Dampness and moisture can cause severe problems in homes and commercial properties, such as:
- Dry/Wet Rot. Contrary to popular expectation dry rot needs moisture to germinate and spread through a property. Both dry rot and wet rot fungi can cause severe damage to timber and structures.
- Certain forms of wood-boring beetles ‘woodworm’ prefer moist conditions, see our woodworm page. These can cause damage to woodwork, flooring structural timber and furniture.
- Rusting and corrosion of nails, screws, steel and iron fittings.
- The appearance of mould on walls.
- A mouldy and musty smell.
- Some rooms and basements may become unusable.
- Damage to decorations
There are a number of possible sources of dampness including:
- Rising damp
- Penetrating damp
- Leaks in roof, windows and doors
- Faulty guttering and drainage
It is important to make sure that your property is watertight and in good order to obviate damp problems:
- Roofs, gutters, down pipes & drains should be clear, with no obstructions, leaks or overflows.
- Ground levels should be well below the damp-proof course (DPC).
- Air vents should be free form obstruction.
- Check external brickwork, pointing and rendering.
Damp Proofing: Rising Damp
Rising Damp can develop within walls in ground-floor rooms, either:
- Where the Damp Proof Course (DPC) is faulty or ineffective
- Where the DPC has been ‘bridged’ and moisture can rise past it
- In older properties where there may be no DPC in the first place
Moisture readings obtained around the base of the walls will tell whether there is rising damp. In severe cases there may be a ‘tide mark’ round the walls and discolouration due to chemical salts carried in the ground water. These salts can also absorb moisture from the air, and thus cause further damage to plaster. The wall covering may be damaged or peeling. There may also be rot in skirtings, floorboards, floor joists and wooden wall paneling.
Rising Damp Treatment
Where there are rising damp problems, Peter Cox will install the very latest in damp proofing technology. The ‘DryWall Silane Diffusion’ system introduces a concentrated thixotropic silane/siloxane ‘cream’ into the wall. This forms a barrier against rising damp. The cream diffuses with the moisture in the wall and also releases a silane vapour which reacts with the silica in the masonry to form a water repellent resin.
This low-hazard process is non-caustic and solvent free, and does not involve a liquid therefore the wall dries out more quickly. There are no problems with party walls as it is not injected under pressure.
The DryWall Silane Diffusion method can be used for internal and external walls of any type and thickness, both brick and stone, including 280mm cavity brick walls. The system carries an Agreement Certificate No 02/3976.
It is also important to remedy any other damp problems that exist within the property. After this, old plasters and finishes that may be contaminated by salt and moisture need to be removed and replaced. These actions will be advised by the surveyor.
Penetrating Damp - basement waterproofing
Dampness can enter basements, cellars, service pits and some ground-floor rooms where the floor is below ground level. The hydrostatic pressure of water causes dampness to come in through the walls and floor.
A Cavity Drainage Membrane is used for basement waterproofing. The interior walls and floor remain dry, while water is channelled into a drainage system, often using a sump and pump. Alternatively, the traditional solution for basement waterproofing, often called ‘tanking’, uses a Cementitious Multi-Coat Render.
Damp Proofing Survey
A Peter Cox survey report will evaluate your property and will inform you if and when early action is required. We will advise which damp proofing solutions are needed, based on:
- Cost-effective treatments
- Minimised risks
- On-time installations
- Future-proof solutions