How to Treat Damp
Almost every property at some point will develop damp. Whether it be moisture from a leak in the roof, a plumbing leak, penetrating damp or rising damp.
Damp however is more common in older type properties, particularly when we consider rising damp and penetrating damp. If you are unsure about the different terms or labels when we think about how to treat damp then read on and we will try to explain them to you.
Rising damp occurs when the damp proof course in a property or building has failed or been compromised. A DPC or Damp Proof Course is normally inserted at 150mm above ground floor level and is there to stop damp rising any further. DPC’s may be made from slate, plastic or chemically injected. Slate is common in older properties and chemical injections more popular with remedial work, after a DPC has failed.
This is when damp is entering the building from moisture that is being imposed on the building from an outside source, for example a leaking down pipe or defective pointing perhaps that is letting moisture or water in. Penetrating damp is more prone to solid wall construction where there is no cavity between the skins of brickwork. To learn how to treat damp correctly it is vital that you fully understand why it’s actually occurring in the first place.
Leaning how to treat damp just needs a little detective work to assess all probable causes of where any moisture is coming from. If it is rising damp then the damp will normally travel 1 meter high up the wall. It is therefore essential to apply a new DPC at the correct level to stop any further dampness.
You would apply a new chemical DPC by drilling a series of holes in the wall and then filling the holes with a chemical fluid or cream. The cream would then be absorbed into the brickwork providing a barrier against further attack.
Remedial plaster works must also be carried out afterwards when we consider how to treat damp and this is normally done by using a membrane sheet and plasterboard or traditional sand and cement with a suitable water proffer in. The treatment is then finished by applying a plaster skim finish.
There are far more ways in that damp can be determined in a property that we have not covered in this article such as damp by cold bridging, damp from beneath ground floor level or condensation etc. The end result being damage to a building and in order to stop any damage we must first learn how to treat damp effectively.
Most companies offering to solve your damp problems will offer a guarantee for the work carried out which is normally for about 25 years or so; However, make sure the damp proof company that you choose has a sound understanding about damp treatment and is a specialist in treating it.
The purpose of this article was to give you a brief understanding on how to treat damp and how to deal with it should it occur in your property. There are also organizations such as the PCA (Property Care Association) that can be contacted for further advice and help.