What is a damp proof course?
Damp proof courses can be crucial for the health and protection of your property, especially in this wet country where around 272,000 gallons of rain water falls every year.
A damp proof course is any sort of long term solution to water/moisture breaching a buildings foundation and coming into a property. There are few different varieties of damp proof course which are discussed futher down the page.
The reason why a damp proof course is important is because any excess moisture entering a building can lead to more serious property problems such as timber decay or structural damage. Properties that do not have an effective damp proof course are more prone to suffer from the following:
If signs of damp are identified within your property and the source of the dampness is suspected to be a failure within the current damp proof course, then we would always suggest you have the current DPC inspected and if necessary, repaired as soon as posible to avoid any further damage and additional costs.
Different types of damp proof courses
As previusly mentioned, a damp proof course can be achieved using various methods and treatment options including the following:
1. Electro-osmotic damp proof course
The water that is rising up through your wall is counteracted and sent back down to the ground through an electric charge using the electro-osmotic damp proof course option.
These systems are better suited to walls that are 600mm thick or more. They are widely used by Historic Scotland in older buildings.
2. Chemical damp proof course
The introduction of chemicals within a damp proof course can be more practical than a solid damp proof course. Silicone based liquid is injected into the wall at no less than 150mm from the base to create a water repelling layer.
3. Pressure grouting
Using grout or concrete to fill gaps and voids in a buildings formation is an inexpensive and practical option for a damp proof course. Usually determined by a professional, holes are drilled into specific areas of the building before concrete is pumped into the voids to make it damp proof.
4. Membrane damp proof course
As part of a damp proof course, a damp proof membrane material is placed beneath a concrete slab with the purpose of safeguarding the concrete from gaining any moisture and making it damp proof.
5. Integral damp proof course
An integral damp proof course involves mixing components into the metal and concrete of the building during the mining process. The purpose of this is to fill any voids in the concrete ensuring it is damp proof.
6. Cavity wall damp proof course
The purpose of a cavity wall is to separate the inner and outer walls. The cavity wall acts as a barrier preventing dampness transmitting from the cold exterior wall onto your warm interior walls.
Do I currently have a damp proof course?
During the construction of a property, a damp proof course is usually installed into the base of the walls as standard. However, widespread use of damp proof materials only really started around the 1950s, therefore it may be possible that your building either does not have a damp proof course or your current course has deteriorated over time.
If you notice any visible signs of damp or mould on walls then this typically indicates a problem with the damp proof course and you may want to consider contacting a damp specialist to have a look.
Want to know how to treat a damp problems? Check out our guide to damp treatments and how we would go about resolving a damp issue.More about damp treatments
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Still unsure if you have a problem with your damp proof course? Need some help? Contract Wise Property Care for a no obligation damp survey.About our damp surveys
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