0419 507 839

prodamp@optusnet.com.au

About Professional Damp Proofing

After working in the Rising Damp Industry for 10 years, manager Michael Smith formed Professional Damp Proofing in 2000. In the years since PRODAMP has gone from strength to strength.

Reasons Why:

  • The best method - the SELF SUPPORTING MEMBRANE(A physical barrier)
  • Conscientious workmanship
  • Competitive pricing
  • Results - Customer satisfaction

Does My House Have A Damp Course?

Most brick homes will eventually get Rising Salt Damp or Rising Damp as it is more commonly known. Most brick structures are built with a damp course. These days the first ten courses {approx}of mortar in a brick wall have damp course chemicals or waterproofer added to the mortar. These don’t necessarily stop salt though.100 years ago a course of slate may have been used or bluestone footings may have been relied upon to stop the damp as bluestone is not as porous as bricks. From the 1920’s until the 1950’s a bitumen course was the preferred option. These earlier methods worked well for many years but eventually they break down. 60 to 100 years is not a bad effort but damp courses need maintenance eventually.

Does My House Have Rising Damp?

The Usual Symptoms

  • Paint bubbles and peels
  • New paint won't adhere
  • Water marks, tide marks or water stains
  • Plaster flaking and crumbling
  • Salt coming to the surface
  • Mortar erosion
  • Tuck point erosion
  • Rotten skirtings
  • Fireplace tiles lifting
  • Fireplace hearth subsiding

If your property has any of these symptoms it is very likely it is Rising Damp.

What is Rising Damp?

Rising Damp is moisture rising up a brick or stone wall by capillary action. Capillary action occurs naturally and can only be stopped by a physical damp course. Rising Damp also contains salts. These salts are Hydroscopic meaning they absorb moisture even out of the air on cold wet days and humid days.

Basically bricks and mortar are porous and suck moisture out of the ground. Severity can be affected by such things as water table, drainage, garden beds, ventilation and neglect. The longer you ignore the symptoms the worse it will get. Generally Rising Damp doesn’t rise higher than 1.2 metres.

Where Does Rising Damp Occur?

Rising Damp usually occurs in older brick or masonry homes and buildings, Period homes.

  • Victorian
  • Edwardian
  • Californian Bungalows

But Professional Damp Proofing is quoting and treating more and more Brick Veneers from the 60's, 70's and 80's. The main problem with these homes is mortar erosion and bricks starting to pit and slowly disintegrate caused by Rising Salt Damp.

We not only treat brick homes but weatherboard homes normally have fireplaces which suffer from Rising Damp which not only affects the plaster and paint but left unattended can rot the mantles and rust the cast inserts.

Professional Damp Proofing has fixed the damp problem in many a fireplace over the years, also the fireplace hearths.

The Only Solution?

Various chemical injection methods are touted as being cures for Rising Damp but architects, building surveyors and building practitioners agree that in order to permanently rectify Rising Damp the best method is to install a PHYSICAL barrier.

Professional Damp Proofing use pressurized polythene envelopes, which effectively provide a permanent, PHYSICAL barrier to Rising Damp. Grout pumped under pressure into these envelopes prevents settlement and cracking.

Our tradesmen cut a horizontal slot between the bricks at the lowest practical mortar course (usually the first course above the floor behind the skirtings) and insert our specially made polythene envelopes at this point. The envelopes are then pressure pumped full of non shrink expanding grout resulting in a SELF SUPPORTING DAMP COURSE. The new damp course is installed in sections of 600 millimetres at a time. (Do 600mm, leave 600mm, do 600mm, leave 600mm and so on). Once the grout in the installed envelope has set it is then okay to do the 600mm sections that weren't cut. This procedure stops any chance of settlement. All joins in the new damp course overlap so there is no chance of damp sneaking between sections.

Affected plaster must be replaced due to residual salts in the brick work.

Examples of Different Wall Types

Lateral Damp?

Lateral or penetrating damp is when the exterior ground level is higher than the floor level of a room or building thus the moisture in the ground against that wall or walls penetrates laterally through the wall, making the wall damp affecting the interior paint, plaster mortar , etc. Basements, garages and other rooms that are cut into the side of hillsides.

If the usual suspects such as broken storm water pipes, down pipes and spouting have been fixed or are not the source of the problem then tanking or negative tanking will stop the problem.

Tanking?

Ideally tanking should have been done at the time of construction. It may have been but not properly.

Tanking on the exterior side of the wall can be quite expensive depending on how much earth needs to be removed, footpaths gardens, decking, etc. A relatively inexpensive alternative is negative tanking.

Negative tanking?

Negative tanking is the application of a waterproof membrane to the interior surface of the affected walls. Followed by a rendered finish. The render contains a salt retarder to protect against salts. Both the waterproof membrane and salt retarder that Prodamp recommends and uses breath so as to allow evapouration.

Basements?

Basements are treated with negative tanking and render as described above

Damp fireplaces and hearths?

Brick fireplaces are often damp. This affects the bricks, the plaster, can rust out the cast iron fireplace inserts in period fireplaces and if left too long , rot out the period mantle piece. This also happens in weatherboard homes as the fireplaces are brick. Often the fireplace hearths are damp because below the tiled, concrete or slate surfaces is a small brick pit filled with damp soil or rubble dumped in the pit during construction. Prodamp also rebuild and damp proof hearths.

Salt and efflorescence remediation?

Salt and effluresence affect brickwork and plaster acts like a poultice and sucks it out of the brickwork ruining the plaster. Efflurence is hygroscopic meaning it absorbs moisture out of the air. Rainy days, humidity and even the air moisture created by shower steam and clothes dryers. So once a dampcourse has been installed and has stopped the rising damp the affected plaster needs to be replaced. Usually up to 300mm above the detected damp.

The plaster is then replaced using solid plaster containing salt retarder. This can be done as soon as the dampcourse has been installed but painting should only commence 4 — 6 weeks after plaster work has been completed so as to allow the wall and new solid plaster to dry through evapouration. Acrylic paint only as it breathes.

Masonry Repairs?

Prodamp usually carries out masonry repairs in conjunction with the installation of a damp proof course as the rising damp brings salt & effluresence with it which causes the erosion of bricks and mortar. This entails sourcing and replacing comparable bricks and repointing the affected mortar.

Reports?

Please contact Prodamp if an inspection and damp report is needed.

Call : 0419 507 839 , Email : prodamp@optusnet.com.au