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 the roof.
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 below.
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.