Damp Course Insulation and its Thermal Insulation Elements

12 April 2023

Damp-proof course detailing must consider the product’s properties when an insulating element is employed to solve thermal bridging heat losses. A horizontal damp proof course is a form of insulation used to dry foundations. It is installed horizontally between the strip footing and the foundation wall and at the connecting point between the foundation walls and the building’s external walls. Its primary function is to defend against capillary action, the process in which walls suck moisture and move it higher.

About Damp Course Insulation

This form of insulation also serves another purpose. It divides the foundation walls from the overground buildings, resulting in a discontinuous structure. Consequently, the structures will not break as quickly over time, allowing the building to subside and the foundations to decay. It is the most crucial, and sometimes the only, kind of defence. A horizontal damp-proof course added to foundation walls will be effective only if it is connected to the damp-proofing of the ground floor and walls.

Why does everything have to be so precise? Experts claim that a damp-proof course is a critical component of a home. The rationale is straightforward. It provides structural support for the entire structure. Furthermore, even if it is feasible to restore it in the future, such repairs are, first and foremost, quite difficult and extremely expensive.

Material/s to Use and Select

Historically, the most common damp-proof course material was a bitumen membrane with a pitch in two layers. Pitch offers damp-proofing capabilities, whereas bitumen membrane serves as reinforcement. New generation materials, such as damp-proof membranes or heat-welded bitumen membranes, are increasingly being utilised.

1. Moisture-Resistant Membranes

A thin sheet material has a thickness of 0.2 to 2 mm. Membranes at least 0.4 mm thick should be utilised to damp-proof the foundation. Some are embossed, which aids in bonding with mortar underneath the initial layer of parts designed for wall construction (e.g. bricks or hollow bricks).

2. Heat-Welded Bitumen Membranes

The membranes’ bases are comprised of polyester fibre bilaterally covered with asphalt. They come in rolls that are typically 1 m broad, 5 m or 10 m long, and 3.2-5.2 mm thick. Remember that the thicker the bitumen membrane, the more damage-resistant it is and the easier it is to lay. Heat-welded bitumen membranes are flexible, temperature resistant (-10° to +120°), and puncture resistant.

3. Polyurethane Foam Insulation for The Foundation Area

Polyurethane foam is a material that cannot be overlooked due to its remarkable insulating characteristics. Polyurethane foam insulation of foundations provides waterproofing and thermal insulation. Spraying PUR foam as a homogeneous, jointless coating is used. The hardness and crush strength of this insulating technology and its remarkable moisture resistance are its advantages. It is impossible to move or remove because of its intensity of adherence to walls. Because polyurethane foam quickly reaches its maximum qualities, it is easy to go on to the next stage of construction after the foam has been placed. The use of polyurethane foam insulation allows us to minimise the time and expense of insulating the foundations to a bare minimum – all of the work may be completed in a single day.

There are also several advantages to employing this material for foundation thermal insulation. Thermal insulation composed of PUR foam does not degrade over time and clings well to the surface. Furthermore, compared to typical materials on the market, it is more cost-effective and efficient.

Weather conditions are a significant consideration in the context of foundation insulation. To ensure that PUR foam insulation works well, the temperature should not exceed 16°C, and wind and humidity should be kept to a minimum. Additionally, walls must be prepared to avoid moisture’s harmful influence on the insulating layer of PUR foam.

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