Sunday, May 20, 2018

10 frequently asked questions about damp

Damp problems are every homeowner’s worst nightmare; in this article I will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about damp.

What is a damp proof course?

A damp proof course is a layer of material in the wall of a building to prevent rising damp. The layer of material is usually a slate strip or a horizontal plastic.

How are damp proof courses installed?

Most damp proofing companies use the silicone injection method. They will be able to determine the optimum height for the installation of the damp proof course, taking into consideration both the internal and external ground levels. They then drill into the brickwork and inject the silicone fluid, and then re-point the mortar joint using cement and sand.

How much does a damp proof cost?

Because different properties have different problems, the damp proofing company would need to carry out an individual survey of your property to gain a better idea of the problem and provide you with an accurate quote.

I have a damp proof course, but there are signs of damp at the base of the walls?

This can be caused a number of problems. Either the damp proof course is failing to do its job, or the wrong type of plaster may have been used.  The damp proof course may even have been bridged by internal plastering or external rending which has been carried to ground level.

What is condensation?

Condensation is more often than not, a result of poor ventilation! Condensation is caused when warm moisture meets a cold surface. The key factors that contribute to causing condensation are the amount of water vapor within your property, the amount of air circulation, and the air temperature both inside and out. Basically, the warmer the air is, the larger its capacity for retaining water vapor.  As the air reaches a lower temperature it gets to the dew point where it can no longer hold water vapor, the result of this is condensation!

How can I prevent condensation?

To prevent condensation, you must have a combination of good ventilation, sufficient heating and insulation.  Low level heating will cause the temperature of internal surfaces to rise. This will then reduce the cooling of any moisture and as a result, reduce the amount of condensation. Using extractor fans in your kitchen and bathroom are a very effective way to reduce condensation. It’s also recommended that you open your windows when you take a bath or shower, this will allow damp air to leave your home.

What is rising damp?

Rising damp is caused by ground water transferring up through a wall via capillary action. The majority of walls will allow some water in, but it’s usually prevented from causing damage by a damp proof course. If the damp proof course is missing, the chances of you suffering from rising damp will be significantly higher! Rising damp can also occur when the level of the ground outside your property is higher than your damp proof course. Symptoms of rising damp include damaged floorboards, salt stained plaster and peeling wallpaper.

How can I prevent rising damp?

To prevent rising damp, you should check moisture levels at least twice a year. Any soil that is resting against your property should be dug away to leave a sufficient gap. If your damp proof course is working as it should be, this should be enough to prevent rising damp!

What is penetrating damp?

Penetrating damp is caused by the leakage of water through walls. Penetrating damp can move around a property, but the movement is horizontal rather than vertical (as is the case with rising damp). Penetrating is usually a result of structural problems such as faulty roofing or guttering. Common symptoms of penetrating damp include damp patches on ceilings, walls and floors. Penetrating damp is more likely to occur if you live in an older property.

How can I prevent penetrating damp?

To prevent penetrating damp problems, examine gutters, flashing, rendering and window frames to check for cracks. If you’re guttering is on its last legs, consider replacing it with a new plastic alternative. You should also re-seal any gaps around window frames. If the drip groove under your window sill is blocked, take the time to clear it thoroughly.

Call a trusted professional like 247 Drainage who is available 24hrs a day if you do face any major problems. Yet, in the meantime see there website for DIY Advice in order to help you be as self sufficient as possible

Author: This article was contributed by David at Protectahome Damp Proofing