DIY How To

How to Ensure Your Home Is Waterproof

Waterproofing your home can save you a ton of hassle and a lot of money. In this short guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best steps you can take to ensure your home is waterproof.

Ultimately, the process of waterproofing a property can involve a range of different measures including in relation to the brickwork, guttering and roof.

Important measures

Damp Proofing
Before we look at waterproofing specific elements like guttering, let’s take a look at the concept of damp proofing a home.

Damp proofing is a way to describe various treatments that are applied to stop the growth of rising damp in a property’s walls. Rising damp involves damp being trapped inside walls that can escape via evaporation. It generally rises up through a wall to a height of as much as 1.2 metres. It will rarely go higher. Rising damp often occurs in older brickwork and is especially common in basements. 

The most popular way of treating rising damp is to have a Damp Proofing Cream a.k.a. DPC installed. You might have this installed in any affected areas or throughout your home to have it damp proofed as a solution as well as a protective measure against future rising damp. In most cases, damp proofing must be done by a professional damp proofing company. The work will generally involve having walls re-plastered. Another solution is the more modern approach of electro osmotic damp proofing.

Brickwork
Treating brickwork can be achieved in many different ways. Not only can this protect them against water penetration, but it can keep your home warmer and therefore reduce your energy bills in the process.

One simple way of sealing brickwork is by repainting the exterior brickwork of a property with a specialised outdoor paint. These paint products are both more weatherproof and robust than most paint products. While you can paint a house DIY, it’s a lot of work to take on, so you may prefer to hire a professional painter.

Another way of waterproofing brickwork is with a modern waterproofing compound. This would need to be applied by a professional in most cases. Such compounds can make external walls that are porous, completely waterproof and even maintenance free. Each product will be suitable for different wall types, such as brick, concrete and stone walls. Always read labels/instructions before applying such a compound. These compounds can be effective for as long as two decades.

Guttering
It’s easy to overlook your gutters when it comes to waterproofing a home. If a gutter suffers from a blockage, it can cause water to accumulate and overflow. This overflowing water can splash on to the bricks and mortar of your home’s exterior and seep through to the inside of your home. For that reason and to protect your guttering from damage, maintaining them is important. 

Here are some ways to maintain your gutters:

  • Safely remove leaves and other debris twice a year with a scraper or trowel and a bag to collect said debris
  • Inspect the utter for cracks, leaks and buckling and perform repairs/maintenance as needed
  • Inspect its joints and brackets on a regular basis for signs of leakage and tighten the screws or replace the brackets if needed*
  • PVC gutters with holes can sometimes be patched up with a sealant, otherwise the relevant sections of guttering may need to be replaced

*In the case of having old cast-iron guttering, the sealant that surrounds the joints may need to be replaced. You should also paint this type of guttering with a bituminous paint on a regular basis.

Should guttering issues persist or/and if you’d like an in-depth inspection, you should hire a professional to take a look at your guttering. Installing new guttering may be necessary every twenty years but for the most durable option they can last for half a century or more.

Roof
Last but not least, it’s important to waterproof your roof for maximum protection. A well-insulated roof is a good start. Also, it’s especially important to ensure that if your roof is flat (or parts of it are), that they are waterproofed since they are more prone to water damage.

In addition, check that your roof flashing is not damaged or leaking. This is important because as much as 90% of roof leaks are down to fault or worn-down flashing. Another potential weak spot is in relation to missing tiles/shingles. Check to see if any roof tiles/shingles are cracked, worn down or have even blown away. Those that fit either of the previous descriptions should be replaced as soon as possible.

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