036 BP 1016

BP 10 October 2016

DAMP PROOFING VAT Notice 708/6 as an energy-saving measure that qualifies for a reduced VAT rate of 5%. Nearly half of those polled (48%) said that increased heat loss through damp walls would be a worry. The findings of the survey reveal a common perception amongst those who own and rent houses that damp is a difficult and timeconsuming problem to fix. In fact, this is only true in a very small percentage of cases. The most important step in dealing with damp is to understand what is causing it. 'Rising damp' is often given as a cover-all diagnosis, however a qualified timber and damp surveyor would be able to identify specific causes - for example, rain penetration caused by a leaking gutter. Condensation is probably the most common cause of damp, a problem sometimes exacerbated by the latest generation of super-airtight homes. 36 BUILDING PRODUCTS | OCTOBER 2016 Rain penetration is also a frequent occurrence, either due to damaged or deteriorating masonry or leaking gutters and pipework. For those specifying damp treatments it is important that the solution is appropriate to the specific cause – or combination of causes – of damp. It is also crucial for specifiers to keep abreast of the latest technologies and innovations which can speed up the process of treatment, while maintaining performance and quality. For example, damp-proofing rods, combined with ‘express’ replastering systems, can slash the time required to transform a damp room to less than two days. There will also be situations where damp cannot be eliminated at source. Here, products such as damp-proof coatings for floors and walls may be the right solution. Having established the correct diagnosis and identified the appropriate solution; the next major concern in realising successful damp treatment is finding a competent and trusted contractor. The survey gives some insight into what potential clients look for in a contractor: damp-proofing certification was the most commonly cited factor (78%), followed by the quality of guarantees (67%) and of materials (58%). In conclusion, there is still much misperception and misinformation about the causes and treatment of damp among developers, landlords and householders alike. Reputable manufacturers and contractors must join forces to combat this by providing informed advice and solutions so that treating damp is seen as a viable and valuable course of action, rather than something to be avoided at all costs. Hudson Lambert is a director at Safeguard


BP 10 October 2016
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