Damp-Proof Membrane for Walls: What You Need to Know

By Jamie Orr
Date 14/08/2022
damp proof membrane for walls what you need to know

Damp-proof membrane is a common way of protecting buildings from moisture. If you have a damp problem on your walls or want to prevent one in future, you may well be looking at these products yourself.

So, how do they work, are they effective, and is there an alternative? Read on to find out everything you need to know about damp-proof membrane for walls.

How damp-proof membrane works

As the name suggests, the primary purpose of damp-proof membrane is to protect buildings from damp. It aims to do so by creating a moisture-resistant barrier thanks to its high-density polyethylene (HDPE) composition.

A common use for such membranes is to prevent moisture rising through the foundations of a building. It can also be used to create a moisture-resistant surface before laying laminate or wood floors.

However, one of the most common applications is damp-proof membrane for walls. In this case, the membrane is fixed to an internal wall to stop damp passing through. The membrane can then be plastered over for a decorative finish.

Does it work on walls

We’ve established how it works in theory. But does it work in terms of efficacy. The answer is… It depends.

Stopping the source

Firstly, like any damp-proof solution, the source of the damp has to have been remedied and minimised. If it’s water ingress through the wall, you’ll want to make sure water isn’t still getting in from the outside – as a damp-proof membrane would simply trap it. On the other hand, excessive humidity will require better ventilation along with your damp-proof treatment.

Getting the right product

Additionally, you need to ensure you’ve got the right product. Some damp-proof membranes are simply water-resistant vapour barriers, which are ideal for applications like flooring. For walls, you need to make sure the membrane is breathable. That’s achieved with a stud-like surface, creating an air gap between the membrane and the wall where moisture can evaporate.

Installing it correctly

The installation itself is also important, with a few different areas that can pose problems. Damp-proof membrane for walls has to be fitted carefully around corners to provide continuous coverage. It also needs to be fixed in place with specialist plugs, so moisture doesn’t pass through. Finally, any joints or overlaps have to be adequately sealed for the same reason.

Is there a better way?

Damp-proof membrane can be an effective option for walls if everything goes to plan. But all too often, it doesn’t – and people are left with the same problem coming back to bite them further down the line.

If you find yourself in that frustrating situation, CorkSol could provide the solution. Our SprayCork coating can be spray applied to internal walls to create a smooth, uniform and damp-resistant layer. Powered by the unique properties of cork, it’s both moisture-resistant and breathable – with a guarantee of 25 years to boot.

Alternatively, if you’re struggling to tackle the source of damp externally, an exterior wall coating with SprayCork can stop water ingress for good. Whatever your requirements, we’re here to help with a national network of approved applicators. Contact us today to find out more or arrange a quote from a fully trained local contractor.


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