How can I damp proof a concrete floor?

Before installing wood or carpet to a concrete floor, it’s essential that you damp proof the concrete beforehand. Although this might seem like a hassle, it will save you a lot of problems, inconvenience and expense further down the line.

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Essentially, if a concrete floor isn’t damp proofed, you may find the underside of wood or carpet infested with mold or mildew.

There are various options to consider when damp proofing a concrete floor, so decide which is the most suitable for your specific application.

Filling in holes

Before you damp proof a concrete floor using a membrane or other solutions, it is vital that you inspect the floor for any small cracks or holes and fill them in with silicone caulk or epoxy. This will dry and create a flat and clear surface that is also waterproof. If you don’t tackle any small holes beforehand, they may only get bigger over time, and if you’ve spent a lot of money on new carpet or engineered flooring such as from to cover your concrete floor, these may get ruined if the concrete isn’t properly damp proofed.

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Cavity drainage

For small areas of concrete, you may consider damp proofing with cavity drainage. This type of membrane layer is made from a special plastic that almost resembles bubble wrap. The plastic is fitted against the concrete and trimmed to size. The pouches in the plastic collect any water from condensation or damp and redirect it towards a drainage hole.

Liquid membrane

According to DIY Doctor, liquid membrane is a type of solution that can be painted directly onto the surface of a concrete floor after a little preparation. Liquid membrane works by creating an airtight seal over the concrete floor, forming a moisture barrier and preventing damp from seeping through the floor. When the paint dries, it forms a very hard surface.

Make use of a dehumidifier

Before you complete the task of damp proofing a concrete floor, it is well worth using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels until the area is completely sealed and insulated. This is particularly the case if you are damp proofing a concrete floor in a basement or a garage, which is naturally cool anyway. The dehumidifier will pull the dampness from the air and can help to speed up the drying process.