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.