Damp proofing membrane being implemented

What is the Cost of Damp Proofing in 2024?

Key Takeaways

Damp Proofing Overview: Damp proofing is essential in construction to manage and prevent moisture penetration. Damp-proof courses (DPC), damp-proof membranes (DPM), surface water drainage, waterproof coatings, and cavity wall construction are common damp-proofing strategies.

Factors Affecting Damp Proofing Cost: The cost of damp proofing depends on the type of damp issue, extent of damage, property size, chosen method, accessibility, and materials used.

Cost of Damp Proofing: Costs vary based on the method:

  • Per meter: £50-£75
  • Full DPC: £500-£5,000
  • External Wall Damp Proofing: £750-£4,000
  • Chemical Damp Proofing: £750-£3,000
  • Injection Damp Proofing: £1,000-£5,000
  • Damp Survey: £100-£600
  • Average for complete damp-proofing: £1,500.

 

What is the cost of damp proofing? Whenever the issue of damp comes up, you can’t keep damp proofing out of the picture. Given how effective it is as a preventative and as a treatment option for damp, damp proofing has indeed become a staple when it comes to eradicating damp issues.

If we talk about it in simpler terms, damp proofing involves the use of various materials or techniques in a house so that no moisture can enter the property. So, it literally depends on the type of damp proofing that is being done, which can be either integral damp proofing, surface damp proofing, or chemical damp proofing.

Which damp proofing type is being applied also depends on the kind of damp from which the house is suffering, or maybe multiple damp proofing types can also be used at once. Therefore, another factor that is affected by the type of damp proofing is the overall cost.

Further, damp proofing cost is also affected by the area of the property, things like how damaged the property already is, and, of course, the severity of the problem. So, talk about all these factors in detail.

First Off, What is Damp Proofing?

Damp-proofing is an extensive set of strategies and procedures used in building construction to manage and avoid the negative consequences of moisture penetration. The installation of a damp-proof course (DPC), which functions as a barrier against increasing moisture, is one typical way.

DPCs, which are often constructed of bitumen or plastic, are strategically put into walls to obstruct the capillary passage of water from the ground.

Furthermore, damp-proof membranes (DPM) are used to prevent moisture from rising, particularly beneath concrete floors or behind walls. These impermeable sheets, which are frequently composed of polyethene, form a barrier that protects the building’s structural parts from damp difficulties.

Another critical part of damp proofing is surface water drainage. Rainwater is directed away from the structure by adequately functioning gutters, downspouts, and grading around the building, lowering the chance of penetrating the damp proof membrane.

Waterproof coatings applied to exterior walls give an extra layer of protection against water intrusion.

Cavity wall construction, which involves creating a space between the inner and outer sections of the wall, is intended to function as a barrier to water penetration, particularly when properly ventilated.

Considerations for landscaping and groundwork are also crucial in damp proofing your home. Water may be prevented by grading the ground away from the structure and eliminating raised flower beds against walls.

To retrofit damp-proof courses in existing structures, chemical damp proofing, which involves the injection or application of certain chemicals into walls, is frequently used.

Overall, damp proofing is an important part of construction and property care because it protects structures from the different problems connected with excess moisture.

Most importantly, professional assistance is required to determine the most effective damp-proofing measures depending on the unique building circumstances.

Why Should You Damp Proof My House?

Damp-proofing your house is essential for several reasons, primarily focused on protecting the structural integrity of the building and ensuring a healthy living environment. One of the key reasons to invest in damp proofing is the prevention of rising damp.

Rising damp occurs when moisture from the ground moves upward through porous building materials, causing issues such as damage to internal and external walls, decay of woodwork, and the potential for mould growth.

Damp-proofing measures, such as installing a damp-proof course (DPC), create a barrier that prevents this upward movement of water.

Another critical reason for not damp proofing external walls is the prevention of penetrating damp. This type of dampness occurs when water infiltrates the building from external sources, leading to issues like damp patches on walls, staining, and potential structural damage.

Damp-proofing techniques, including external waterproof coatings and proper surface water drainage, help against the risks associated with penetrating damp.

Should You Get Damp-Proofing of a New House Done?

Damp-proofing for a new house is an important investment that can contribute to the long-term health and integrity of the building.

While new constructions are typically designed with modern materials and construction techniques to minimize the risk of damp issues, incorporating specific damp-proofing measures adds an extra layer of protection.

Damp-proofing is particularly important in regions or climates where heavy rainfall, high groundwater levels, or other environmental factors increase the likelihood of moisture penetration.

