February 11th by Joseph Migadde
Damp problems are very common in houses old and new. They manifest in the following ways; peeling, blistering and scarring of painted walls, loose plaster in unpainted walls and mould in areas of the wall, floor or roof.
How to prevent these problems:
- Ensure all house foundations have; high enough foundation walls, well selected and compacted hardcore, blinding to stop the hardcore from piercing the damp proof membrane above and finally a damp proof membrane sealed with water proof tape below the concrete slab. Foundation walls can be plastered and painted with water proofing compounds before back-filling is done.
- All substructure walls to be built on the concrete slab, should begin with a well bedded damp proof course.
- All roofs and slabs with a very low slope should be finished with water proofing compounds to prevent the ingress of water.
- Provide water proofed storm water drains to prevent water from making pools around the house when it rains.
How to solve these problems:
Unfortunately, all the effective methods to solve these problems are quite invasive and can end up being quite costly. Foundations in some areas must be exposed to be water proofed. Roofs and slabs might need to be redone or resealed with water proof agents. In extreme cases, walls might need to be demolished, rebuilt and repainted.
In conclusion, as the age old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. Hire competent designers and builders and you will not have to worry about such problems.