Building Construction Handbook, Sixth Edition

Damp-Proof Courses and Membranes

Function ~ the primary function of any damp-proof course (dpc) or damp-proof membrane (dpm) is to provide an impermeable barrier to the passage of moisture. The three basic ways in which damp-proof courses are used is to:-

  1. Resist moisture penetration from below (rising damp).

  2. Resist moisture penetration from above.

  3. Resist moisture penetration from horizontal entry.

Typical Examples ~

Materials for Damp-Proof Courses (1)

Building Regulations, Approved Document C2, Section 5:

A wall may be built with a damp-proof course of bituminous material, engineering bricks or slates in cement mortar, or any other material that will prevent the passage of moisture.

Material

Remarks

Lead

BS EN 12588

Code 4 (1 8 mm)

May corrode in the presence of mortar. Both surfaces to be coated with bituminous paint. Workable for application to cavity trays, etc.

Copper

BS EN 1172

0 25 mm

Can cause staining to adjacent masonry. Resistant to corrosion.

Bitumen in various bases:

BS 6398

Hessian or fibre may decay with age, but this will not affect efficiency. Tearable if not protected. Lead bases are suited where there may be a high degree of movement in the wall.

Hessian

3 8 kg/m 2

Fibre

3 3.. ..

Asbestos

3 8.. ..

Hessian & lead

4 4.. ..

Fibre & lead

4 4.. ..

LDPE (polyethylene)

BS 6515

0 46 mm

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