Damp Proof Membrane Installation




Having a damp proof membrane installed is one of the most reliable ways to damp proof your home while also providing the building with extra insulation – ideal for energy saving.

CS Damp Proofing has been protecting properties against damp for over 30 years. Contact us today to see how damp proof membrane installation by our licensed specialists in Yorkshire, Teesside and the North East can resolve your damp problems or prevent issues arising in the first place.

Damp Proof Membrane Installation Explained

Installing a damp proofing membrane or DPM is a highly effective, tried-and-tested way to protect a property against water ingress. In a nutshell, a damp proof membrane helps to ensure your home is a dry, healthy, structurally sound environment.

To give the building the best possible protection, the damp proofing membrane can be installed above or below floor level and also against the walls – it’s extremely versatile. Damp proof membrane installation stops groundwater from entering the home through capillary action (i.e. seeping through tiny openings or pores in timber, bricks, concrete and other building materials, and travelling vertically), a problem known as rising damp. It also helps to combat other causes of damp, including penetrating/lateral damp (water from a leaking gutter or soggy soil, for instance, spreading horizontally through the walls from the exterior to the interior) and condensation (water vapour in the air condensing on cold surfaces such as window panes, which is a particularly common problem in humid conditions).

It’s clear that the key uses for damp proof membranes involve protecting floors and walls against the different kinds of dampness. Damp proof membranes are cut and shaped to precisely fit these surfaces and should be professionally installed in almost all homes and other buildings.

What Is a Damp Proof Membrane?

A damp proof membrane is a thick, sturdy sheet of waterproof synthetic material. Its purpose is to stop moisture from seeping into the floors and walls of a property. (‘Membrane’ in this context means a sheet used to line the building and provide a barrier against water ingress.) Damp proof membranes are generally made of durable plastic composites; high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a popular choice.

A DPM also acts as insulation for energy-saving purposes and helps to ensure the performance of your existing insulation isn’t undermined by moisture.

Damp proofing membrane sheets tend to be a few metres wide and supplied in rolls. UK government regulations stipulate that a DPM needs to be 1,200 gauge (gauge is a traditional measure of thickness) in order to provide an effective, durable, long-lasting barrier to water ingress. High-quality, correctly fitted 1,200-gauge damp proofing membranes have an impressively long lifespan: they can last for 30 years or more.

Damp proof membrane installation is very effective at stopping damp from moving through a building. DPMs are some of the most trusted ‘tools’ used by damp proofing experts.

How Does a Damp Proof Membrane Work?

Essentially, a damp proof membrane works by preventing water from spreading through a property. Because damp proof membranes are made of dense, non-porous, waterproof plastic materials, they form an impenetrable barrier against moisture that prevents dampness. Groundwater, rain and other sources of moisture simply can’t penetrate a damp proofing membrane, meaning that your home is effectively damp proofed.

Damp proof membrane installation stops the capillary action we mentioned earlier that causes rising damp. It also stands in the way of water moving from the outside to the inside of a wall and causing penetrating/lateral damp. Plus, the damp proofing membrane stops your home’s existing insulation getting soggy while being an insulator itself. It therefore helps to regulate you home’s temperature and reduce humidity, thereby guarding against condensation.

Damp proof membranes, especially damp proofing membranes for walls, often have a studded texture on one side, somewhat like bubble wrap. The studs play an important role in relation to how a damp proof membrane works. They ensure there’s a space – an air gap – between the membrane and the surface being protected, so that moisture can evaporate.

Importantly, when a damp proof membrane is installed, it needs to form an unbroken barrier against moisture. As a result, care must be taken to ensure the sheets overlap correctly. This is a key reason why it’s best to seek professional help from a specialist, such as CS Damp Proofing – you want to ensure your damp proof membrane is properly installed.

How Does a Damp Proof Membrane Work with a Damp Proof Course?

To enhance your home’s protection against damp, a damp proofing membrane should be installed in conjunction with a damp proof course (DPC). Located inside the walls, and typically sitting 15cm above ground (i.e. higher than groundwater level), the DPC is another crucial line of defence against rising damp and other serious issues.

The DPC often consists of a DPC membrane made of robust, waterproof plastic (like a DPM, but narrower), though injections of water-repellent chemicals may be used instead. The DPC membrane is placed within the brickwork to form a water-resistant ‘course’ or layer.

Damp proof membrane installation should be carried out in such a way that the DPM reaches and overlaps the DPC membrane. The damp proofing membrane can therefore work in tandem with the DPC membrane; together they form a continuous barrier against moisture.

Signs and Effects of Dampness

If a property is left unprotected rather than being effectively damp proofed, damp may cause major problems in the building and threaten the inhabitants’ health. In effect, damp proof membrane installation helps to prevent the following issues:

  • Damp, discoloured walls and plasterwork that feel cold to the touch
  • Crumbling plaster and peeling wallpaper
  • ‘Tide marks’ reaching up to about a metre from the bottom of walls – these wave-like stains are caused by moisture and salts from groundwater
  • Water running down windows and walls
  • Musty smells and increased humidity
  • Mildew, moss and mould (including slimy black mould) – patches can appear anywhere from floor to ceiling
  • Fungal decay
  • Rotten skirting boards
  • Insulation performing badly
  • Structural issues, including decaying timber and crumbling mortar
  • Damage to furniture and furnishings
  • Damage to electrical wiring, sockets and equipment – this is particularly dangerous
  • Health problems – the NHS asserts that ‘if you have damp and mould in your home you’re more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma’. They can be linked to inhaling or touching mould spores, for example.

