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Do I need Damp Proofing?

8th August 2022

Categories  News

Damp Wall

Dampness in Buildings

If you are reading this, you probably have a damp issue and you are researching online on how to deal with it. You’ve probably read a load of articles about condensation, blackspot mould and found multiple threads about whether rising damp even exists!

Everyone has an opinion, well-meaning tradespeople, friends. Even my father-in-law once told me that rising damp doesn’t exist.

Yes, over the years I’ve heard all the counter arguments from time served plasterers to other building professionals.

So how can you tell if you have damp or not?

Rising damp doesn’t exist…

What I can tell you is that dampness rising from capillary action does exist – the problem is how you make sure that is what you are dealing with and what the best solution is for your property.

Damp MeterFancy Damp Meter

Sure, you have a fancy damp meter, but the reality is that even the most expensive damp meter only tells you one thing: IS IT WET or IS IT DRY?

Of course, the dangerous owners of a damp meter will proclaim loudly, “its rising damp! We should remove all your plaster, inject the walls, and sacrifice a goat’… well not the last part I was just seeing if you were paying attention.

Damp Wall Treated

Example of a wall that has been treated for damp.

So back to our damp issue. What the moisture meter will tell us is ‘where’ the damp is and its up to us as industry professionals to use other indicators to understand why it is occurring. We sometimes refer to this as profiling (and it sounds cool like we are FBI agents), but profiling is simply interpreting the data when on site.

The list of causes is vast, from bridged damp proof courses, high ground level, poor pointing, and rainwater penetration to name but a few. The main concern is to ensure your property is water tight – its the first defense against dampness and often overlooked. Even a blocked gutter can cause all kinds of damp related issues.

Damp Proofed Walls

Example of a wall that has been treated for damp.

Internally different types of salts embedded in the fabric of the building can be problematic with ‘wetting’ that only occurs when variable humidity levels increase. Sometimes these symptoms are misdiagnosed as a leak and are often seen on chimney breasts.

A damp meter is a tool that assists us build the whole picture together with site observations that allows us to make the right diagnosis and then to tailor a treatment accordingly.

so, who can I trust?…

PCA Logo

Luckily there is a way you can tell if the company you are dealing with is legit or not. Look to see if they are PCA members and that their surveyors hold the relevant qualification or working towards CSRT or CSTBD.

In the end dealing with damp sometimes must be viewed as a long-term strategy considering internal sources of dampness and external building defects to come up with the right course of action and waiting for walls to dry.

ProTen aren’t wedded to any one supplier’s solution and use the best products that will suit your property or project to give a long-lasting solution that we can put our name to with confidence.

So if you need reassurance or have a damp issue you would like to discuss please contact us 0800 012 6094 or complete the form below and one of our team will call you back.

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