Dampness is not a problem that should be neglected; it spreads and slowly deteriorates everything it works through, causing structural problems in your home and the spores produced by mould can be dangerous for humans to breathe in day in, day out.
If your walls are showing signs of moisture or staining, rising damp is the likely culprit. It occurs if water rises up from the ground and travels up through the wall material.
In this piece, we’ll be looking at:
- How much damp proofing costs
- What affects the cost of damp proofing
- How to save money on damp proofing
- Why you need to damp proof your home
- What’s involved in damp proofing
- How to find and hire a tradesperson
Whether your home is already showing signs of dampness, or you just want to cover all bases and check up on existing damp proofing membranes, this article will give you everything you need to know about the procedure and what to expect.
How Much Does Damp Proofing Cost?
Rising damp treatment costs depend on the scale of your problem, the root cause and the size of the building. Below is a guide on the average cost of damp proofing for the UK – but, expect these prices to inflate by around 20% around London.
Let’s take a look at costs for damp proofing course to begin with.
|PROPERTY SIZE||ESTIMATED SUPPLY COST||ESTIMATED LABOUR COST|
|Terraced house||£300 to £350||£150 to £300 per day|
|Semi-detached house||£500 to £800||£150 to £300 per day|
|Detached house||£1,500 to £2,000||£150 to £300 per day|
If you live in a terraced house and want to have damp proof course installed, you can expect an estimated supply cost of between £300 to £350, and labour costs of between £150 to £300 per day.
A semi-detached home can see estimated supply costs rise to between £500 to £800, with the same labour fees of £150 to £300 per day.
Finally, a detached home can see estimated supply costs of between £1,500 to £2,000, on top of the labour fees of £150 to £300 per day.
Next up, let’s take a look at the cost breakdown for drainage channels.
|JOB||PROPERTY SIZE||ESTIMATED SUPPLY COST||TIME REQUIRED|
|Channel dug along one wall||Terraced||200||2 days|
|Channel dug along one wall||Detached||£400 to £500||2 days|
|Channel dug around whole house||Terraced||£300 to £350||5 days|
|Channel dug around whole house||Detached||£1,000 to £1,300||5 days|
|Channel dug around whole house with gravel path||Terraced||£350 to £400||5 to 7 days|
|Channel dug around whole house with gravel path||Detached||£2,000 to £2,200||5 to 7 days|
|Channel dug around whole house with concrete path||Terraced||£800 to £900||5 to 7 days|
|Channel dug around whole house with concrete path||Detached||£4,000 to £4,200||5 to 7 days|
This variation in a terraced house can cost £200 in supply costs, taking two days for your tradesperson to complete. Looking at a detached house, you can expect higher fees of between £400 to £500, taking two days to complete, also.
If you are wanting a channel to be dug around your whole house, the costs get a little higher as a result. A terraced home can command costs of £300 to £350, while a detached home can cost between £1,000 to £1,300, taking five days to complete.
For a terraced home to have a channel dug around the whole house with a gravel path, fees can range from £350 to £400, while a detached house can expect costs of £2,000 to £2,200 for the same treatment. On average, this can take between five to seven days to complete.
Finally, our last option is for houses with a channel dug around the entire house with a concrete path. For a terraced house, this can cost £800 to £900, while a detached home can expect fees of between £4,000 to £4,200, by far the highest of our options, taking around five to seven days to complete.
What Affects the Cost of Damp Proofing?
Further to the actual procedure to correct or add in damp proofing, there are a few other factors that can impact the price of your project.
Independent Damp Survey Cost
It’s easy to simply clean up the signs of damp with a wipe and a lick of paint – yet, masking a damp problem will not stop the spread.
Moisture will continue to travel through brick, plaster and wood, damaging the materials in the process. If neglected the problem will worse and end up costing you far more in the long run, as damp leads to the growth of harmful moulds that can damage our lungs.
If you believe you have a damp problem and are unsure of how severe it is, you should consider contacting trusted damp specialists to advise you. An independent damp survey cost will typically be between £150 to £400.
The Type of Damp Treatment
There’s more than one way of treating a damp problem in the home, each carrying different prices.
- Injection – £1,000 to £5,000
- Tanking slurry – £30 to £60 per metre squared
- Damp proof membrane – £125 per metre squared
- Electro Osmotic course – £249 per 25 metres
- Plastic damp proofing course – £425 for a semi-detached house
- Drainage channel – between £200 to £4,200 depending on house size and material
- Clearing out cavity walls – £21.50 per metre squared
It’s good to note that you may need to only tackle one area or the entire property. This will have cost implications depending on the severity of the breadth of the problem.
