Month: August 2016

How to find your damp proof course

17 08/16

What is a damp proof course?

A damp proof course (DPC) is a layer near the bot­tom of the walls of a house which pre­vents ris­ing damp.

In a prop­erty with­out a DPC, water can rise up from the ground through cap­il­lary action and through porous ele­ments in your brick­work. If it creeps through the walls, it can­ing struc­tural prob­lems and poten­tially lead to mould form­ing inside your home.

What is a damp proof course3 made from?

Pre-1900 prop­er­ties were tra­di­tion­ally built with slate DPCs. More recent houses have plas­tic. DPCs can be made out of a num­ber of mate­ri­als. Although build­ing reg­u­la­tions require the inclu­sion of a damp proof course4 in any new build­ing, they do not spec­ify one sin­gle mate­r­ial. It may be built from ‘bitu­mi­nous mate­r­ial, poly­eth­yl­ene, engi­neer­ing bricks or slates in cement mor­tar or any other mate­r­ial that will pre­vent the pas­sage of mois­ture.’

If you’re con­sid­er­ing exter­nal build­ing work, it will prob­a­bly be use­ful to know where your DPC is located. It is impor­tant not to dam­age or bridge the DPC as this will cre­ate a path for mois­ture.

What does a damp proof course5 look like?

Unless it has been ren­dered over, you will nor­mally see it as a lit­tle black line between 3inches and 2 feet from the ground, run­ning all the way around the exter­nal walls.