Waterproofing inspection | HouseCheck

Waterproofing inspection | HouseCheck

Damp and waterproofing problems are among the most common issues encountered by HouseCheck inspectors when inspecting South African properties. 

In fact, quite often clients contact us to request just a waterproofing inspection, or to check the waterproofing of the foundation. Wherever possible however, we prefer to do an inspection of all of the components of a property – rather than just limiting our investigations to a “waterproofing inspection”. 

Waterproofing issues often linked to other problems

This is because waterproofing and damp issues are often linked to problems with various other components of the property.

For instance: The roof may be leaking for a variety of reasons, there may be internal plumbing problems, or perhaps the waterproofing issue has arisen as a result of defective walls, or paintwork, or (very often) from inadequate ground water management in the areas around the house.

There are three kinds of damp which result in the need for a waterproofing inspection. 

Waterproofing inspections focus on three kinds of damp

These are:

  • Penetrating damp:  This can arise from roof leaks, plumbing leaks or from water penetrating through cracks in the walls.
  • Rising damp:  This is a waterproofing issue resulting from water “wicking up” through the masonry structure from damp ground below.  It is often the result of a failed or absent damp proof course (DPC) between the foundation and the walls.   Sometimes rising damp can also be caused because ground levels on the outside are too high – above the level of the DPC on the top of the foundation.
  • Condensation:  This problem which mostly manifests itself as mould on the ceiling, is the result of poor ventilation and the resultant build-up of water in the air as a result of human breath or the use of hot water (showering).

Waterproofing above foundations is important

HouseCheck inspections reveal that poor management of water from the downpipes is often the cause of a waterproofing problem.  This is because water from the downpipes, which is allowed to seep under the foundations, can cause a waterproofing problem in the walls above the foundations. Water undermining the foundation of a house will cause the foundation to “settle” and often result in cracks in the wall above.

A HouseCheck waterproofing inspection will also identify cracks in the window sills (which have resulted from foundation settlement) as a major cause of waterproofing problems.

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