Cost of Damp Proofing a Wall
A guide of the process of hiring a tradesman to damp proof a wall, including the costs of labour and materials.
Damp-proofing a wall is a smart practice in any home. Especially given the inclement weather in the UK, it is a great way to prevent chipping, cracking or other damage which might ensue, if water damage or condensation were to occur.
When damp-proofing walls, there are certain steps which should be taken to protect different coatings and surfaces. Therefore, it is important to know how to perform this process, what is required to do so, and the best methods to go about proofing wall surfaces and materials.
What the job entails
The main reason is to prevent damage from water. Even small levels of condensation can pool, and turn into a huge issue down the road. If you damp-proof those surfaces, you can avoid major damage, tear, or even walls getting broken/damaged, without any notice. Another reason to damp-proof walls is to preserve painted surfaces. It will help retain the colour, avoid damaging wall surfaces and ensure even/level textures throughout your home.
You must first determine the root cause of the damage. This can be condensation from excess water vapour. Penetrating damp is also a common problem, which results from outside weather/water entering the internal surfaces of the home. Rising damp can also occur from below ground-level. Most homes do have guards in place to prevent this issue, however.
Once determined, you can choose the appropriate damp-proof method which will work best in your home. One option is to damp-proof membranes. You install the membranes, which are made of polypropylene. This plastic coating basically serves to protect the walls from getting wet, and acts as a barrier or membrane, to help keep walls dry, and avoid damage to those surfaces.
Damp-proof paints are also available for sale. You can paint your walls using these paints, in an effort to provide an additional barrier (or “skin”) on the walls. The paint basically helps preserve the wall material surfaces, so that water damage doesn’t ensue. Renovating plaster is yet another option you can choose to install to walls which are older. This will help the newly constructed walls block moisture, so as to avoid damaging them prematurely.
Potential Issues with Damp Proofing
If you don’t know how to use these products, or how to install them, then the technique can be rendered useless. For this reason, it is best to hire a tradesperson who has experience working with these materials, products and installing the damp-proof agents in homes. They will do the work quickly, and effectively, so your walls stay dry, and to prevent major damage sometime down the road.
Another issue you can run into is potentially damaged structures. If you are working in a very old home, water damage, which might have become mould damage, has already penetrated the surfaces. If this is the case, the only solution would be to first remedy the mould problem, then to install new damp-proofed walls.
Additional Projects to Complete
When damp-proofing the walls, you might also consider painting the walls with water-resistant paints. You can use epoxy paint bases, or you can use additional water-resistant paint products. Depending on the age of the home, or how long ago it was painted, it is likely that these products weren’t used. Applying them to your walls will help to better preserve them.
If you wish to perform any additional upgrade work, such as proofing flooring or sideboards, this is the ideal opportunity to do so as well. There are epoxy-based coating materials and various damp-proofing agents which can be used throughout the home. Especially in older homes, it is a good idea to perform these practices, in an attempt to preserve your home, avoid major damage, and avoid huge replacement or repair work down the road.
Costs & Duration
If you simply wish to paint surfaces, it will cost £50-100 for epoxy-paint, or other waterproof paint options. This is work which you can typically get by in doing yourself. The duration will be a minimum of 1-day, and depending on the size of the home, can take more than 1-week to complete.
If you plan on installing damp-proof plastering materials or replacing the walls, this is the type of work which is best left to a tradesperson. The cost will run £100-200 for a flat daily labour rate. Additionally, the cost of plaster, paints, and other proofing equipment they are going to use will result in higher costs for the project. The size of the home, and areas to be damp-proofed, will also result in higher costs when undertaking such projects in the home.
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Here is a list of commonly asked questions in regards to having your walls damp proofed.
Q What is the purpose of damp proofing?
The weather in the UK alone is reason enough to consider damp-proofing the home. However, this type of project will help preserve your walls from water damage, condensation, and pilling. It is a good idea to perform this service, even in newer homes.
Q Can I do this myself?
If you are simply using an epoxy or damp-proof paint, then it is possible to undertake this project, rather than hiring a professional to do the work for you. If, however, you plan on installing plaster, or performing additional construction/building throughout the home, it is advised to consider hiring a tradesperson to complete the work.
Q How long does damp proofing take?
If it is simply painting, the project’s duration should last 1-3 days. If you are installing new walls or plastering, or if there is extensive damage which has to be repaired, set aside a minimum of 1-2 weeks, to allow the contractors or tradesperson to complete the project.
Q How much will it cost me?
With the smaller project, simply requiring painting, £50-100 is a reasonable amount to expect to spend. The price will obviously increase when hiring professionals, doing construction, or if mould damage repair is required in the home.
Q Can I damp proof any home?
Yes, even newer properties should consider this practice. But, it is extremely important with older homes, to undertake this project, at as early an opportunity as you have the time/finances set aside to do so.