October 29, 2009

Damp Proof Course Treatment is the Perfect Way to Protect Your Home from Water Damage

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn
Protect Your Home

Protect Your Home

High levels of moisture and dampness in and around the home provide many challenges to the property owner.  Besides the health problems that can result from leaks and excessive moisture, the property damage homeowners can face may be extensive.  For this reason, it has become clear that the majority of homes will benefit from a damp proof course (or DPC) treatment.  Designed to stop water and dampness from entering the home, damp proof courses are nothing new in the building and home repair industry.  However, as the materials and chemical components have developed over the years, the options in damp proof course treatment have multiplied.

What is Damp Proof Course Treatment?

To understand why such a treatment might be right for you, it is necessary to understand the basics of damp proof course.  Basically, in order to block moisture from seeping into the building, a layer of material is wedged inside the building materials themselves.  In many cases, this process will attempt to stem the rise of moisture from the earth by employing a horizontal shield.  The masonry above the DPC will be protected by this physical barrier.  Another method of DPC treatment is the vertical application of barriers.  Working with the same principles, the vertical method halts the encroaching moisture at the exterior.  From early on in the history of construction, the typical method of DPC treatment involved the application of slate.  Over the years, it has appeared that synthetic materials were better suited for the job.

What Has Changed Regarding Damp Proof Course Treatment?

The need for damp proof course treatment in many homes has been caused by the changes in the buildings themselves.  Many buildings were constructed by masons who employed stone which was designed to trap moisture in the first layers of brick.  Unfortunately, this stone has proven to turn porous over the years, leaving homeowners and repairmen with a tricky problem.  To get inside the masonry and replace a layer of stone can be extremely problematic and often not worth the risk or expense involved.  Homeowners should first of all determine whether or not the home has been subject to moisture invasion and vulnerable to the ill effects of damp.  Different methods of testing involve meters available in home repair stores and supply companies, or there is the option of hiring a technician to take a look at the home’s surroundings and measure the quantity of damp.  These types of measurement offer a significant advantage over the antiquated methods.

At the same time, the number of options for fixing the problems associated with damp has also risen.  Setting the idea of replacing stone layers behind, someone skilled in the application of DPC can opt to introduce a liquid chemical solution into the problem areas.  Overwhelming the different segments of plaster – as well as measuring the chemicals themselves – may be a stumbling block in this process.  However, options have recently become available which are more environmentally friendly and which feature limited odours upon application.  Maintaining the precise amounts of fluid is still the key, as well as being able to handle a pump designed for damp proof course injection.  Nonetheless, this fix can do the job in a large number of homes.

In the case of a homeowner who would like to handle the job on his/her own, there are DPC options which have become feasible as a do-it-yourself task.  In an attempt to avoid the misdirection of the fluids and the potential for unwanted mixing in other building materials, a viscous cream has been developed for DPC treatment.  Perhaps suited best for smaller patch jobs, these creams have been proving a viable option.  One of the reasons is the limited amount of work involved.

The opening of the project involves drilling holes at a specified distance (over 100 mm is advised) in the mortar course or the brickwork itself.  The section is typically above the first two layers of bricks which extend above the ground level.  Using a tube which operates as an injector gun (with appropriate nozzle), simply fit the extensions from the tube and make sure it is directed straight inside the hole.  At that point, you simply fill the hole with the cream.  The holes themselves should then be capped with mortar, unless a homeowner opts for one of the plastic plug solutions.  The final step involved in this relatively simple operation is plastering at least one meter inside to prevent damage that can occur from saltwater compounds on building materials.  Plastering can involve a  typical sand and cement fix along with a waterproofing agent, or instead a wall membrane which can work with plasters directly.

The do-it-yourself project may not work for everyone when it comes to damp proof course treatment, but it certainly has its advantages if you feel comfortable with the materials and use of a drill to exact specifications.  Moving beyond the more complicated method of liquid treatment, the DPC cream option will eliminate the majority of waste, allowing the consumer to maintain a stock for a long period of time.  The machinery can also be eliminated by utilizing this option.  The small tube “gun” will react specifically to the pressure of your hand, rather than the whims of a mechanical apparatus.  Meanwhile, rather than posing a significant risk when coming into contact with human skin, the cream DPC treatment should not bond or cause serious rashes to develop.  On the contrary, it has shown to induce few negative effects on the skin.

While builders in the past could not anticipate the changes which have occurred in the stone which they laid in homes as a damp proof course, there are many options available now that the problem has been recognized.  Any homeowner who wants to put a stop to the invasion of moisture should look to revamp the damp proof course at the building exterior.  These forms of damp proof course treatment will be a reliable and relatively inexpensive way of tackling the problem, whether on your own or with the help of qualified professionals.

Visit our online store for a number of products suitable for basement tanking and waterproofing projects.

Filed under Blog by admin

Permalink Print