damp problems

A suitable damp proof course (DPC) is the best way to protect your home from rising damp and penetrating damp and this includes seasonal damp problems. DPC is the best imperative feature of a property as it shows moisture that comes from the ground.

When selling or buying a property the damp issues can be harmful to the value of the home. If the property has excess moisture, then this will affect the plaster and decoration of the wall. This will also give rise to woodworm, dry or wet rot in timber. Your property valuation will be affected by the dam wall and this can also harm the structural integrity of your home.

The dampness can have severity and hence DPC needs to be installed. In historical buildings, the dampness in the walls can pose a real threat. In case your house is old enough and DPC has not been renewed recently then it could be susceptance to damp problems.

What Causes Damp Walls?

The internal wall gets damp problems and this is not due to the water rising from the ground but it is due to various other factors like downpipes, damaged roof coverings, or malfunctioning rainwater gutters. There are various other causes of dampness and these include condensation problems, defective external render or masonry, inadequate window and door sealing, defective drains in older buildings, plumbing leaks, and external flood events. In all such cases, it is important to diagnose correctly the course of the problem and DPC will not be an actual method of protection against dampness before starting to implement theoretically costly corrective measures.

Types of Damp Proof Course (DPC)

There are two common types of damp-proof courses. They are physical damp-proof courses and chemical damp-proof courses. Let us discuss them.

  1. Physical Damp Courses – During the construction of the structural walls these courses are installed. Depending on the depth of the wall a horizontal, vertical, or stepped damp-proof course is required and this is made from hard-wearing and durable polymers available in various widths. Between the courses of brick or blockwork, physical DPC is installed.
  2. Chemical Camp Proofing – This is also known as an injectable damp proof course. At regular intervals, chemical agents or treatments are injected into the mortar bed between courses of brick or blockwork. The purpose is that the chemical will dissolve into the porous material and a new barrier is created to the rising damp.

Do All Properties Have a Damp Proof Course?

In 1875, DPC has become compulsory. But this does not mean all the structures built after this year are covered. In the last 147 years, DPC technology has come a long way. After 1875 the original DPC laid does not serve their proposed purpose.

To create a DPC, lead or slate barriers were fitted into the wall originally. Later, DPCs grew to include bitumen felt and finally plastic. Due to this, the old DPCs fail victim to bridging, injury, and decline, and hence new DPC may be required.

 Some homeowners invest in damp-proof paint after noticing signs of rising dampness and deem this as an effective DPC. Damp-proof paint will not provide your property with the protection it requires against rising dampness. This will only provisionally solve the problem and offer you Practical Damp Solutions but a suitable DPC will only give you complete protection.

How to Identify Damp Walls?

For any defects, you need to identify the property’s interior and exterior damp walls. As soon as a dam is noticed, you can use a moisture meter and know that the moisture content of your home is above average. When this is noticed, you should get in touch with a damp and timber specialist to calculate and detect the issue.


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