A damp proof course is a physical or chemical barrier that works to prevent building materials from being saturated by water from the ground.
Most modern houses are built with a physical damp proof course in the walls. A plastic or rubber strip at 150mm above the outside ground level which is positioned in horizontally in the mortar course.
How do damp proof courses fail ?
Every now and then in new build properties the damp proof course omitted from the construction or not installed in the wrong place.
Older buildings may not have an effective damp proof course.
Bridging of the damp proof course. This is when the outside ground level has been raised to above the damp proof course. As damp proof courses only work by stopping water from rising up from underneath bridging will stop it from working.
Internal floor levels may have been raised to above the position of the damp proof course. This is common when a timber floor is replaced with a solid concrete slab as part of refurbishment project.
Occasionally some types of damp proof course may break down over time and fail or be damaged due to structural movement, though this is rare.
Why is rising damp a problem?
A lack of an effective damp proof course can allow the walls to be saturated by moisture from the ground. Water is able to rise up through the masonry by capillary action, a process called rising damp.
Rising dampness can cause the following problems:
Damage to wall finishes, paints and wallpapers.
Groundwater will often contain salts which will contaminate wall plasters causing them to expand and fail.
Timbers embedded in the wall can decay when exposed to moisture.
Wet walls are difficult to heat. Rising Damp can cause a big increase in energy bills.
Many of us will, unfortunately, experience damp in our homes at some point. Damp proofing helps keep your property is in its best condition and prevents health issues that can occur from being in a damp home. This ensuring that you and your family stay safe and healthy.
Rochester Building and Damp are a local business that specialises in damp proofing. We can provide the necessary expertise and equipment required for you to prevent damp in your property. To learn how we can help you with damp proofing or to get a quote, contact us today on 01634 308188.