Bridged Damp-Proof Courses

Aug 20, 2021

In this week’s property surveying blog post, we are going to be discussing building surveying, and in particular, the bridging of a damp-proof course, also referred to as a DPC.  This is one of the most common property defects that our surveyors see here at Stokemont, and is an incredibly easy one to overlook if you’re a homeowner.  We thought it would therefore be helpful to set up the facts in relation to a bridged DPC to ensure you are well abreast of the situation.

A bridged DPC effectively means that the external level surrounding your property is higher than it should be, which ultimately means that rainwater and surface water is able to penetrate your property, as there is an insufficient gap between the damp-proof course that your property has, and the ground level surrounding it.

Within the majority of all properties, there will be a damp-proof course which is installed to the external fabric of the property, and is usually an upturned slate tile, plastic membrane or other form of rubber membrane, ultimately set 1500mm above the ground, stopping surface water from saturating up into your property and causing internal damage.

The damp-proof course can very easily be bridged, usually by the installation of decking, paving stones, or simply by attaching something to the external wall of the property, such as washing lines, storage sheds, hoses or anything else that is usually bolted or fixed to the external parts of the property, usually for the purpose of the homeowner’s ease.

While this may be an easy issue to create, once the damage has occurred, it can be less easy, and ultimately could require internal replastering, and redecoration.

We would advise taking a look around your property to ultimately see if there is a visible damp-proof course towards the lower section of the external walls, and if there is, check the distance in which that membrane sits above the surrounding ground.

Damp-proof courses are imperative to ensure the long term health of our properties.  Therefore, if you believe your damp-proof course has been bridged, get in touch with our team of qualified and experienced building surveyors today, and we will be more than happy to assist you.