There are more important measures for essential rising damp prevention than providing a physical barrier somewhere near the base of the wall. That is whether a physical barrier or a chemical barrier is used.

Essential rising damp prevention entails removing the source of the rising damp.

Damp soil conditions are the major source, whether under the floor or around the house. Damp soil conditions are present in most areas of Adelaide.

In this article I will focus on the external damp soil conditions and the role of paving.

Gravel encourages rising damp.

Gravel encourages rising damp.

Most older homes in Adelaide have gravel paths around the perimeter of the home. Worst still many have gardens against the walls of the house. Some of these gardens have automatic sprinklers feeding them.

This encourages continuously damp conditions around the external walls of the house. The answer then is to minimise moisture at the base of the walls of your house. At the very least we need to keep the moisture content of this soil consistent as other structural issues (cracking) can occur.

This is addressed in new homes by way of Council Development Approval being conditioned on the use of perimeter paths around the house. New homes are supposed to have paving of at least 1.0 metre wide around the perimeter of the house as part of their development approval from Council.

Unfortunately this is not often done because it is not part of the building contract. The new home owner does not understand well enough the need to protect their walls.

The answer is to provide a path around the perimeter of your home. That is whether an older home with the conditions described above or a new home that the owner has not understood what responsibility they have taken on.

This path should be at least 1.0 m wide. It should be located under any damp proof barrier that has been placed at the base of the wall. It should have a fall away from the wall to avoid water laying at the base of the wall.

For more information on proving a perimeter path check out my other blogs as listed below:

Good Paving Design

Paving Preparation makes for Good Paving

Poor Paving and Poor Drainage creates Damp Issues