What is DPC – Damp Proof Course? || DPC Material and Detailed Information

DPC or Damp Proof Course is an important element of a building or structure that restrict vertical movement of moisture from basement level to upper part of wall through capillary action.

Detailed information about DPC along with its properties and detailed information is discussed below.

What is DPC?

DPC stand for Damp Proof Course. DPC is applied in the base level to protect the structure from the ill effects of moisture and dampness.

To protect walls at different levels DPC is installed at base of all level. In a building DPC treatment is given on each floor, before starting brickwork and laying bricks.

what is dpc - damp proof course

Thus damp proof course helps in preventing water and moisture to damage the walls and interior of home.

Causes of Dampness

There are many reasons due to which dampness in a building can occur. Before beginning with the treatment of dampness and DPC material, let us understand causes of dampness.

Various causes of dampness are as follows:

  • Poor workmanship is one of the main factor of dampness in building. Unskilled labour are prime factor of dampness.
  • Vertical movement of ground water to the wall through capillary action in brick-wall.
  • Rain water seeping through outer or external walls
  • Structural inappropriateness and faulty construction is also a cause of dampness.
  • Inappropriate material selection can also lead to dampness in structure. Poor material selection nowadays account for major reason of dampness.

If proper care and precaution is not taken then dampness can become nightmare in new building. Thus take a note of the above factors and read the precaution methods of damp proofing course to save your valuable time in redoing of work.

Effects of Dampness

Dampness can cause harmful and severe adverse impact on the structure or building. Some of the effect of dampness in building are discussed below:

  • Dampness can cause internal and external plaster to peel off and crumble leading to damaged walls.
  • One of the main problem of dampness is damaged painting and patches on walls and ceilings. Dampness can lead to flaking and bleaching of paints.
  • Dampness can corrode the steel reinforcement and metals used in construction.
  • Wooden Furniture like cupboard and beds when in contact with dampness will damaged and rot the furniture of your home.
  • Dampness can cause short circuit and damage to electrical fittings.
  • Termites grow in damp area caused by dampness thus timber products are in danger of termite attacks.
  • Dampness can cause disintegration of tiles damaged plaster and bricks which can even lead to reduced strength of building.

Suggested for you:

  1. Standard room sizes and dimensions
  2. Standard height of plumbing fixtures

Damp Proofing Course Methods

Prime reason for Damp proof course is to stop the ingress of moisture and water upto the walls. There are various methods to do damp proofing course in a building some of the methods are mentioned below:

  • Bituminous membrane damp proofing.
  • Integral damp proofing.
  • Polyurethane DPC
  • Surface treatment.
  • Cavity wall construction.
  • Guniting.
  • Pressure grouting.

Damp Proofing Course Types

Depending on the function and use of damp proofing course, DPC can be listed into three types, which are as follows:

  • DPC
  • DPM
  • Integral Damp Proofing

Let us look in detail about each type of DPC and have a brief information about each one. All these types of DPC function is to prevent the upward motion of water through capillary action in brickwork or concrete.

  1. DPC (Damp Proofing Course)

Damp Proofing Course is a layer of water proofing compound or material applied to stop the ingress of water into the structure. DPC is a layer that intersect the water movement upto the masonry wall as it is usually laid below walls.

2. DPM (Damp Proofing Membrane)

DPM or Damp Proofing Membrane is a membrane of material like Polythene plastic sheet laid onto the probable path of water movement to stop its transmission into the walls.

3. IDP (Integral Damp Proofing)

When water proofing additive are added directly into to concrete mix to increase it’s water resistance and make the concrete itself water impermeable then it is termed as Integral Damp Proofing.

Difference Between DPC and DPM

As mentioned above DPC is layer designed to prevent the water rising into the structure by capilary action by a phenomenon called as rising dampness whereas DPM or damp proofing membrane is membrane like material

Materials Used for Damp Proof Course

Any material that can inhibit the transmission of water into the structure can be used as DPC material. There are various DPC material available in the market. Based on the physical and rgidity of the material it cab be divided into three types.

Flexible DPC Material

  • Hot bitumen
  • Plastic sheets
  • Bituminous or Asphaltic felts
  • Sheets of Leads

Semi-Rigid Material

  • Mastic asphalt
  • Metal sheets

Rigid Material

  • Combination of sheets and felts
  • Stones
  • Bricks
  • Mortar

Properties of DPC Materials

For a material to be used for Damp Proofing Course it should have following properties:

  • DPC material should be impervious.
  • Damp proofing material should be dimensionally stable.
  • Damp Proof Materials should not contain salt like sulphate nitrate and chloride.
  • The material should not be costly and easily available.
  • DPC material should be strong enough to bear dead load and live load of a structure or a building.
  • Materials used for damp proofing course should be durable.
  • It should be flexible so that it can accommodate the structural movements without any fracture.

DPC Thickness

Damp Proofing Course is provided at the base of brickwork to stop water or moisture to seep into walls through capillary action. Normally DPC is provided at the ground level of any structure on which DPC is to be applied.

In building DPC is usually provided at the height of 400mm maximum upto level of flooring or top of plinth.

Thickness of DPC is Geneally 1.5 inches to 2 inches (40mm – 50mm) if cement mortar is used as DPC mixed with water resistant admixture and two coat of thin bitumen.

Frequently Asked Question

What is full form of DPC

Full Form of DPC is Damp Proof Course

What is Full form of DPM

Full Form of DPM is Damp Proofing Membrane

What is DPC in Construction

To prevent the entry of moisture onto the walls a layer of impermeable concrete or membrane is provided below the brickwall. this layer is called DPC or damp proof course.

What are DPC Material

DPC material are cement mortar mixed with waterproof additives, slate, plastic, metal, special engineered bricks and many more, which you can read above.

Types of Damp Proofing Course

1. Electro-Osmotic Damp Proof Course.
2. Chemical Damp Proof Course.
3. Pressure Grouting.
4. Membrane Damp Proof Course.
5. Integral Damp Proof Course.
6. Cavity Wall Damp Proof Course.

Application of DPC

DPC inhibits the movement of moisture to move upwards through capillary action into walls and floor above.

Advantages of Damp Proofing Course

DPC can prevent damaging of paint and plaster and also helps in preventing cracks. DPC increase the shelf life of interior and painting of your home.

Disadvantages of Damp Proofing Course

Normal cracks sometimes develop in this damp proofing process. Also, it provides additional weight to the entire structure. It leads to the level problem. Sometimes it creates ugly patches up to the roof.

How DPC is prepared?

DPC is made of different materials as discussed above. For cement concrete of mix 1:2:4 with a mixture of good quality waterproofing compound. DPC is 40mm to 50mm thick.

When was DPC invented?

DPC was first invented in 1875

Difference between DPC and DPM

DPC is Layer based treatment and DPM is a membrane used for waterproofing.

When was plastic DPC used?

Plastic DPC was used in 1970

Is DPC necessary?

DPC is important to restrict rising damp and avoid water movement through capillary action.

When was damp proof membrane first used?

Damp Proof Membrane was first used in 1960s

What is the DPC level?

Generally DPC level is 150mm above ground level.

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