What is Damp Proofing?

What is Damp Proofing?

Dean and I started South East Timber and Damp Limited in 2005. Before starting up this company, I had worked in the travel industry, working for tour operators and international airlines.

I knew NOTHING about damp or damp proofing.  

Fifteen years on, and I still know very little about the technical details of what is Damp Proofing. That is my husband Dean’s department. He is a certified and experienced surveyor who has worked in the industry for over 30 years since leaving school at 16.

What I HAVE learnt is that damp proofing can be extremely complex – or, it can be plain and simple common sense!

The Origins of Damp Proofing

The term DAMP PROOFING is outdated. In the old days, it was a matter of injecting cream to stop the rise of damp, and that was “damp proofing.”

In today’s world, it is now so much more.

First, “damp-proofing” is a blanket term. It is used, I believe, to mean resolving a damp issue or remedying damp.

Although I am in no way an expert, what I have learnt is that step one is always to identify the source of the damp; where is it coming from? 

Once this is confirmed, you can move on to working out the best method to solve the problem.

What I have learnt in 15 years of working in this industry is that non-expert incorrectly identify the source, or on many occasions, do not even establish what the source is, and carry out extensive “damp-proofing” works, but don’t remedy the cause.

We’ve been to houses ripped apart at a high cost to “damp proof”, and the issue has returned – why? Because the gutters were allowing water to fall against the building and had not been identified or rectified, meaning the works carried out did not need doing. And, by just repairing the gutters would of “damp proofed” the property at minimal cost!

So what is the source of moisture? 

By source, what do I mean? 

The following is just a small list of the possible source of damp into a building, and each has a different way of solving it. Some by specialist treatments by ourselves, and many by general maintenance works and proper upkeep of a property.

  • Leaking radiator
  • Broken roofing tiles
  • Cracked renders 
  • High ground levels
  • Leaking pipework
  • Lack of subfloor ventilation
  • No adequate ventilation
  • Inadequate heating & ventilation leading to damp (condensation)
  • Rainwater 
  • Uncapped chimney pots
  • Blocked drains
  • Broken rainwater goods
  • Underground well
  • Underfloor heating system.
  • Leaking washing machine.
  • Perished mastic around doors or windows.
  • Defective pointing.

So, before you ask “How can I damp proof my walls” or “What does damp proofing involve” or “What does damp proofing do.”

Stop and let us first establish precisely what is causing the moisture, and from that point, we can look at what treatments or works are required to remedy the problem.

I do hope this has helped a little to understand “what is damp proofing.”

Contact the team

If you have any issues or queries, then I can always arrange for you to speak to Dean; he can talk through the problem you are experiencing and for a fee (see our surveys page) we will come and have a look.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get in an EXPERT to assess and resolve the issue. Otherwise, you may end up paying for two sets of treatments.

Thank you for reading – Annabelle (The Damp lady – but not the expert!)

Leave a Comment