The Damp Proof Membrane Installation Process

To ensure your damp proof membrane is properly fitted, it’s vital to arrange professional damp proof membrane installation. Doing so is a sensible investment; after all, an incorrect setup could result in an ineffective DPM that doesn’t prevent dampness and may well cause problems that are expensive to fix.

Our licensed specialists have a successful track record of damp proofing properties. Our damp proof membrane installation process has several key stages.

First, you’ll need a damp survey. One of our professional damp surveyors will thoroughly examine your home inside and out to locate any sources of water ingress, identify any types of damp present, and decide where a DPM is needed. Using a damp meter, they’ll assess how long any dampness has been there and check for any issues that aren’t visible to the naked eye. The surveyor will take photos too.

Next we’ll provide you with a report and a quotation for a damp proof membrane installation tailored to your needs.

Once walls and floors have been prepared (for example, by removing concrete slabs), our damp proofing experts will cut the damp proofing membrane to the perfect size and position it, allowing that all-important air gap to form. They’ll ensure the DPM covers all surfaces, without gaps, and creates an unbroken barrier with your DPC membrane. The DPM will be secured with membrane plugs. Sealing tape ensures moisture can’t penetrate joins or edges.

Damp proof membranes can be plastered and painted over, etc. to blend in with your home.

When you’re fully satisfied with your damp proof membrane installation, the work can be signed off and guaranteed.

Benefits of Damp Proof Membrane Installation

Having a damp proofing membrane installed has many benefits:

  • Damp proof membrane installation is an affordable, reliable damp-proofing solution
  • Creates a waterproof barrier that can last for decades
  • Helps you to avoid the different kinds of damp, including rising damp, penetrating/lateral damp and condensation
  • Protects your home against structural and electrical issues caused by water ingress that could be hazardous and costly to repair
  • Protects you against damp-related health problems
  • Contributes to a safe, pleasant domestic environment
  • Ideal for energy-saving – a damp proof membrane insulates and also supports the performance of other insulation
  • Damp proofing membrane can be covered with plaster, paint, laminate flooring, etc. for an attractive finish
  • Protects décor and possessions against water damage
  • Helps to protect your home’s value and saleability

Damp Proof Membrane Installation FAQs

Is a damp proof membrane really necessary?

We firmly believe that a damp proofing membrane is vital, because it offers effective, long-term protection against the horrendous effects of damp. A DPM helps you to look after your home’s structural integrity and your health.

Are only old buildings at risk of dampness?

Rising damp, penetrating/lateral damp and condensation often affect old buildings. That’s because many were built without a damp proof membrane and DPC membrane (unlike more recent properties) or have leaky gutters, cracked brickwork, etc.

However, modern properties can suffer from damp problems too, especially if their current DPM or DPC membrane is damaged, worn out, poor quality or wasn’t installed correctly. Anything from rain to faulty pipework can also lead to dampness.

In short, dampness can put buildings of all ages at risk.

What’s the difference between a damp proof membrane and a damp proof course?

A DPM is installed above/below floors and against walls, whereas a DPC is installed within walls. They work together, so when you have both a damp proofing membrane and DPC membrane, you have a continuous barrier against moisture.

How long does a damp survey take?

In most cases, a damp survey only takes a few hours. The process may take up to a day if your home is large or has extensive areas of damp, say, but you can be confident the surveyor will work as efficiently as possible.

How much does damp proof membrane installation cost?

Damp proofing membrane installation is a cost-effective damp-proofing technique that requires relatively little labour and few materials. The exact cost depends on a range of factors, such as the size of the property and extent of any damp-related damage.

It’s worth pointing out that damp proof membrane installation could save you money in the long run, as it can prevent major, expensive-to-repair structural issues.

What if the property is currently damp?

Damp proof membrane installation can still take place. The building will just need to be dried out first. Good ventilation, central heating and dehumidification are likely to be key – but our experts can give you tailored advice.

How long does damp proof membrane installation take?

We aim to complete our specialist works such as DPM installation within a couple of days, so you’ll soon be able to enjoy your damp-proofed home.

Protecting Your Home against Damp

If you’re keen to prevent damp or have noticed signs of damp in your home, we strongly suggest that you arrange a damp proof membrane installation without delay.

Because water can’t get past it, the DPM protects your property against the destructive effects of damp, so you won’t need to worry anymore about what could be happening to your walls and floors. Instead, you can enjoy a safe, healthy, attractive, well insulated living space.

Expert Damp Proof Membrane Installation

It’s always sensible to contact a professional damp proofing company, as a damp proof membrane must be correctly installed for it to provide a reliable barrier against dampness.

Serving customers across Yorkshire, Teesside and the North East, we have well over a quarter of a century’s damp proofing experience and offer an insurance-backed guarantee.

Contact CS Damp Proofing, a professional damp proof membrane installation specialist, for more information and to schedule your installation. Simply call 01765 452510 or fill in our contact form today for expert damp proofing.

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Our Services

If you’re in need of expert damp proofing assistance, CS Damp Proofing is here to help. Our experienced team of licenced damp proofing specialists provides a full range of services to customers across Yorkshire. BACKED BY GUARANTEE our Specialist works are covered long term by independent insurers.

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