Damp Proofing House Walls— Important Things to Consider
Moisture and dampness are bad news to your property. When ignored for a long time, they can eventually cause severe damage to the structure.
Damp proofing involves the use of certain treatments and methods so moisture from the floors or the walls is prevented from seeping into your house’s interiors.
Considering the gravity of the damage that damp can cause to the rest of the property, it matters that the source of the moisture gets identified fast so necessary steps can be taken to prevent it from causing further structural damage.
If your home doesn’t have the necessary damp proofing or has one but isn’t in tiptop shape anymore, it can eventually cause more serious repercussions including wet and dry rot or rising damp.
Damp Proofing Process Explained
It is common for properties to have a damp proof course or DPC fitted into the walls during construction. If you want to call the professionals in to do the damp proofing task, the job will usually start with a full wall inspection. The damp meter inside your premises will be assessed as well.
The existing DPC, if there is any, will also need to be checked. The skirting boards will be removed as well followed by waterproof liquid injection, ending in the application of the waterproof render to the internal wall. Plaster is then used to finish the job.
Ready to get a quote from local tradespeople?
DIY Tips to Consider
If you want to consider tackling this job as a DIY undertaking, start by assessing the condition of your interior plaster. Determine if there is a need for redecoration too.
The entire walls might require plastering, which could make it an ideal time to redecorate, skirt boards or even paint walls. If there are noticeable damp signs, you’d be better off getting a home inspection.
This should be done by a trustworthy independent professional surveyor or you can hire a specialist on damp proofing too.
You do need to be wary of the damp proofing provider you hire to do the inspection as some may just want to sell you an entire DPC when it is not really needed in the first place.
Unfortunately, the industry has been getting some bad rap in the UK lately due to offering unnecessary wall treatments. Many homeowners ended up spending so much on treatments their homes don’t actually need— where in most cases, the problem is just caused by a bridged existing DPC.
A Messy Job
Damp proofing is not a pretty job as it entails the removal not only of the plaster but the skirting boards as well. Homeowners are even advised to vacate the place for at least two days whilst the work is ongoing.
An alternative would be to have the area where the work will be done to get sealed off. Speed is a must when carrying out damp proofing work.
Any existing damp issue also needs to be addressed at the earliest possible time, whilst the problem has not yet spread to other parts of the house. Damp can quickly rot skirting boards and wooden floor joists. So, the sooner it is addressed, the better.
Since most DPC is located a little above ground, plaster usually only needs to be removed up to a metre and a half from the floor. However, if your plaster has seen a good many years and is not in top shape, it will be better to remove the whole thing and have it re-plastered.
The same also applies to the skirting boards. Rotten and damp skirting boards have a tendency to crumble when removed, so a replacement will likely be in order.
After the whole job is carried out, be prepared to add paint and add wallpaper for finishing touches. Most tradesmen will not include it in the quote, so be prepared to pay more if these additional work needs to be done.
Damp Proofing Costs
Damp proofing a semi-detached 3-bedroom house will probably incur an overall cost of £2,500. Pricing includes the cost for the new DPC which will be inserted in the external and internal walls.
This also covers rendering the walls and the plastering task that follows for finishing. In some cases, there may be a need to build a drainage channel to ensure that drain water gets directed off the walls.
This is to ensure that any existing DPC will not be compromised. The drainage channel is connected to existing rainwater downpipe and soakaways.
Typically, drainage channels can cost around £1,000. Specialists for damp proofing do not charge a daily rate. Often, the quote is based on job size.
How long it would take for the work to get completed will be highly dependent on the property’s size. The actual course for damp proofing usually only takes a few hours.
What extends the time-frame is the finishing task. Rendering and plastering, which are necessary to tidy up the spot, can take up to two days to complete. So, be sure to factor that in your calculations.