Types of Damp against Which Damp Proofing Is Effective

Damp proofing is effective against several types of damp issues that can affect buildings. The primary kinds of damp that damp proofing methods target include:

Rising Damp

Rising damp occurs when groundwater is drawn upward through porous building materials, such as bricks and mortar, via capillary action.

Damp proofing, particularly the installation of a damp-proof course (DPC), is specifically designed to prevent the upward movement of water, making it highly effective against rising damp.

Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp is the result of water entering a building from external sources, such as leaks in the roof, defective gutters, or cracks in walls.

Damp-proofing measures, including waterproof coatings, cavity wall construction, and proper surface water drainage, create barriers that prevent external moisture from penetrating the building.

Condensation

Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with more excellent surfaces, leading to the formation of water droplets.

While damp-proofing doesn’t directly address condensation, proper ventilation and insulation measures are often part of an overall damp-proofing strategy, helping to control humidity levels and reduce the risk of condensation-related dampness.

Why Exactly Does Damp Happen?

Buildings can get damp for different reasons, and it’s crucial to know the specific causes for proper diagnosis and treatment. Here are some common causes of damp:

Damp Proof Course Failure

A damp proof course (DPC) is a barrier installed in the walls of a building to prevent rising damp. If the DPC fails or is absent, moisture from the ground can move upward through capillary action, leading to rising damp.

Common reasons for DPC failure include damage, wear, or improper installation, allowing water to breach the protective barrier.

Internal Bridging

Internal bridging occurs when materials with high moisture content come into direct contact with the walls, creating a bridge for dampness to travel.

For example, if plaster, skirting boards, or other materials absorb moisture and touch the walls, it can lead to damp issues. This bridging allows dampness to bypass the damp-proof course and affect the internal surfaces.

Moisture from Inside

Excessive moisture generated within a building can contribute to dampness. Everyday activities such as cooking, bathing, and drying clothes release moisture into the air.

Poor ventilation and inadequate airflow can lead to the condensation of this moisture on cold surfaces, causing damp problems. Proper ventilation and moisture control are crucial in preventing dampness caused by internal sources.

Cracks and Holes

Structural defects like cracks and holes in walls provide pathways for external moisture to enter the building.

Water from rainfall can seep through these openings, causing penetrating damp. Regular maintenance to address and seal any cracks or holes in the building envelope is essential for preventing dampness related to structural defects.

Leakages

Leakages from plumbing systems, roofs, or other building components can introduce water into the structure, leading to damp problems.

Roof leaks, damaged pipes, or poorly sealed windows and doors are familiar sources of water ingress. Timely identification and repair of leaks are crucial to prevent ongoing damp issues.

All the Types of Damp Proofing Methods

Damp proofing methods are diverse, addressing different types of damp issues that can affect buildings. Here are various kinds of damp proofing methods:

Damp-Proof Courses (DPC)

Damp-proof courses are horizontal barriers typically made of materials like bitumen, plastic, or slate installed within the walls. Their primary purpose is to prevent rising damp by inhibiting the capillary movement of water from the ground.

Damp-Proof Membranes (DPM)

Damp-proof membranes are impermeable materials, often polyethene sheets, installed beneath concrete floors or within walls to prevent moisture from rising through the structure. They act as a barrier against ground moisture.

Waterproof Coatings

Waterproof coatings or sealants applied to external or internal walls create a protective barrier against water penetration. These coatings can be particularly effective in areas prone to heavy rainfall or where porous building materials are present.

Cavity Wall Construction

Cavity wall construction involves leaving a gap (cavity) between the inner and outer layers of the wall. This cavity can act as a barrier to water penetration, especially if ventilated properly, preventing damp issues.

Chemical Damp Proofing

Chemical damp-proofing involves injecting or applying chemicals into walls to create a barrier against rising damp. This method is often used in existing structures to retrofit damp-proof courses, especially when traditional techniques are not feasible.

Integral Damp Proofing Additives

Integral damp proofing additives are substances added to building materials like concrete during construction. These additives aim to make the material itself resistant to moisture penetration.

Vertical Damp-Proof Course (DPC)

A Vertical Damp-Proof Course (DPC) is a barrier installed vertically within a structure to prevent the upward movement of moisture or rising damp in walls. While horizontal DPCs are more common and placed at ground level, vertical DPCs can be used in specific situations to enhance damp-proofing measures.

Electro Osmotic Course

Electro-osmotic damp proofing involves the installation of an electrically conductive element, such as a wire or rod, within the masonry of a building. This element is connected to a power source, creating an electric field. The concept relies on the phenomenon of electro-osmosis, where the electric field causes moisture in the walls to move in the opposite direction of capillary action.

