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What are wall ties?

What are wall ties?

Wall ties hold the walls of buildings together, providing vital structural support and allowing for the existence of insulating cavity spaces. Wall ties are integral but over time they can corrode and decay, so it’s important to have regular surveying and replacement work carried out by a professional when necessary. 

In this article, the team at Atlantis Damp explains what wall ties are, why you need them and when they need replacing. 

What Are Wall Ties?

Wall ties are strips of metal or metal rods, usually produced from zinc, steel, or other metals. These metal rods are used to hold two separate layers of brickwork together, and you’ll find them placed in the cavity space between an inner and outer wall in modern properties.

Why Do You Need Wall Ties?

Wall ties play an integral role in the structure of your home. Without wall ties, it would be difficult to construct the sturdy inner and outer walls that modern homes are built with today. They literally hold these two sets of brickwork together and, in this respect, are vital to the stability of your home.

Because wall ties allow this type of cavity wall to be safely constructed, they also become vital for insulation. Cavity spaces between these layers of wall are commonly filled with insulating materials, thereby allowing homeowners to keep their houses warm while saving on energy costs. 

Why Do Wall Ties Need Replacing?

Wall ties are made from long-lasting metal materials, but unfortunately they aren’t indestructible. The most common reason that wall ties need replacing is corrosion, a natural process that can’t necessarily be halted, only slowed down.

Wall ties can fail and need replacing for a number of different reasons, including:

  • Corrosion
  • Subsidence
  • Extreme weather or natural events
  • Damaged masonry or brickwork

If wall ties aren’t replaced, then wall tie failure can lead to damaged brickwork, structural damage, poor insulation in your home, the need for costly repairs, and more. 

Damaged and corroded wall ties can pose a danger to the structural integrity of your property. If you’re concerned that your wall ties could be failing, the team at Atlantis Damp can carry out surveys and repair work to ensure that your home is safe.

Contact Atlantis Damp today for more information on replacing wall ties.

What is Sub Floor Ventilation?

What is Sub Floor Ventilation?

If you’re looking to reduce the chance of damp and mould taking hold in your home, it’s essential that you have adequate sub floor ventilation beneath your property.

The space below ground is very often overlooked, but sub floor ventilation is integral to creating a moisture and damp-free household, with a clean circulation of fresh air. 

In this article, the expert team at Atlantis Damp explains what sub floor ventilation is, and why you need it in your home.

What Is Sub Floor Ventilation?

Sub floor ventilation refers to any system or method designed to effectively ventilate the area below your floorboards on the ground floor of a building. This area is commonly referred to as the ‘sub floor void’, and there are several ways to keep the air flowing in this underground space.

The most common method is the installation of air bricks, which is required under building regulations. Air bricks are terracotta bricks with holes in the sides. If installed on every side of the building (at sub floor level) they allow air to flow in all directions. 

Sub floor ventilation can also be improved through the installation of fans, extra vents, air pumps, and more, while your home’s airflow can be assisted through basic ventilation methods, such as keeping windows and doors open, and making use of extractor fans.

Why Do You Need Sub Floor Ventilation?

Sub floor spaces aren’t commonly top of the list when it comes to inspecting our homes or looking for signs of moisture or damp. However, that’s exactly why you need to take sub floor ventilation seriously, because poor ventilation can often go unnoticed until wider problems start to appear above ground level.

Without sub floor ventilation, your home will have inadequate circulation and it will be much more susceptible to problems arising from excess moisture and damp. Damp and mouldy conditions can cause health problems, lead to termite or fungal infestations and, in the worst-case scenarios, cause serious structural damage to your home.

Here are the most important reasons to ensure that your sub floor ventilation is up to scratch:

  • Regulate underfloor temperatures and humidity
  • Avoid a build-up of damp below your floorboards
  • Avoid growth and spread of mould throughout your home
  • Prevent the spread of fungal spores through the property
  • Remove the conditions needed for termites and other unwanted infestations to thrive
  • Create a clean flow of air throughout your home
  • Promote a healthy living environment

How Can Atlantis Damp Help with Insufficient Sub Floor Ventilation?

If you’re worried that your sub floor ventilation is insufficient, the expert team at Atlantis Damp is here to help. 

We can provide a detailed survey of your current underfloor situation, fix any existing problems associated with sub floor ventilation, and determine the best way to improve your sub floor ventilation going forwards. 

Contact Atlantis Damp today for more information. 

How To Treat Penetrating Damp

How To Treat Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp is a serious issue that can cause expensive and potentially hazardous damage to your property. 

Caused by excess water seeping into the walls, floors or ceilings of a building, if you think your home might have a penetrating damp problem, it’s important to act fast to remove it.  In this article, the experts at Atlantis Damp explain what penetrating damp is, what problems it’s likely to cause, and how it can be treated. 

