Damp Treatment History
A damp treatment history through the 19th century most buildings in Europe were usually constructed from highly permeable materials such as stone and lime based mortars and renders with water based paints which allowed any damp to diffuse into the air by means of evaporation.
The later application of impermeable materials which prevent the natural dispersion of damp, such as tiles, cement and gypsum based materials and synthetic paints is thought to be the most significant cause of damp problems in older buildings.
There are many damp proofing solutions for dealing with damp in existing buildings. The choice of which will largely be determined by the types of dampness that are effecting the building (e.g. penetrating damp, rising damp, hydroscopic damp and condensation).
In the modern era major changes have taken place in our domestic lifestyle in the last 50 years. Our use of heating, the nature and cost of fuel and the way we have reduced ventilation in buildings.
When houses were heated by open coal fires and where building regulations insisted on the installation of air bricks the risk of condensation was low. Where fuel prices have risen dramatically over the last decade, people have tried to save money by removing these vents to prevent low level drafts. Add installing double glazing without window vents. Then pumping their walls with cavity wall insulation suddenly finds high levels of condensation in the house and hydroscopic salts in the plaster.
The change in construction methods from brick walls as a single leaf construction wasn’t until late Victorian times when they started introducing cavity wall construction. Cavity wall construction became standard practice only after the war, 1945 onwards. The main aim of a cavity wall was to improve weather tightness and the incidences of rain penetration were reduced.
Damp proof courses were not regularly installed in any building construction method until the introduction of the Public Health Act in 1875. Three years later the Building Act of 1878 provided more detail with constructions- they defined foundations, damp proof courses, thickness of walls, ceiling heights, space between dwellings, under floor ventilation, ventilation of rooms, and size of windows.
The risk of rising damp through the floor should have been entirely removed with introduction of suspended wooden floors which started to be introduced in the late Victorian period. The problem was some have been laid on sleeper walls without a DPC. And others the floor joists are built into the wall, either where it’s below DPC or on internal walls where no DPC was ever installed originally. This has caused many common problems to appear from the ground up such as wet rot, dry rot and an increase in woodworm.
Damp is the biggest problem affecting period houses today. Damp causes numerous issues trapping moisture around the base of the building. The signs of these faults could be eroding bricks or walls with interior showing signs dampness.
Our surveyor will be happy to attend and give on sight advice and a written report if required for Mortgage Purposes on damp.
Don’t be damp Be Dri call us today and let us help you with any of your damp proofing, woodworm treatments, wall tie replacement, repointing brickwork and wet and dry rot issues.
It’s free to call and costs nothing to ask your questions.