Damp proofing is a highly effective and efficient way of curbing dampness in buildings, and depending on the type of damp, there are different damp proofing methods available.
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However, the choice between hiring a professional or carrying out your home’s damp proofing by yourself is something many people often debate. In this article, we shall be taking a brief look at both DIY damp proofing and professional damp proofing to see which one might be the better choice for your situation.
DIY Damp Proofing Vs. Professional Damp Proofing
There are three main types of damp which are rising damp, penetrating damp, and condensation. There is also a range of different preventative measures and treatment methods that can be used to deal with each of the different types of damp. Depending on the severity of the case, you can either choose to DIY damp proof or hire a professional.
When to DIY Damp Proofing
If your home has mild damp issues or a condensation problem, DIY damp proofing can prove to be effective. However it always best to search for something like ‘damp specialist London’ for true damp proofing that is effective. This is because most of the time, condensation is caused by either heating issues, ventilation issues, or human activities such as; cooking, showering, and drying clothes indoors. Some condensation solutions you can do yourself include;
Improving Ventilation – One of the best ways to prevent condensation is to improve ventilation around your home. You can do this by opening up the windows of your kitchen, bathroom, utility room, and any other room with high humidity. Having extractor fans installed in your kitchen and bathrooms can also improve ventilation.
Other ways to improve ventilation include; keeping bulky items away from your radiator, airing out cupboards and small rooms that do not have windows, and investing in a dehumidifier.
Surface Treatment – Oftentimes, moisture finds its way into your property through the pores of the materials used in finishing. To stop the entry of moisture, these pores need to be filled up. Surface treatment involves the application of a layer of water-repellent compounds or substances to the surfaces through which moisture enters.
Water-repellent metallic soaps like aluminium stearates and calcium oleates are commonly used here, as they are very effective for preventing moisture penetration. You can DIY surface treatment, but bear in mind that this method is only effective when the moisture is not under pressure.
Damp Proof Paint – This is another damp-proofing solution that you can DIY. Damp-proof paint works by allowing moisture to exit the walls. The water-reactive element within the paint also prevents water from creeping in. In terms of application, damp proof paint can be used as either a primer or the top layer of paint. This method is effective for preventing damp in cellars and basements.
It is important to note that damp proof paint will only work if your home doesn’t have a pre-existing damp issue. If you already have a damp problem (rising or penetrating), damp proof paint won’t work. Your basement should also be tanked before you use damp proof paint for it.
When to Call the Professionals
Rising damp and penetrating damp issues tend to be more serious than condensation. This is because, with these types of damp, there is usually an underlying cause that only an expert will be able to detect after carrying out a damp survey.
For example, penetrating damp usually occurs as a result of certain building defects on your property. These defects will need to be fixed before you deal with the damages caused by the penetrating damp. While some DIY solutions like sealing a window or installing a weatherboard above an external door may fix minor defects, major fixes like tiling, guttering, flashing, pointing, and cavity tray installation are better handled by experts.
With rising damp, it is always a good idea to let the professionals handle the damp proofing. The specialist will start by carrying out a survey to determine the underlying cause of the damp and depending on the extent of the damage, they will recommend the best course of action.
Some of the damp proofing methods that should be left for the professionals include; tanking, membrane damp proofing, integral damp proofing, guniting, and pressure grouting.
At the end of the day, it is possible to DIY damp proofing. However, the choice between DIY damp proofing and professional damp proofing heavily depends on the type of damp, the nature of the damage, and the damp proofing method involved.
With condensation and mild penetrating damp issues, solutions like improved ventilation, surface treatment, damp proof paint, window sealing, and clearing out blocked gutters can be DIY. However, rising damp and more serious cases of penetrating damp need to be handled by professionals.