What Is Penetrating Damp?

Penetrating damp is a serious form of damp that sees excess moisture and water seeping, leaking or flooding into the walls, floors or ceilings of a building. Once established, penetrating damp can move through the building, forcing homeowners to carry out repair work to treat and remove it. 

Penetrating damp commonly occurs as a result of damaged infrastructure, including poorly maintained gutters or broken pipes. It can also occur because of flooding or unusually intense levels of rainfall. The most common causes include:

  • Broken gutters or leaking pipes
  • Old or damaged brickwork or masonry
  • Broken slates, tiles or faulty roofing
  • Broken seals
  • A damaged damp-proof course

What Problems Can Penetrating Damp Cause?

Penetrating damp can cause a number of issues and problems. If left untreated, minor issues can quickly become exaggerated leading to more expensive repairs, so it’s important to act quickly if you believe you might have a problem.

Common problems caused by penetrating damp include:

  • Damage to external walls or roofing
  • Damaged plasterwork
  • Damp, mouldy patches and smells
  • Moist patches
  • Visible leaks or pools of water
  • Structural damage
  • Decaying timbers

How Is Penetrating Damp Treated?

The first step in treating penetrating damp is identifying its cause, which is a task best left to a damp specialist. There can be several ways to remove the damp problem, and an expert can recommend the best solutions for your home.

The most effective way to solve a penetrating damp problem is to repair the cause of the problem. This will vary, but generally it can mean repairing the damaged guttering or pipes that led to the issue or isolating the source of a leak and removing it. Damaged plaster, decoration, flooring and woodwork may need to be replaced, while water repellent can help to protect the home in the future. 

In certain cases, it may be necessary to reinstall or update the building’s damp-proof course, especially if water has leaked in from the ground level. Another solution may be tanking, which sees the ground level lowered to stop water flooding in from the outside. 

In all cases, a home should always be fully damp proofed to protect any further instances of penetrating damp. 

Contact Atlantis Damp to Find Out More About Treating Penetrating Damp in Your Home

Identifying penetrating damp early can help you remove the problem before it causes serious damage to your property. If you believe there might be a penetrating damp issue in your home, our expert team is here to help. 

Our family-run business can assist with problems arising from all forms of damp in the home, and we can provide damp-proofing solutions that ensure your house is well protected. Contact Atlantis Damp today for more information. 

Does home insurance cover damp?

Damp can cause serious damage to your home. If left unchecked for long periods of time, it has the potential to cause lasting structural damage to a property.

Damp issues need to be dealt with rapidly. If you’ve noticed problems in your home, you might be wondering: does home insurance cover damp?

The short answer to that question is generally no, but this depends on the type of home insurance you have. In this article, we explain why home insurance often doesn’t cover damp, and how much you might expect to pay to fix damp issues. 

Does Home Insurance Cover Damp?

Home insurance is a necessary protection for any household. Unfortunately there are limits as to what your average policy covers. Here at Atlantis Damp we’re often asked, ‘does home insurance cover damp?’ This depends on the terms and conditions of your home insurance policy, but in most cases the answer is no.

Home insurance is designed to cover unexpected damage to a property. While damp might, at first glance, seem to fall into this bracket (particularly if you discover a damp problem out of the blue, which is often the case), home insurance providers generally consider the issue of damp to be one of maintenance.

Do You Need to Let Your Home Insurance Know If Your Property Has a Damp Problem?

Damp problems caused by rising damp, penetrating damp or condensation will usually be classed as ‘wear and tear’. This means that the onus is on the property owner to ensure that their property is damp-proofed, as damp problems are often caused over time and are due to a deterioration of the property’s damp protections. 

However, you should make your home insurer aware of any existing damp problems before taking out a policy, and if damp problems arise it’s worth talking to them anyway. In certain circumstances, if you have either a specialist insurance policy or if a damp problem can be proven to have been caused by some sudden or unexpected event (such as a flood, or leak), you may be covered.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Damp When Your Home Insurance Won’t Cover It?

The cost to fix a damp problem varies considerably from one home to the next. The sooner you notice a damp problem, the easier (and cheaper) it will be to fix. 

If you believe you have a damp issue, we recommend booking a professional survey. This will identify the type of damp causing the problem, the extent of the damp problem and offer an estimate of costs. 

Contact Atlantis Damp for More Information on Damp Problems in the Home

Identifying damp early can help you remove the problem before it causes serious damage to your property. This is particularly important when we consider that home insurance rarely covers damage caused by damp. 

