Damp Bricks at the Bottom of a House
26 August 2021
Whenever you see damp appearing around your windows, or on the internal walls of the house, it can be a very worrying sign. It can also be concerning when there are signs of damp brickwork at the bottom of the house. Dampness on the external walls of the property can mean that the structural integrity is under threat and potentially some damp related damage.
When you have damp occurring on the inner walls of a house, for example as a result of condensation, this can usually be rectified by making simple changes within your home e.g. by improving the ventilation. The same cannot be said for rectifying damp issues caused as a result of external defects. Only by correctly identifying the causes of the damp problem can the correct solution be implemented to get rid of the dampness.
What Causes Damp Bricks at the Bottom of a House?
As we have just mentioned, damp occurring on the external brick work can occur for a number of reasons. Without identifying the exact cause of the damp issue and fixing it then it will keep reoccurring.
Brick Walls Are Exposed to Dampness
If you have damage to the brickwork in the form of external defects, cracks in the walls or poor brickwork then you are leaving the walls exposed to damp and potentially future problems. During periods of heavy rain, moisture can then easily penetrate the exterior walls and damage from damp and mould can occur on the inside of the property.
Damp Proof Course Is Not Working Properly
One of the main causes for damp bricks is having a damp proof course (DPC) that is damaged. A damp proof course is used to stop the damp rising up from the ground and affecting the lower areas of the wall. If your DPC is not working properly then your property is vulnerable to issues with rising damp.
Cavity Wall Insulation Causing Damp Problems
If you have cavity wall insulation installed at your property, then will probably know that it is a cost-effective method of reducing heat loss. However, what you might not know is that it has the potential to also cause damp problems.
The cavity wall insulation can act as a bridge for damp to make its way through from external brickwork into the inner walls of the property.
It is not only penetrating damp that can occur as a result of cavity wall insulation but also condensation. Cavity walls are there to stop moisture penetrating the inside of the property as well as to stop heat escaping the property. If the insulation has not been installed correctly then this will mean that the walls will stay cold.
Condensation is formed when warm moisture laden air comes into contact with a cold surface. When condensation starts to form it can also lead to black mould growth.
The Paint is Not Allowing the Walls to Breathe
While it is important to stop damp penetrating the walls of the house, you still need the external walls to be able to ‘breathe’ which will allow warm air to escape from inside of the building.
If the walls do not allow the water vapour to escape the property, then this can lead to problems with condensation.
How to Treat Damp Bricks?
The list of possible causes of damp bricks at the bottom of a house may seem long, however, with regular property maintenance, this can be greatly reduced. We have provided a list below of steps you can take to reduce dampness at your house:
Maintenance and Repair to the Property
As we have previously mentioned, carrying out maintenance to not only the external bricks but all areas of the house, will make sure that you are protected from any unwanted dampness causing damage to your building.
Any defects or damage to the exterior of the property will need to be fixed as soon as possible by a qualified contractor. For example, if the property is suffering from cracks in the walls, and these have been fixed, then the brickwork is protected from water penetrating the brickwork.
Installation of a New Damp Proof Course
If your property is suffering from rising damp, then one of the most likely reasons is that the damp proof course is not working as it should be. For advice about installing a new DPC, contact a PCA registered damp proofing company, like Timberwise, who can install a new damp proof course that comes with a 20 year guarantee.
Checking Whether if it is Worth Having Cavity Wall Insulation Installed
Cavity wall insulation can cause dampness within your property and if your property is exposed to windy wet weather or the property has poorly constructed walls, then dampness is going to find its way through. If any other these issues are a problem at your property, then it might be not worth having cavity wall insulation installed.
Apply Waterproofing Coating to Brick Walls
Brick walls are not fully waterproof meaning they are vulnerable to penetrating damp. Waterproofing brickwork is one of the main ways of stopping water from penetrating the outer bricks of the house, so this is something you should definitely look into applying to your property.
They can be easily applied to almost any property style and is an ideal way to provide protection against dampness.
Contacting a Specialist
We hope this article has given you a clear idea of what causes damp brickwork and what can be done to treat it. Whilst most of the treatment work will need to be carried out by a qualified professional, you should make sure that your house is protected as best as possible from potential damp issues by carrying out routine maintenance.
You can contact our team at Timberwise by calling 0800 288 8660 or by requesting a online.