Damp proofing is the technique used to ensure that damp does not enter your home through porous wall surfaces and ceiling. Damp generally occurs where there is excessive moisture either through a great deal of rain water falling or through the seepage of rising surface water from an underground water table pushing through the foundations of your home and then travelling through your walls and so on.
There are many methods that are used in damp proofing a home and there are methods for both exterior as well as interior damp proofing. One of the most common damp proofing techniques has to do with the prevention of what is known as rising damp. Rising damp occurs when water rises from below the ground surface and penetrates the buildings foundations, form there it travels up to and through the walls in what is known as capillary action. This is what we commonly see as darkening of the wall surface, paint bubbling and so on.
Rising damp is actually fairly uncommon, more so in fact than people realize. The vast majority of damp related issues as more to do with condensation of moisture and an inadequate external insulation which allows elemental moisture from condensation and rain to penetrate through towards the inner wall of a home. In any case the ultimate solution is adequate damp proofing.
Effective Damp Proofing Methods
One of the most effective of all damp proofing methods occurs during the actual construction phase o the building. A damp proof course also known simply as a DPC is a horizontal barrier that is built into a wall and is ultimately designed to resist rising damp and other moisture transfers through low to high capillary action.
Another construction phase damp proofing method is to use a technique most closely associated with floor construction by adding a damp proof membrane known in the trade as DPM which is really the same thing as the damp proof course but especially designed for flooring. There are also other membranes available for interior walls which are available at hardware and paint stores and can be applied before the walls are painted.