What are the causes of damp?
In many cases, damp can be unwittingly encouraged due to poor maintenance. There are several causes of damp in the home/business, but all can be remedied. Damp can be in or around the roof, walls, floors, windows, doors or pipe-work.
Often, if there is a damp patch visible inside the home/business, the cause can be identified from an issue on the exterior. For instance, a wet patch at the top of a wall might be due to a leaking gutter outside.
What is rising damp?
Rising damp is water from the ground which enters a structure by capillary action. Water that enters or affects a building via any other route, can move around in various ways but is not considered rising damp. Only rising damp can be cured by installation of a chemical damp proof course.

Rising damp is a commonly encountered problem in some types of building. However, it is often misdiagnosed, and as such, it is important that a trained and competent surveyor who can recognise and understand the problem, undertakes the investigation into dampness.
Most types of masonry used in the walls of a building, will allow some water movement by capillary action. However, this is usually controlled by a physical barrier or damp proof course. If the physical barrier is absent, has broken down or is damaged, it is often possible to install a remedial damp proof course (DPC) to control water rising from the ground.
Water rising from the ground often introduces contaminating salts into the walls and plaster coats. This contamination will often result in a need for the plaster to be removed. The plaster will then be replaced using specially formulated salt resistant plasters.

What is penetrating damp?
Damp penetration usually refers to any water that enters a building and has moved through the walls horizontally, or from a higher to a lower level and is usually associated with external construction defects.
Penetrating damp may move about within the building in various ways, but is not rising damp. Penetrating damp occurs as a result of problems with a fabric of the building, which can allow water to leak into walls or floors. Typical defects leading to penetrating damp are, defective guttering or down pipes, faulty flashings, poor pointing, cracked rendering and built up external ground levels.
Penetrating damp is most common in older homes/buildings, which have solid walls. A newly built property with cavity walls offers more protection against driven rain. Penetrating damp will need to be recognised by a professional in the field, who will be able to offer expert advice and assistance.
What are the signs?
The below mentioned defects are not always evident, but when they are, an inspection is always recommended:

  • Decaying skirting boards
  • Crumbling or salt stained plaster, discolouration and staining
  • Decayed timber floors
  • Peeling paint and wallpaper
Can I live in my property while the work is being carried out?
This will depend on each individual case. We will discuss all options prior to any work commencing.
How long should I wait before decorating the treated walls?
The treated walls can be painted with a matte emulsion once they have dried out, usually two to three weeks. A period of 12 months is required prior to wallpaper application.
The plaster doesn’t look too bad. Why does the plaster have to be removed during damp proof-course?
The plaster may contain salts carried up from the ground, such as chlorides and nitrates. These are hygroscopic and have the ability to absorb moisture from the atmosphere. In cases of high humidity, this can cause continuing dampness to the internal wall surfaces. Therefore, replacing this plaster resolves the problem. With the use of an additive in the sand/cement-backing coat, any residual salts in the brickwork will be prevented from migrating into the plaster, after the rising damp has been controlled.
What problems can damp cause to our health?
Although most damp problems are much less serious than they appear, damp can be very bad for our health. From aggravating respiratory problems to encouraging the emergence of mites and mould, the effects of damp can be serious. Furthermore, the property will become cold and unsightly.
Is the work guaranteed and for how long?
Yes, all treatments come with a manufacturers guarantee. The product used, determines the guarantee provided. Length of guarantee will be confirmed prior to any works commencing.
What is damp proof course?
There are two main types of Damp Proof Course (DPC). The first is an impervious barrier, usually laid along a bed joint during the construction of a building. The second is a remedial chemical DPC, which should only be introduced by a competent contractor. We advise that all our contractors are trained and competent in the use of such.
The damp proofing chemical is usually applied along the base of walls that are suffering from the effects of rising damp. Contrary to common belief, a chemical DPC does not form an impervious physical barrier.
Chemical damp proofing is an effective method of lining the pores along a stretch of masonry wall, with a silicone resin water repellent. For the purists, a pore-lining silicone rising damp treatment works by neutralising the charge attraction of the masonry pores to the water molecules.

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