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Top things to consider while choosing damp proofing material

Damp proofing is a crucial construction activity that determines the life and safety of the structure. While selecting any construction material including DPC, an architect or an interior designer should look for some key qualities and then get deeper into the specific application of each material.

Here are 5 broad factors that need to be considered while selecting building materials:

  1. Physical Requirements
    The building material must serve the intended purpose. It should be strong, flexible, withstand earthquake, wind and weather conditions as well as suitable for the design.
  2. User Experience
    This may sound like technical jargon but in reality, it means the performance of the material and the aesthetic attributes. For example, will the chosen material give a luxurious feel or will this material make the user feel safe and secure?
  3. Time and Money
    Cost is a major deciding factor in any project. In some cases, timely completion is even more important than the cost. Both these should be weighed realistically with the intent of building a structure that lasts long.
  4. Context/Setting
    The environment or the content matters when choosing the material. Some important factors like the weather conditions, rural or urban setting, and intended use of the structure matter while selecting the building material.
  5. VOC stability
    The material of the construction of the product shall be low VOC and stable so that it does not pose any side effects to the health of users.
  6. Upkeep
    Will your materials stand the test of time? Will they be durable enough to withstand weather changes?

Dampproofing is an important aspect of the building project. A Damp proof course (DPC) is used to prevent moisture from entering into the structure below the ground level and hence makes for a crucial step to delve deep while designing a project. When discussing with the contractor, you can evaluate the quality of your damp proofing material based on its performance life and durability.

Some key requirements that your chosen damp-proofing material should possess:

  • Damp proofing material should be designed to be durable
  • It should be dimensionally stable
  • It should be free from sulfates, chlorides, and nitrates and have no side effects on human health and the environment
  • It should be such that it remains steady in performance under stressed conditions
  • It should be perfectly impervious
  • It should be capable of safely resisting the loads and wear and tear coming on it
  • It should be flexible so that it can adjust the structural movements without any fracture


Some of these are commonly used materials for damp proofing but do not meet all the requirements mentioned above:

  • Flexible material
    Material like bitumen felts (which may be Hessian-based or fiber/glass fibre-based), plastic sheeting (polythene sheet) etc.
  • Semi-rigid materials
    Materials like mastic asphalts or a combination of materials or layers
  • Rigid materials
    Materials like first-class bricks, stones, slates, cement concrete etc.
  • Grout materials
    Grout consists of a slurry of cement and acrylic-based chemical or polymers

The technological advancement in the DPC arena is DampX which is designed to provide a permanent solution against rising damp in walls from the plinth or floor level, into the structure. This method uses a robust and highly flexible elastomeric membrane to create a physical barrier under the walls, stopping moisture from rising through capillary action. It becomes monolithic with structure, is easy and quick to install as well as has the longest service life within its category.

DampX - The New DPC - Damp proof course-dampproofing solution
DampX – The New DPC

Most buildings have been constructed using traditional waterproofing and damp proofing techniques but with advancements in technology and increased structural demands, new age methods have evolved that provide long life, ease of application, better protection to the structure and above all good indoor air quality to the occupants.

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