Which Damp-Proofing Method is Highly Used in Houses?

In houses, damp-proofing methods vary based on the nature of damp issues and the construction characteristics. One of the most prevalent and traditional methods is the installation of horizontal damp-proof courses (DPC).

These courses, typically made of materials like bitumen, plastic, or slate, are placed at ground level within the walls to prevent the upward movement of moisture, commonly known as rising damp. This method is widely used in construction to create a barrier against capillary action from the ground.

Damp-proof membranes (DPM) are another common choice, especially in the construction of floors and walls.

DPMs, often made of polyethene, act as impermeable barriers beneath concrete floors or within walls, preventing the penetration of moisture into the structure. It is particularly effective in mitigating the risk of rising damp in various parts of the house.

External waterproof coatings or sealants are also widely applied to the outer walls as a protective measure against rainwater penetration.

These coatings, which can be made of various materials, create a barrier that repels water and helps maintain the integrity of the building envelope. This method is beneficial in regions with heavy rainfall or in houses with porous building materials.

What is the Process of Doing Horizontal Damp-Proof Courses (DPC)?

The process of installing horizontal damp-proof courses (DPC) involves creating a barrier within the walls of a building to prevent the upward movement of moisture, commonly known as rising damp. Here are the typical steps involved in the installation of horizontal DPC:

Site Inspection

Before initiating the DPC installation, a thorough inspection of the site is conducted to assess the extent of damp issues and identify the areas where rising damp is a concern. This inspection helps determine the appropriate placement of the DPC.

Selection of DPC Material

The choice of DPC material is a critical decision. Common materials include bitumen, plastic, slate, or other impermeable materials that can effectively create a barrier against capillary action. The selection depends on factors such as the specific requirements of the building, local conditions, and the type of construction.

Preparation of Walls

The walls where the DPC will be installed need to be prepared. It may involve cleaning the walls to ensure proper adhesion of the DPC material and creating a level surface for installation.

Cutting Horizontal Grooves

Horizontal grooves are cut into the masonry of the walls at a strategic height. The placement of these grooves is typically around 150mm to 300mm above ground level, depending on the specific recommendations and requirements.

Inserting DPC Material

The selected DPC material is then inserted into the horizontal grooves. It can be done in the form of strips, sheets, or other configurations, ensuring a continuous and sealed barrier within the walls.

Fixing and Sealing

The DPC material is securely fixed within the grooves to prevent movement or displacement. Sealing is essential to ensure that there are no gaps or openings that could compromise the effectiveness of the DPC.

What is the Process of Installing Damp-Proof Membranes (DPM)?

The installation of Damp-Proof Membranes (DPM) involves:

Selection of DPM Material

The choice of DPM material is crucial and depends on factors such as the type of construction, the specific requirements of the building, and the nature of the damp issue. Common materials include polyethene sheets or other impermeable membranes.

Preparation of Substrate

The substrate, which can be the ground beneath a concrete floor or the masonry within walls, needs to be prepared. It may involve levelling the surface and ensuring it is free from debris, dust, or any irregularities that could compromise the effectiveness of the DPM.

Cutting and Fitting

The selected DPM material is cut to the appropriate size and fitted to cover the entire area where damp-proofing is required. In the case of concrete floors, the DPM is laid directly on top of the substrate, while in walls, it is integrated into the masonry.

Sealing Joints

Joints between separate sections of the DPM are sealed to ensure a continuous and impermeable barrier. It is crucial in preventing any potential pathways for moisture to penetrate.

Fixing and Securing

The DPM is fixed and secured in place to prevent movement. It may involve adhering the membrane to the substrate or using other methods to ensure it is in position.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Damp Proofing?

The average cost of damp proofing depends on various factors, such as:

Type of Damp Issue

The type of damp issue present in the property significantly affects the cost. Different damp problems, such as rising damp, penetrating damp, or condensation, may require other solutions, and the complexity of the issue can impact the overall cost.

Extent of Damp Damage

The extent of damage caused by dampness plays a crucial role. If damp has caused structural damage or deterioration of building materials, additional repairs or restoration work may be necessary, contributing to higher costs.

Property Size and Layout

The size and layout of the property influence the amount of damp-proofing materials required and the complexity of the installation. More significant properties or those with intricate designs may require more extensive work, impacting the overall cost.

