In this blog we take a closer look at Damp Proof Courses.
A damp proof course is a barrier, usually formed by a membrane built into the walls of a property, standard detail being 150mm above ground level, to prevent damp rising through the walls.
They emerged during the Victorian era and are commonly found in buildings from around 1900. Damp-proof courses are now required in the construction of new buildings to prevent rising damp and in some situations to prevent penetrating damp.
Water will rise up through a capillary action, up into the brickwork. This means that ground water is effectively sucked up through tiny tubes in the bricks, like a series of straws. This water contains salts that also travel up through the wall, and if there is no DPC to stop this, then it will cause severe damp problems.
Some of the problems damp in buildings can cause:
- Mould Growth
- Patches of Damp
- Reduced performance of insulation
- Electrical failure or damage
- Decaying of the building fabric itself
Types of Damp Proof Course
Damp Proof Course can be used that is made by slates, a polythene membrane, or the more technically advanced co-polymer extrustion.
There are other options such as electro and chemical injection as well, these are more commonly used for retro fitting properties that have a damp problem.
An example of co-polymer extrusion damp proof course (DPC):
An example of Polythene DPC:
Difference between Damp Proof Course and Damp Proof Membrane
- A damp proof course (DPC) is a barrier to prevent water rising up a wall. A DPC layer is usually laid below all masonry walls (load bearing or not).
- A damp proof membrane (DPM) is a barrier or membrane material applied to prevent moisture transmission. This is commonly used under a concrete slab to prevent the slab getting damp through water rising from the ground into the slab. A damp proof membrane can be used as a damp proof course.
At Trade Building Products we have a complete range of Damp Proof Course options.
They can be found here Damp Proof Course Products