Damp proofing refers to any material or technique added to the floors or walls of your home with the purpose of keeping out damp. Damp is unsightly, and it can also be harmful. Fully functioning damp proofing is an important factor in creating a comfortable, healthy home environment.
What is damp proofing?
Damp proofing is the method used to prevent water penetration or moisture into a structure. Before selecting an appropriate method for damp proofing it is important to identify damp and its causes.
How to identify Damp and its causes?
The effects of damp are usually visual commonly hydroscopic salts, black mould, peeling paint and condensation on windows. When diagnosing damp it is important to understand the type of construction and look for the obvious defects. Moisture, humidity and wall temperature readings should be taken to find and trace excessive levels and defects in the construction. An experienced Waterproofing Technician would be able to use his experience with a meter to identify damp and advise on its remedy.
What types of damp can affect your home?
Penetrating Damp occurs when water from the external of a building structure and penetrates the construction material to make its way through to the internal surface. There are many construction factors to consider when looking for the causes of penetrative damp. Common causes are porous mason, leaking gutters and down pipes, roofs, flashings and parapet walls although there are numerous possibilities. Very often Penetrative Damp can be fixed by repairing the fault without the need for plastering.
Rising Damp is the effect of moisture rising up past the construction Damp Proof Course. There are a few main reasons that this occurs.
- The Damp Proof Course has become defective by age or maintenance.
- Ground height been raised causing moisture to bridge the Damp Proof Course.
- Incorrect Plasters have been used internally and externally.
- A render without an adequate Waterproofing agent has been placed over the Damp Proof Course.
How to Treat Rising Damp?
The treatment for Rising Damp is to remove all existing plasters from the masonry wall to a height of 1 metre. A chemical Damp Proof Course should be injected horizontally at the correct damp course height and vertically to 1 metre where walls meet another wall.
The plaster should be replaced at the junction of all walls to stop contamination in the newly prepared work. A three coat render is trowelled to the walls using a Waterproofing Agent worthy of a 30 year guarantee. When using multi finish as a finished plaster it is important to prevent any contact with floor and masonry around windows as it will cause a bridge for moisture to spread.
Condensation is caused when warm air meets cold walls causing water vapour to occur. Black mould is formed as water turns musty and stale. Mould requires a clean water source and therefore is very much a marking of Condensation as opposed to the other types of damp.
How to cure Condensation?
Condensation is simple to cure but can be extremely expensive. The most cost effect way to cure Condensation is to Ventilate rooms at all times especially when clothes are drying and mornings are cold. It is important to maintain wall temperatures with the heating constantly rather than blasting it when it is cold. Humidity fans and heat exchangers are also an option but not a preferred option due to noise and visuals.
Historically walls where built of cold warm construction and the way to beat condensation is to obviously convert them to warm wall construction by adding insulation into wall to increase their U value. Thicknesses and finishes can be a little tricky and is expensive but worth every penny if you are feeling the effects of Condensation.
If you are experiencing any of the unfortunate signs of damp in your London home London Waterproofing Company can offer you a Free Survey with a detailed diagnosis, solution, costing and a guarantee for as long as 30 years.
Please give us a call today on 0203 633 5584 or drop us an email and we will get back to you.