Type of Damp-Proofing Method

The chosen damp-proofing method significantly affects costs. Methods such as installing damp-proof courses, applying waterproof coatings, or using chemical treatments each have associated materials, labour, and equipment costs.

Accessibility of Areas Requiring Treatment

The accessibility of areas requiring damp proofing can affect costs. If the affected areas are difficult to reach or require additional preparation, it may increase labour and time requirements, impacting overall expenses.

Materials Used

The type and quality of materials used in the damp-proofing process contribute to costs. High-quality damp-proofing materials may be more expensive, but they often provide better and longer-lasting results.

What is the Cost of Getting Damp Proofing?

Various types of damp require distinct solutions for removal and prevention, making it challenging to provide a precise cost estimate for damp proofing in every home. However, here are some ranges in which specific damp proofing costs and rates fall:

  • Per Metre Cost of Damp Proofing Ranges between £50 – £75
  • The cost of a full Damp Proofing Course Ranges between £500 – £5.000
  • Cost of External Wall Damp Proofing Ranges between £750 – £4,000
  • Cost of Chemical Damp Proofing Ranges between £750 – £3,000
  • Cost of Injection Damp Proofing Ranges between £1,000 – £5,000
  • Cost of a Damp Survey Ranges between £100 – £600

Therefore, if you want to get complete damp-proofing, it will cost you £1,500 on average.

Getting a Damp Proofing Quote

To obtain accurate quotes, it is crucial to share detailed information about the affected walls and the extent of damage caused by dampness.

Providing more details enables the damp-proofing professionals to assess the severity of the issue and recommend the most appropriate solutions. Factors such as the type of damp problem, the affected areas, and any visible signs of damage play a crucial role in determining the scope of work and the corresponding costs.

Getting assistance from an independent damp surveyor, such as Damp Surveyors Ltd., can be a valuable step in the process. Independent surveyors bring an unbiased perspective to the evaluation of damp issues.

Their expertise allows for a thorough examination of the property, identifying the root causes of dampness and assessing the extent of damage. With this detailed understanding, they can provide the best recommendations to address the specific damp problems affecting the property.

How much does it cost to fix damp in walls?

Fixing damp in walls can be expensive, and the cost depends on factors like the damage extent, the cause of dampness, and the chosen solution. Minor problems, like surface mold, may cost a few hundred dollars for cleaning and repainting. However, severe cases with structural damage may require professional help, costing from a few thousand to several thousand dollars. To know the exact needs and costs for your situation, it’s recommended to get a professional assessment.

Is damp proofing worth it?

Investing in damp proofing is beneficial for properties susceptible to moisture problems. Measures like damp-proof courses, membranes, or sealants can shield walls from moisture, averting damage. Despite the initial expense, it is a cost-effective choice in the long term, preventing structural decay, mold, and health concerns. Decide based on the damp severity, local climate, and property requirements.

How do you stop damp coming through walls?

To prevent dampness in walls, it’s crucial to identify and address the root cause. Common solutions include fixing leaks, improving ventilation with dehumidifiers and exhaust fans, and using damp-proofing methods like sealants or waterproof coatings. Combining these strategies is often the most effective approach.

Table of Contents

Picture of Sam Fitzgerald – CSRT Damp Surveyor

Sam Fitzgerald – CSRT Damp Surveyor

Author – CSRT Damp Surveyor
Sam is a highly qualified and seasoned damp surveyor with over ten years of specialised experience. With a strong academic foundation in building surveying and numerous professional certifications, Sam has established himself as an authority in the field of damp diagnosis and remediation.

At Damp Surveyors Ltd, Sam applies his extensive knowledge to help homeowners across the UK address and solve their damp issues effectively. His approach combines cutting-edge techniques with a commitment to honest, client-focused service, ensuring that every survey and recommendation is tailored to the specific needs of the property.

As a thought leader, Sam’s insights into damp prevention and treatment have been featured in industry publications, underscoring his role as a trusted expert dedicated to maintaining the integrity and comfort of your home.

Testing device for measuring dampness in a house

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At Damp Surveyors Ltd, we stand out as your premier choice for damp survey services in the UK. Our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction sets us apart. Here’s why you should choose us:

  • Exclusive 3 Free Quotes: We offer a one-of-a-kind optional service where you not only get our top-notch damp survey but also receive 3 free quotes from vetted local companies, giving you peace of mind by saving you thousands on getting the most competitive quotes, and also time researching and contacting other reputable companies.
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Choose Damp Surveyors Ltd as your reliable partner for all-inclusive survey needs. Our top concerns are the health and safety of your property, and we are committed to providing outcomes you can trust.

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