If you believe there might be damp in your home, our expert team is here to help. Our family-run business can assist with problems arising from all forms of damp in the home, and we can provide damp-proofing solutions that ensure your house is well protected in the future. Contact Atlantis Damp today for more information. 

What is a damp-proof course?

What Is a Damp-Proof Course?

A damp-proof course is one of the most effective ways to protect your home against the dangers of excess moisture rising from the ground. 

A damp-proof course – or DPC – is primarily designed to create an impermeable barrier, which stops moisture from rising up into a property. This solid waterproof barrier thereby helps to prevent damage that can be caused by damp. 

In this article, the expert team at Atlantis Damp explains everything you need to know about damp-proof courses. 

What Is a Damp-Proof Course?

A damp-proof course – or DPC – is essential, and modern homes are always fitted with some form of DPC as standard. In fact, DPCs have been a legal requirement in parts of the United Kingdom going as far back as the Victorian era. 

Damp-proof courses have evolved over the years, and today there are many different types of DPC that can be fitted. The function and purpose of a DPC has not changed however, with the main goal of a damp-proof course being to protect a property against the dangers of excess water.

A damp-proof course consists of some form of waterproof material, which is installed 150mm above ground level. 

Types of Damp-Proof Course

There are a variety of different types of damp-proof courses that could be installed in your home.

The type of DPC that’s fitted will depend on a number of factors, including the age and design of the property. 

While a damp-proof course could be made from slate, plastic or other materials, a modern DPC is more likely to be a damp-proofing cream that’s injected into the bricks and mortar of a building.

It’s common for a damp-proof course to be installed alongside a damp-proof membrane – or DPM – which is a thick, waterproof sheet of plastic that can be placed below the floors.

The most popular types of damp-proof courses include:

  • Chemical damp-proof course injection: Holes are drilled into the brickwork of a wall, and a chemical damp-proofing cream is injected into the masonry to create a waterproof barrier.
  • Mortar damp-proof course injection: A chemically enhanced type of mortar is injected into the walls, where it fills any holes or gaps in the masonry to seal the wall against moisture.
  • Electro osmotic damp-proof course: Metal wiring is installed to create an electric charge, which polarises the wall and therefore repels water away.

At Atlantis Damp, we only use Chemical injection, using market leading Dryzone creams, installed directly into the mortar bed, which is in line with best practice standards.

While a damp-proof course should be installed in your home, it can fail over time. If you’re experiencing damp problems, then you may need to have your DPC replaced. A professional damp proofer can identify the best way to fix or replace your DPC, to ensure your home is well protected against damp and excess water.

Where Does a Damp-Proof Course Go?

A damp-proof course is intended to protect a home against rising groundwater, which means it needs to be installed in the walls on the ground floor of a property. 

But rather than being installed directly at ground level, regulations stipulate that any DPC should be at least 150mm above ground level. This ensures that rain splash or stagnant water can’t bridge (go over the top of) the DPC. DPCs go into the bricks and mortar of a wall. A chemical DPC for example will be injected directly into the mortar bed bricks after holes have been drilled into the wall. 

Why Should You Have a Damp-Proof Course Installed in Your Home?

It’s important to have a DPC installed in your home, as it helps to damp proof your property and protect the building against problems that can arise from excess moisture. Here are the most important reasons to have a damp-proof course installed:

  • Ensure your home is thoroughly damp-proofed
  • Protect your house against rising damp
  • Protect against associated damp problems, such as mould and wood rot
  • Protect against health issues caused by damp
  • Increase the value of your property and save money on repairs in the future

How Much Does Installing a Damp-Proof Course Cost?

There are several factors that will affect the overall cost of having a damp-proof course installed in your home. 

Depending on the age of your property, your home is likely to already have a damp-proof course installed, so a specialist will need to first assess how much of the property needs to be reproofed in order to stop any damp problems. If damp has already taken hold in your home as a result of a failure of the existing DPC, this first needs to be fixed. 

The primary factors that will affect the overall cost of the work include:

  • The size of the property and the area that needs to be damp proofed.
  • The type of damp-proof course that will be installed.
  • Any repair work caused by damp that needs to be carried out first.

For an accurate cost estimation, you’ll need to have a survey carried out by a damp-proofing professional. They’ll be able to identify if your DPC is failing or absent, and the best way for a new DPC to be installed. 

Having a DPC installed is essential, and it will save you money in the long run by protecting your home against serious damage that could be caused by damp problems. 

Contact Atlantis Damp to Find Out More About Damp Proof Courses

A damp-proof course is an essential feature of any property. If you’re concerned that your DPC might be failing, it’s important to contact a professional for further assistance. 

Our family-run business can assist with problems arising from all forms of damp, and we can provide damp-proofing solutions that ensure your house is well protected in the future. Contact Atlantis Damp today for more information.