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The great 'rising damp solutions' scam

Thursday, 25 February 2016 13:48 | Written by

Here we have a recently chemically injected property, which unfortunately has quickly detoriated with obvious signs of penetrative damp , whilst sold with a multi year guarantee, the installing company is now not returning the clients calls. A common occurrence in Cyprus with the so called damp experts selling these 'magic damp cream' solutions.

This type of damp treatment was totally unsuitable for this specific property, and due to common construction methods, actually unsuitable for most properties in Cyprus.

A 'chemical injection damp-proof course' is a valid solution to damp penetrating a property from the ground up, that being said, it is ONLY suitable for certain construction methods. For example in the UK, there are many houses built with courses of structural brick, if a physical damp proof is missing or faulty, then a chemical cream correctly injected into the mortar line (not the brick) will be able to significantly control the penetrative damp issue.

Unsuitable In Cyprus

Unfortunately the majority of properties in Cyprus are unsuitable for this application, as a property with reinforced concrete structure and rendered brick fill walls will not be suitable for an installation of a chemically injected DPC. Why ?

1. Firstly, the dense strucutal concrete will not absorb the 'magic damp cream', so even if the installer drills a hole (intentionally, or not ...) into the concrete, the chemical is unable to disperse as is required to create the moisture barrier.

2. Secondly, unless the installer removes the spritz, render and plaster all the way back down to the brick itself, how will they be able to drill an access hole into the mortar line? More common is a hit and miss approach where the holes are drilled and filled, but the actual product flows into the internal cavity of the bricks, and does not create the moisture barrier. Even if the walls are made good shortly after the treatment, the damage reoccurs within months.

Be wary

So, be wary of the 'damp expert' that sticks an electronic damp meter tool in the wall and diagnoses rising damp that will be solved with a chemical injection ! You may well have a penatrating damp issue in your Cyprus property, but is very very unlikely that a chemical injection will solve it, and thats assuming the magic damp cream is even applied correctly!

What to do then?

A damp proof course is rarely integrated in the construction of Cyprus home because of the reinforced concrete pour, there is no way to install a moisture barrier. However, it is very common for the concrete raft itself to be laid on a acrylic-plastic barrier layer, stopping ground water penatrating up into the home. However, these rafts are sometimes backfilled with your garden or a tiled patio, both of which will bring moisture in contact with the property structure, and frequently the external surface of the home is allowing water in. Considering one or more of the following are suitable actions to take :

  • remove the moisture bridge & allow the structure to breath
  • stop moisture ingress with a fibreflex application
  • increase the internal ventilation with our Ultrovent
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