Structural damp has been an issue in buildings for centuries. In fact it goes back to before the Roman Empire. Roman Architect Vitruvius had started implementing ways to prevent structural damp at the building stages and since been improved and eventually marked as a building regulation. Unfortunately due to water being water, damp some way or another it (irritatingly) has crept into our lives at one stage, whether it was/is rising damp, lateral damp, penetrating damp, burst pipe, bad plumbing, flood, sprinklers, or faulty waterproofing on a roof , and if you’re really lucky… all of the above! Although it may seem harmless when it first starts, if not addressed, the next time you wipe the sleep from your eyes it will have spread! Good thing to know is the walls of your house wont cave in, but your friends don't know that, so those weekend braais for the rugby at your place may just turn to braai at the Smith's instead! Lets get technical now...
How rising damp or any other damp can occur.
Rising damp – Rising damp occurs when moisture from the ground travels up through the wall as a result of capillary action. Damp can rise up to about 1.2m high and in some cases up to 1.5 depending on the breathability of the skin on the wall (i.e. paint, wallpaper etc...) A damp proof course is in most cases installed during the building stages; however some way or another, moisture has bridged this damp proof course and resulted in rising damp.
Lateral damp- Lateral damp occurs when the ground level (outside level) is higher than the floor level (inside). Places like basements, man caves, underground den, retainer walls, or any wall that is below ground level often get affected by it, unless measures have already taken place to prevent it from occurring.
Penetrating damp – penetrating damp or seepage damp is a result of lack of sealing. Examples are, roof’s, sealant between the window frames, door frames etc. As such moisture is able to seep in between the areas that have not been sealed and ingress into the wall and contaminating the plaster.
It’s important to understand what kind of damp is present. Identify the type of damp first then address it! Scraping the loose paint away and using products such as fillers or damp sealers are merely cover up’s. It is a short cut, but this short cut is also a short term solution. Damp ultimately would rises above the products or simply break through the skin of the product in no time at all. Getting professionals to find the cause and address the damp using the correct methods is the road to go.
Visit www.dampcon.co.za/services to see how we successfully treat against all types of damp. And be sure to contact us if you have any questions. We are here to help