The importance of damp course
One of the common problems that we see in both domestic and commercial situations is when people, perhaps a neighbour, uses an exterior wall of a building as a retaining wall. This can often lead to water problems on the inside of the room on the other side.
This often occurs with brick structures as people think that this can hold back the soil.
What many people don’t actually realise is that bricks themselves are porous. During heavy rain or being buried they can absorb water and it can weep through to the other side.
Most brick walls are cavity brick, this means two walls of brick which are separated by a small gap and they are designed that any water that does enter the cavity runs down the inside face of the brick, hits a waterproof membrane, known as a ‘damp course’ and flows out weep holes.
This way the inside of the home or property remains dry. When the weep holes and/or the soil is above this line, then water will naturally weep through the second layer of brick, or through the plasterboard wall. This damage can occur unbeknownst to the occupants with the bottom plate of the timber frame rotting out from being constantly in contact with water.
I trust I have explained the situation clearly here and the photo taken of a building I saw under construction where the outer skin of brick was yet to be laid may assist. You can clearly see the damp course that has been installed.
If you have any further questions on the topic, please do not hesitate to contact me.