• Damp Proofing and Treatment Services

    Rising Damp

    Rising DampRising Damp

    Particularly common in older buildings, rising damp is probably the most common problem I am asked to investigate.
    Caused by moisture rising by capillary action through the stone/brickwork, it can cause secondary problems such as dry/wet rot and salt contamination to plaster.
    In most circumstances, it can be dealt with by the injection of a chemical damp proof course and the removal and renewal of the affected plaster, but other solutions are also available:


    This process involves passing a charge through a titanium wire which is linked to a series of anodes and earthed using a ground rod.

    This system has the advantage of being faster to install and is reversible.  This makes it particularly effective when dealing with listed/historic buildings which may allow chemical injection.

    Membrane SystemsMembrane Systems

    Fixed directly to the wall using proprietary fixings, the membrane damp proofing systems have many advantages over conventional systems namely:

    • you do not need to wait 6 months before you decorate
    • it has the ability to deal with penetrating damp caused by high ground levels

    This system is similar to our basement waterproofing system


    Lateral/Penetrating Damp Treatment

    Lateral/Penetrating Damp TreatmentLateral Penetration

    This is usually a result of leaking down pipes and gutters or roof related issues,  allowing water to get into the building causing the walls to become wet.
    This results in internal staining to the plaster or even salt contamination from the stonework.
    Salt contaminated plaster should be removed and re-plastered. If left untreated, it can often result in dry and wet rot to large joists or lintels within the area.
    It is always required to address the source of the moisture and remove the problem or repair. Membrane systems are often preferred in these circumstances.



    Condensation Control

    Condensation ControlCondensation Control

    Condensation is caused by a lack of heating, ventilation and/or insulation.
    Often misdiagnosed as rising damp this can prove to be a very expensive mistake.  In fact, condensation can cause mould growth – on carpets, clothes and wallpaper, heat loss through damp walls, not to mention health implications.
    What is a relatively easy problem to solve can become a major headache if not dealt with effectively.  It is important that the problem is diagnosed and the correct steps are taken to reduce humidity.
    Condensation is caused by the saturation of air particles with water.  When the air is not able to absorb any further moisture it deposits moisture vapour on to cold surfaces where it condenses and produces mould.
    The main way of dealing with condensation is to look at ways of reducing the amount of moisture being created in the property from sources such as showers, cooking and drying clothes.
    These steps, coupled with increased ventilation often prove sufficient, however occasionally further action may be needed.


    Basement Waterproofing/Tanking

    Basement Waterproofing/TankingBasement Waterproofing

    The alternative to moving house may be to expand and use areas of your property that are underground.  In many cases this can be achieved by the introduction of Basement Waterproofing.
    In the past, many different systems have tried and, in most cases, failed to deal with the problem of creating a dry environment, either partially or completely below ground level.
    Most of these systems were wet systems i.e. they were applied as slurry direct to the wall. They relied on holding the water back under pressure and often failed due to poor drainage and workmanship.
    Cavity Drainage Systems are different. Rather that holding the water back, it is channeled away, ensuring that the internal wall surfaces remain dry.
    With the use of a pump they can be incorporated into systems that can cope with even the wettest conditions in previously untreatable basements.
    As you can see from the pictures, these systems can be used to create rooms in otherwise forgotten areas, increasing both domestic and commercial floor space, values and improving sales potential.
    As the specification of these types of works is all important, you will be pleased to know that I am one of the few people within the industry to be CSSW Qualified.
    The industry has started now to look at waterproofing in a different way. Because I am CSSW Qualified, I can specify and ensure works are carried out correctly. I can also offer back-up guarantees.

  • Timber Decay and Woodworm Treatment

    Timber Decay

    Timber DecayTimber Decay

    Many factors can cause decay to timbers within buildings. However, there are two common factors which all rot stems need for growth and without which it cannot sustain growth, namely: water and a food source (timber).
    The source of the water could come from a number of areas, such as leaking down pipes, rising damp, condensation, roof leaks or flooding, but they all have the same effect; they increase the moisture content of the timber to a level that will support the growth of rot (20-30% for dry rot or 60% and above for wet rot).
    If you want to effectively eradicate the problem then the first thing to do is remove the moisture source. The second thing to do is call out a professional.


    Woodworm Control

    Woodworm ControlWoodworm Control

    It is suggested in various published literature that 75% of all houses suffer from some form of insect infestation.
    The most common form of damage to timber in Scotland is by Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum).
    The Common Furniture Beetle lives in a three-year cycle. For the first six to eight weeks it is in an egg form, emerging as larvae which then go on to feed on the timber for the next two to three years. Eventually the larvae pupates and changes to an adult beetle which then eats its way to the surface to fly off and find a mate, before the whole process starts again.
    As with most insects the emergence of these adult beetles takes place at ‘specific times’ of the year called the ‘flight season’. This is typically April to October and these months are the ideal time for treatment.
    Woodworm is treated by spraying the timbers with a water-based insecticide. This coats the surface of the timbers and produces a layer of residual fluid which will remain in place to ensure that any woodworm eating their way out of the timber will become sterile and therefore unable to breed.

    What is the effectiveness of such treatments?

    A common question which is asked is ‘if my woodworm has been treated, why are new holes still appearing two years after treatment?’.
    This is known as Post- Emergence. As the woodworm works within a three-year cycle, it takes up to three years for all the larvae to change into beetles and try to emerge.
    Until all the larvae at the time of treatment have changed into beetles, each year a few will eat their way to the surface and become sterile.
    Eventually after the 3-year cycle the timber will be free from infestation.


    Epoxy Resin Repairs

    Epoxy Resin RepairsEpoxy Resin

    Although some timber repair jobs require a full strip of the building fabric, we can, in some circumstances provide alternative specifications which may allow the problem to be solved without the need for costly reinstatement works.
    In many older buildings large section beams exist carrying huge loads with many supported timbers; these beams can be reared using Epoxy Resin repairs.
    Epoxy Resin repairs rely on repairing timbers in-situ and can be adapted to take on even the largest section timbers in the most confined spaces.
    These types of repairs are sometimes the only solution to repairing timbers such as Church roof trusses and bressummer beams, where it is not possible to remove it without great expense.
    As you can see from the adjoining photos, the principals for repair are fairly simple and can be adapted to incorporate almost any eventuality.
    The repairs can be carried out with a minimum of disruption with only the affected part of the beam being exposed. This may mean that building elements, such as decorative cornices or ornate plasterwork, can remain intact, therefore reducing overall costs compared with more traditional methods.