Rising damp treatment is an important treatment to install and should not be ignored. Rising damp is a major problem to residences and buildings in Gauteng. It is unsightly and substantially reduces the value of properties. Damp inside the home can also be a health risk to children, the elderly and those with low immune systems. Another unwanted side effect is that damp walls reduce thermal efficiency and can make homes much colder during the winter season.
Cause of Rising Damp
The cause of rising damp is mainly due to poor building practice as well as poor architectural design. Common problems include no DPC (damp proof course) or incorrectly installed DPC. The DPC is a liner, usually made of heavy duty plastic which is installed just above floor level in between the bricks. This prevents damp rising from the wet zone which is the brickwork situated mainly below ground level and built on the foundation. Another common cause is plastering and painting of the wet zone area which is below the DPC layer. This wet zone should be left bare face brick. This allows the wall to breathe instead of trapping the moisture in the wall.
Whilst rising damp is very easy to prevent at time of construction, it is unfortunately very expensive and inconvenient to repair afterwards. Fortunately, the technology exists to permanently cure damp walls.
Rising Damp Treatment Process
Quick fix methods for rising damp are very temporary and usually a complete waste of time. The only way of properly and permanently curing rising damp is to completely the remove the contaminated plaster. Then, apply a special cementitous coating layer to the exposed brickwork to seal the damp. However, it will still allow the moisture in the wall to escape and breathe in the form of water vapour. An important part of the process is to inject a specialised silicone into the base of the walls to prevent further damp. This creates a chemical damp proof barrier as it is not possible to retro fit a mechanical barrier.
The final step of the treatment is to apply a double layer waterproof salt retardant plaster. This is a blended mortar mixture which contains two chemicals; a waterproofing agent and a salt retardant. This prevents the white powdery salts from contaminating the plaster again.