What Are the Best Tips for DIY Damp Proofing?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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DIY damp proofing is the process of addressing excess moisture in a home or building, and the solutions for addressing such issues can be either extremely simple or very complex and in depth. The first step in DIY damp proofing is figuring out where the excess moisture is coming from. This means the homeowner or builder will need to do a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior of the structure. Several types of dampness exist: condensation, rising damp, and penetrating damp. Each type of dampness will require a different set of steps to address.

Rising damp occurs when ground moisture creeps upward into the home. This is common in basements and walls throughout the home. When new homes are built, a sheet of waterproof material is usually laid down to prevent this type of dampness. If the home or building is experiencing rising damp, the DIY damp proofing will need to focus on creating a waterproof layer between the ground and the first layer of building materials. This process can be quite simple or very extensive, depending on the type of basement a house features. Dirt basements are the easiest to address, while concrete slab basements may need to be torn up in order to put down a waterproof layering sheet.


Condensation can occur from within the house. Running hot water taps or fluctuating the temperature of the house frequently or rapidly can lead to condensation within the home that can peel paint, cause cracking in walls and ceilings, or even lead to mold build-up. DIY damp proofing in this instance will start with identifying the cause of the condensation. This type of dampness is common in bathrooms where showers will be run frequently. Installing a vent fan is a great way to reduce condensation, as is installing a vent window or air exchanger system.

Penetrating dampness occurs when moisture from outside of the home penetrates the roof, walls, or windows to create moisture inside the home. DIY damp proofing in this case may be as simple as cleaning the home's gutters, as they may be obstructed and consequently leaking into cracks in the siding or wall panels. More complex problems may include rotting roof boards or shingles that will need to be replaced. This is an extensive project that should be performed in drier months if possible. Moisture can creep into the house through window panes as well, and caulking the window panes may be sufficient to cut down on the moisture leakage.


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