types of damp proof course that can be placed within properties.
This damp proof course, which is also known as a chemical damp proof course injection, involves a liquid or cream being injected into a wall to provide a water-repelling layer. This aims to prevent damp from rising up the walls above the damp proof course. To install this, 10mm holes are drilled into the wall, normally at a level above 150mm from the external ground. A liquid or cream is then injected into these holes. The disadvantages of getting a damp proof course injection are that it can be time-consuming and very messy. However, this type of damp proof course is great for thick walls and it’s extremely long-lasting. When performed correctly, it will last the entire lifespan of your home.
Mortar injection damp proof course
This is similar to the regular damp proof course injection, except that a chemically enhanced mortar is injected into drilled holes rather than a cream or liquid. The disadvantage of a damp proof course mortar injection is that this method can be unsightly. However, mortar injections can be used on walls where there are voids or rubble within their structure. The mortar fills gaps, with the chemical drawn into the wall to prevent any damp from rising.
Electroosmotic damp proof course
For people that prefer a non-chemical brick damp proof course, electric osmotic can be fitted. This method involves titanium and copper wiring being installed to input a small electrical charge, which causes a reversal in the polarity of the wall capillarity. This pulls any rising damp to below the damp proof course level. This type of damp proofing dates back to the 18th century and if it’s not fitted properly, it’s not effective at all. In stone walls, it can be more effective than an injection, but correct installation is paramount.
Membrane damp proof course
The difference between a damp proof course and a damp proof membrane is that a plastic membrane material is installed beneath a concrete slab to prevent the concrete from becoming damp. The majority of membrane damp proof courses can last up to 30 years and they are quick and easy to apply. As membranes are flexible, they can also deal with any structural movement.
Cavity wall damp proof course
A cavity wall separates the inner and external walls. This can help to prevent damp by forming a barrier to stop the external wall leaking damp onto the inner wall. However, there is still a risk that moisture will get through to the inner walls, regardless of the insulation material implemented. A cavity wall damp proof course does offer additional benefits though, such as thermal and sound insulation.
How to Know if You Need a Damp Proof Course?
Damp proofing varies depending on when your house was built, as well as how extensive the amount of damp is within your home. Contemplate the following when deciding if a damp proof course is right for you.
The age of your property
Damp proof courses in old houses are most likely to be non-existent, so if damp is a problem, an effective damp proof course can help to keep excess moisture at bay. All new build houses are required to possess damp proof courses so if your home is relatively new and has damp, it may be that the damp proofing isn’t efficient or wasn’t installed correctly.
Does your property have rising damp?
You’ll need a damp proof course if you have visible signs of rising damp. This is moisture that goes against gravity by moving upwards. It’s often noticeable by tide marks on your walls or by the destruction of plaster, paint or wallpaper. If you already have a damp proof course, this could be a sign that it’s been incorrectly installed or that it’s no longer effective.
Get an expert opinion
If you’re unsure as to whether your home has extensive damp, it may be time to call in the professionals. A trained eye will be able to get to the root of the problem and ensure you get the best damp proof course for your property.