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How to Guide to Damp Proofing

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Most homes in the UK will experience dampness due to the high amount of rainfall the country experiences in a year. Therefore, if it’s not detected early, it can build up, leading to dire health issues. For this reason, it is necessary to get rid of any moisture to avoid the effects of dampness.

In this guide, we shall look at the factors influencing the cost of damp proofing your home, the cost of damp proofing, and how mould correlates with dampness.

Factors influencing the price of damp proofing

The price varies; therefore, it’s difficult to give an estimate for the damp proofing process precisely. However, to help in calculating the cost, consider the following factors:

Type of damp

Every type of damp requires a specific course of action and some can be more expensive. There are three types of dampness, which include:

  1. Rising damp

It occurs when groundwater sips into your house from beneath. To spot it, inspect your home’s exterior to identify a horizontal rising seal, typically 6-inches above the ground. It quickly spreads through the foundation into the walls and fans across the floor when it’s not detected earlier. On average, it can cost up to  £800, depending on the extent of the damage.

  1. Condensation

It mainly occurs in areas with high amounts of humidity, like the kitchen and bathrooms. This is because water vapour falls on cold surfaces, making the areas wet; then the moisture penetrates the walls, ceilings and floors. If ignored, over time, it can lead to moulding.

Condensation in a room can be prevented and reduced without spending a lot of money. For example, avoid storing wet clothes in spaces that have air restrictions. In addition, you can invest in a dehumidifier to control and lower humidity in the room. The price ranges from £50 to £200.

  1. Penetrating damp

It mainly occurs after moisture seeps into your walls through spaces like cracks and holes. If undetected, it can lead to the growth of moulds and dampness. In addition, to identify cracks, openings or gaps efficiently, check for damaged windows, renders, gutters or pipes, ceiling or roof, or porous wall bricks.

The repair cost varies because of the materials to be used, labour and other miscellaneous expenses.

  • Age of the house

Each damp issue affects your house differently. Inclusive of the type of damp, the age of your house is also a significant factor. The Centre for Ageing Better shows that of the homes built, 21% before 1919, 38% before 1946, and only 7% after 2000.

Therefore, it’s evident that older houses will be more vulnerable to dampness and moulds. This factor, coupled with the high amount of rainfall the country receives, can intensify dampness and gradually cause mould to develop in your home.

  • The area affected

Depending on the affected area, the amount will vary. Also, the repair cost will differ depending on the extent of the damage. For example, damp proofing a basement or cellar can be £45 per metre, while damp proofing your external walls averages £1,000.

  • Preventive measures

When clearing damp from your home, it’s prudent to protect it from future occurrences. Before applying any technique to your home, consult a professional to enjoy the maximum benefits of the method chosen. Depending on the type of your house, the tradesperson will advise you accordingly.

For example, your house might have had dampness, and the primary source of moisture sipping into your walls is through the chimney. Unfortunately, the chimney is an easy place to overlook. Therefore, it can experience blockage, missing tile or gaps in the external mortar. The repairs will start once identifying the root cause of the problem.

How much does damp proofing cost?

Damp proofing cost

Average price

Damp proofing external walls amount

£750 – £2,500

Damp proofing course

£250 – £1,500

Damp proofing per metre

£50 – £75

Damp proofing cellar/basement – tanking

£30 – £60 per sqm

Chimney damp proof course(excluding scaffolding and labour)

£75 per roll

Injection damp proofing

£1,000 – £5,000

Chemical damp proofing

£750 – £3,000

The amount also varies depending on the type of your house.

Type of house

Estimated cost

Detached house

£1,500 – £2,000

Semi-detached house

£500 – £800

Terraced house

£280 – £370

Labour costs£150 – £300

Damp can cause mould to grow in your house, especially through condensation. This occurs when moist air comes into contact with cooler surfaces like mirrors, walls or windows. Often, the air is dry and can’t hold the moisture, so, on the surfaces, water droplets can appear. In addition, mould can grow in still places like the wardrobe or in the corner of a room.

There are different types of mould.  The most common are:

Blue  – It’s mostly found in bathrooms as it thrives well in wet places. It can also develop on the ceiling or walls.

Black – This is the most common type found in most homes. It thrives in moist areas and is common in:

  • Behind walls that house the plumbing pipes.
  • Around the windows.
  • Under a damp carpet or tiles.
  • Cellars or basements
  • Bathrooms and toilets.
  • Underneath or behind the refrigerator.
  • Near air-conditioning units.
  • Underneath bathrooms or kitchen sinks.

Green mould – It appears fluffy and eats away the paint of the house.

White mould – It appears furry and likes cool places like the basements and cellars.

Mould is an asexual organism, meaning one pore can reproduce a trillion mould spores within a few days. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be challenging to spot the mould; however, a warning sign of mould growth in your home is the presence of a musty, unpleasant smell.

The average cost of removing mould per square metre is £14. Black mould removal is at least £225 per job. However, if the entire home is affected by mould, it can be an expensive task costing up to £900.

Ways to ventilate and reduce dampness in your home

Dampness can cause significant health issues, especially the older adults and young children below five. Thus, prevention is better. In addition, it will save you money.

  1. Use lids on pots while you cook –  this will prevent moisture or steam from escaping.
  2. Use low emission, energy-efficient heaters – While using a room, ensure the standard temperatures are at 18°C. Also, avoid using portable gas heaters.
  3. Aerate your home frequently – Ensure to open the windows in your house often to allow fresh and clean air to circulate in your house.
  4. Open the doors to your wardrobe – it will help in allowing moisture out, thereby discouraging condensation.
  5. Turn on the bathroom fan or window before a shower – While taking a bath, shut the door tightly and open an inch of your bathroom to allow airflow.
  6. During winter, move the furniture away from the walls – Do this during every cold season to discourage the growth of moulds, especially on the external walls.
  7. Hang your wet clothes outside.

The cost of damp proofing your home is priced according to the extent of the damage. If you’re fortunate to detect the damp earlier, you can perform a DIY and handle the situation. Moreover, black mould can also be managed without the help of a professional. However, ensure there is minimal skin contact while handling the moulds as they can cause skin irritation.

In conclusion, it is advisable to use a professional while handling dampness and mould in your home. They will help prevent the re-emergence of the problem. In addition, it will save you money in the long run as a permanent solution will be implemented compared to minor and temporary repairs that fail to address the problem in its entirety.

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