After damp-course installation, it is very important that the treated walls are left to dry for a period of several months before any re-plastering / re-rendering, painting, tuck-pointing and/or re-pointing is done. The solvent component of the damp-course material will evaporate out of the wall in the next few weeks, emitting a sweet odour that is obvious in the initial days after installation. The silicone component is left in the brickwork where it reacts with the moisture in the bricks forming a new durable plastic damp-course. During this drying out period, the rising damp salts in the brickwork (above the new damp-course) begin to migrate to the surface where they accumulate in the existing wall surface.
Generally, it may take about a minimum 3 months of drying before any re-plastering/re-rendering can be done. Very salty walls should be left to dry for a minimum 6 months. During drying, the client should:
After treatment, the walls may appear worse, that is, seem more damp. This should not cause alarm, as this is normal. The rising damp salts have migrated from the bricks on to the existing render/plaster, and it is these residual salts which absorb atmospheric moisture giving the wall a damp look and feel.
The drying out period is much longer as there is no poultice present on the brick surface to draw out the rising damp salts. This period can be in the order of 12 months plus. After treatment, salts will begin to migrate and appear on the surface. These should be immediately wiped away with a slightly damp cloth. This process should be performed once every 2-3 weeks until no more salt appears. If not removed, the wall will display damp patches particularly during wet and humid climate conditions. In the case of painted brickwork, it is generally necessary to strip off the old paint, clean the wall and allow sufficient drying time before any painting or plastering is to commence.
PLEASE NOTE: It is advised that no naked flames such as a gas heater, stove or fireplace, be adopted for the initial weeks after treatment as this produces a kerosene-type odour that will linger for several days.
All plaster and render contaminated with rising damp salts must be removed back to the bare bricks to a height of 350mm above the last visible signs of dampness. This refers to the removal of plaster and render above where the damp-course installation was carried out. Failure to do so will results in continual dampness in the wall, thus surface decorations will not be successful and paintwork will continue to peel off the salt contaminated surface.
These specifications should be given to a qualified hard plasterer.
A cheaper alternative to cement render is plasterboard. The use of this material is not encouraged as it has very little resistance to residual salts in the wall. Plasterboard should NEVER be attached directly to the brickwork. Treated pine batons or rubber-based adhesives (eg. bathroom tile adhesive) should be used.