Specialist distributor of Damp Proofing Products

Providing high quality damp proofing products to solve for a wide range of problems including, rising damp, condensation, basement flooding and masonry water sealing..

Damp proof membrane buyers guide

What are damp proofing membranes used for

Damp proof membranes are used to establish a physical barrier between sources of water and the interiors of a buildings or structures. These can either be vertical or horizontal membranes depending on how the moisture is being transmitted, e.g., 

  • Flooring membranes (horizontal) used to prevent moisture from rising through the ground
  • Damp proof course (horizontal) used to prevent rising damp between layers or brickwork in new buildings
  • Tanking membrane (vertical) used to prevent water from penetrating through walls in below-ground structures
  • Lath or Meshed membranes (vertical) used to assist with decoration in walls that are already affected by damp and need to be dried whish being decorated

The different types of damp proof membrane

Although categorization of these products can vary, they are generally used in the following way and different manufacturers will tend to show them as such. However some membranes will have multiple uses across a structure while others may be highly specialised for the ground conditions and water pressures which exist in the specific constructions.

Flooring: inserted between the ground and the base concrete of a building floor to prevent moisture from being transmitted
Above ground walls: used largely for remedial work, thin to be inserted into cavities and can be plastered over
Below ground walls:  able to cope with higher water pressure and will channel water away – which then must be pumped away to be drained
Between bricks (otherwise known as a damp proof course):  thin layer of membrane used during new build and inserted into the mortar line 
Geotextiles: permeable membrane used in underground structures to prevent contamination and damage to the primary damp proof membranes

How are they made and how do they vary in quality?

Most damp proof membranes will be made out of High Density Polyethene which is strong, waterproof and very unlikely to corrode. Membranes designed for walls and floors will usually involve a studded pattern designed to lift the sheet slightly away from the source of water. This is to allow water to flow across the membrane in order to drain and prevent pressure from building up in any one area of the wall

For remedial work, the membranes are produced in a mesh form which can be plastered over. This mesh allows the affected area to breathe and dry out, once the source of the moisture has been blocked.In addition, for remedial work membranes can also be made to be particularly thin in wall cavities where space is at a premium. Alternatively, additional layers of insulation can be included with the membrane in order to prevent heat loss in damp conditions.

Otherwise, geotextile materials are generally made from polypropylene or polyester which allows a certain amount of moisture through – depending on the design and the application. In addition, these can often be made from layers of different density material, to gradually reduce the water pressure throughout the membrane, drain away liquid and maintain a tension in equilibrium with the surrounding ground
Therefore the major issues that can be found with these membranes are around the consistency of the rolls of membrane. Each membrane will have an advertised pressure limit and the consistency of the material will determine the dispersion of the water pressure across the whole membrane and therefore prevent any single area from becoming week and leaking.  In addition, inconsistent membranes can be difficult to roll out flat and apply to flat walls.

Who are the different manufacturers of membranes?

There are number of different manufacturers in the market and many brands will outsource the construction of these membranes. Some of the most established are Delta Membranes, Newton Membranes, Oldroyd and NDC.

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