Penetrating Damp: Causes and Treatment
Seminar length: 45 to 60 minutes
Rain penetration, or penetrating damp as it is commonly known, is an increasing problem in the UK. A higher intensity of rainfall in recent years, combined with a large industry focus on installing cavity wall insulation, has led properties that previously had no issues to suffer from rain penetration. The damage that penetrating damp causes is not only unsightly but can be very costly to rectify.
The seminar presents a thorough look into penetrating damp and the modern day treatments available to prevent or rectify it. Details of the causes and common symptoms of penetrating damp are explored with a focus on understanding how the building envelope operates in relation to moisture penetration.
A suggested surveying procedure is laid out and the various types of available treatments for penetrating damp are assessed in the seminar and examples of their strengths and weaknesses are presented. By the end of the seminar, you should have a good understanding of how to start solving rain penetration issues.
Topics covered include:
Why is Penetrating Damp a Problem?
- Decorative spoiling
- Colder walls and loss of thermal resistance
- Damage over time to masonry and timber
- Health effects from secondary damp symptoms
What Causes Penetrating Damp?
There are two main causes of penetrating damp; porous building materials and building defects. Most building defects should be found when the building is surveyed, porous building materials can be more difficult to identify.
Rain Penetration through Cavity Walls
Due to government grants and increasing efforts to reduce carbon emissions, a large amount of cavity wall insulation has been installed on properties. A small proportion of these properties have developed rain penetration issues due to incorrect surveying or installation procedure.
Four–Step Process for Treatment of Penetrating Damp
Asses moisture penetration routes
- Block primary paths of moisture penetration
Control exacerbating factors where possible
Add secondary protection with damp-resistant plasters
Primary & Secondary Protection against Penetrating Damp
There are two levels of protection from rain penetration. The primary protection treatments focus on the exterior weather-facing walls of the building. These treatments include silicone masonry protection creams. The secondary protection treatments consist of various breathable internal plastering systems.
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