Damp penetration at the roof level of Latham House – a housing association property
in the London borough of Tower Hamlets – has been overcome by using the physical
DPC installation method from Dampcoursing.
So severe was the problem, water seeping through was taking calcium deposits from
the concrete, and forming stalactites on the ceilings of the flats immediately below
As soon as the damp problem manifested itself, the Family Housing Association (now
known as Family Mosaic) took immediate action by moving the tenants to alternative
accommodation. It was then a matter of trying to source the root of the damp penetration.
Initially, it was difficult to discover the reason for damp penetrating to the flats
below the water tank room at the top of the building.
After detailed investigation, it was found that the render was in a state of disrepair,
allowing water to penetrate into the blockwork. The blocks acted as a sponge, and
– when they became saturated with rain – dampness would penetrate into the flats
Refurbishment work called for the replacement of the render coat, and the insertion
of a physical DPC in the block wall.
Latham House has proved to be one of the more unusual projects for physical damp
course specialist Dampcoursing, as the work was carried out to stop water penetration
from falling from above rather than rising from below.
Using specialist cutting equipment, operatives from Dampcoursing cut a groove along
the length of the blockwork, working on a 1m section at a time. Into this groove,
the new DPC was inserted with a mortar bed and strategic packing.
Code 4 lead was the material used for the DPC, as a flashing detail was also required
in the remedial work. An acrylic joint sealant was also used, to ensure a complete
and effective installation was carried out.
In total, some 70m of lead dpc was physically inserted into the roof structure. This
also incorporated a continuous flashing detail.