Whether You Have External or Internal Wall Damp
Water soaks its way through the brick/masonry pores as far as gravity allows, which is usually around 1.2 metres. The build-up of moisture within the wall also transfers into adjoining plastering and leaves visible salt deposits.
If this is the case in your home, you’ll need the damp removed and corrected before re-plastering and decorating to ensure the problem has been fully eradicated. Painting over damp will mask it visually, but won’t take away the source of the problem.
Any Additional Work Required
Once the damp proofing has been put in place, it might be necessary to carry out some additional work to make the area habitable again. This can include:
Painting and decorating – £160 to £240 per day, not including materials
New skirting boards – £150 to £200 in labour costs, not including materials, to re-skirt a medium room
Plastering – skimming a small room costs £400 to £550, and plastering the same size costs £600 to £700
Replacement flooring – £50 to £150 in labour to replace a carpet, not including materials
Rendering – a three-bed semi-detached house will cost between £3,800 to £5,500
Waste Disposal Costs
There’s a considerable amount of waste produced with damp proofing, so make sure this is factored into your labourer’s quote. A medium skip for a week can cost £275, and for more information on skip hire and the associated costs, take a look at our dedicated page.
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How Can I Save Money on Damp Proofing?
It is possible to save money on damp proofing by attempting the job yourself as a DIY project for smaller areas.
Some smaller damp removal tasks can be undertaken as DIY, such as repairing the gutter and repointing, but damp proofing requires expertise from professionals who fully understand any chemicals and equipment needed, so it’s best to leave the job to them in those instances.
There are damp proofing chemical pastes and creams for around £30 to £60 which are available for DIY, but we would recommend you hire a professional if you are unsure about the procedure.
However, this system only requires disposable cartridges that fit into a standard skeleton gun. They are ideal for retrofit DIY, installation is as simple as drilling holes and filling them.
Each hole can be knocked out in 2 minutes or less. Better yet, the chemical used is of low hazard to health and spills/stains are minimised during the installation.
It’s certainly worth choosing a quality chemical DPC if you want to ensure good results, follow their instructions to the letter. For example, Dryzone Damp Proofing Injection Cream has been officially approved by the BBA, this means it’s passed extensive testing as a building material.
Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of your project. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple tradespeople near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.
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What’s Involved in Damp Proofing?
Many of the solutions to rising damp are highly suitable for DIY projects if you want to save money. However, for bigger buildings or complications, it’s well worth paying to get the job done properly.
- If you do not have a DPC you will need to retrofit one
- If your ground level is above the DPC you will need to dig it out. Remember, a functional DPC must be 6” above the ground level. Otherwise, you can dig a trench around the external walls to reduce the ground level. Ensure water isn’t going to gather and rise above the DPC.
- If you have an external bridge you will need to adjust it. Consider removing or simply adjusting any structures that may be causing a bridging effect. If you can’t remove it you can install another DPC at a higher level.
- If you suspect bridging within your cavity wall you will need to inspect it. You can carefully check within your wall by removing 1-2 external bricks.
- Do not remove more without first consulting a building surveyor. If it’s full of debris you can try removing it by hand and with a vacuum cleaner.
- Do not proceed with this yourself if you do not feel confident.
First of all, you need to consider safety. You will need eye protection and a facemask to deal with dust. You will also need the following supplies and equipment:
- Quick Cure DPC Cream
- Skeleton gun (400cc or 1000cc)
- Electric hammer drill with 12mm masonry drill bit
- Re-plastering additives/materials
- Wall plugs
Injection DPC Installation Guide
If this is the first DPC to be fitted, remember it must be installed 6” above the ground level at a bare minimum. This is defined by British Standards and stated in UK Building Regulations.
A chemical must be injected to a certain depth depending on the thickness of your wall. Follow your product instructions or use below as a general guide on depth:
- 100mm deep for half brick thick walls (115mm)
- 210 mm deep for single brick thick walls (230mm)
- 320mm deep for walls of 345mm thickness
- 430mm deep for walls of 460mm thickness
Again, you should always follow your product-specific instructions, but the procedure below outlines the basic principles:
- Drill holes of 12mm diameter with 115mm intervals. These need to reach the mortar course and can be angled down through the brickwork to reach it. Remember, this DPC must be at least 6” above ground level.
- Remove any debris or dust from the holes using a vacuum or blower.
- Connect the nozzle to your chemical DPC cartridge then load it into the skeleton gun.
- Push the nozzle down into the hole and retract it slowly as you inject the cream. Finish when the hole is completely filled.
- Cap each hole with either plastic plugs or mortar.
How Do I Find and Hire a Tradesperson?
Finding the right trader to carry out your damp proofing is important, as it is an integral part of your property and can impact your structural integrity in critical ways. You should consult trade organisations such as the Damp Proofing Associationto see if your chosen trader is accredited and reliable for their work in the first instance.
Seeking out recommendations from friends, family and neighbours who have had similar work done is another good way of verifying someone’s craft, especially if they have had the work done recently.
Finally, using HouseholdQuotes is a great way to trim down your search time, and keep your results focused on just one website instead of across many.
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Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
When installed properly, a damp proof course can last up to 25 years – but if it isn’t installed well, it can end up failing, and need replacing far sooner. It pays to get a professional fit the first time to ensure longevity in your damp proofing.
You should first see what your trader’s experience is like – have they worked on similar jobs before, and what are the results? Take a look at any photos or videos, and read through their references thoroughly.
It’s important to double-check that they have the correct insurance in place, as well as checking their status as a member of any relevant trade bodies. These can range from:
- CSRT stands for Certificated Surveyor in Remedial Treatments and is a nationally recognised qualification awarded by Property Care Association (PCA)
- CSSW stands for Certificated Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing (CSSW) and is also awarded by the PCA
Both qualifications demonstrate expertise in recognising and treating damp, as well as recommending relevant solutions.
Finally, before embarking on the work, make sure you have a written quote agreed upon to prevent any nasty surprises when it comes to settling the bill.
If you are ready to take on your home’s damp proofing project, here’s our final checklist to make sure everything is taken care of.
- Determine what type of damp you have in your home, and carry out a visual check to see the vastness of the area
- Contact a professional using HouseholdQuotes to find a reputable and trusted trader
- Ensure to ask about waste removal costs and if they’ll be included in your quote or separate
- Get a written quote agreed upon before any work starts
- Make good any internal or external areas that need attention following the work, such as re-plastering, wallpapering and re-carpeting
Use HouseholdQuotes to find local tradespeople and potentially save money on your project.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Damp Proof Course Really Necessary?
In a word – yes. Without damp proofing, any moisture can get into your property and potentially impact your structure’s integrity – this can affect your timers, rotting them, and causing damp throughout the property.
It’s essential that any new home is built with a damp proof course installed.
How Do I Know I Have Damp?
There are a few ways to distinguish damp in your home – a smell, an actual visual representation of mould on your walls or ceilings, or floors that feel damp or cold.
Rising damp differentiates from other damp-related issues due to a number of key characteristics. Look for the following signs to confirm your problem is rising damp:
- Tide mark staining, usually yellow or brown hints coming up from the skirting boards
- White salty deposits will be left on your wall’s plasterwork
- Black spots of mould may be beginning to form in some areas
- Boards and flooring may start to show signs of rot
- If you’re having damp problems that don’t match up to these traits it is likely coming from the roof/loft. If damp patches appear over 1.2 metres up and are not evenly spaced, you will need to investigate elsewhere.
What Are the Causes of Damp?
It’s imperative you locate the root cause of your home’s damp and handle it effectively, otherwise, it will have been a waste of time when dampness returns in the future. Work your way through this list to identify your cause of rising damp:
- Locate your wall’s damp proof course (DPC). You should be able locate this layer in the wall from the outside of your property. It should run along your walls horizontally, approximately 6” from ground level. It forms a vital physical barrier and prevents water from rising through your wall. Your house may not have one, if so this is the primary cause.
- Check for bridging. Anything that comes into contact with the wall at a higher level than the DPC can form a bridge. This allows water to bypass the DPC and eventually infiltrate the house. Check ground level is not above the DPC and consider external structures such as stairs.
- Check your neighbour’s home. If your house is attached in any way they may have caused bridging that’s affecting your home. Check their DPC is present, above ground level and not higher than yours or bypassed by external structures.
- Consider internal bridging. It’s possible for bridges to occur within a wall cavity. It is often caused by trapped debris from the initial construction. If significant enough to allow moisture to wick through and bypass the DPC you have a problem.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or simply need expert advice, you can get a damp survey to provide you with invaluable guidance on how to proceed. Be sure to ask how much for a damp proof course and gather at least three separate quotes for installation.
What Are the Different Types of Damp?
The four types are rising damp, condensation, penetrating damp, and damp caused by a leak or blockage. All three have different solutions for their fixes, and it’s imperative you identify the right one so that you properly deal with your damp problem.
Where Does the Damp Proof Course Go?
Your home’s damp proof course needs to be at ground level around the edges of your property. This is to stop water from rising up from the ground and getting into your property.
What Is the Difference Between a Damp Proof Course and a Damp Proof Membrane?
A damp proof course runs below masonry walls. Damp proof membranes are most commonly found beneath most floor types – but especially concrete – to stop moisture from rising, causing damp.
How Long Will a Damp Proof Course Last?
When fitted correctly, a damp proof course should last around 20 to 25 years.
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