Do Basements Need Insulation - Photo

Do Basements Need Insulation?

Do basements need insulation? That’s a question we hear often, and the short answer is yes, basement insulation is essential.

With the cost of living crisis starting to hit income streams and bank accounts across the United Kingdom, basement insulation is an effective way to save heat and money.

If you’re wondering whether your basement or cellar needs insulation, the expert team at Danford, Brewer & Ives explains everything.

How to Insulate a Cellar

Basement insulation is one of the most effective ways to save heat in your home.

Whether you are building a basement from scratch or converting an existing cellar space, you should always incorporate cellar insulation into the design. At this stage, building materials can be coated with insulating and waterproofing materials on the outside, as well as on the inside.

If you need to insulate a basement after construction, the best way to do so is by creating a cavity wall. This involves adding an extra layer of wall to the inside of the basement that can be filled with insulating materials such as wool and foam.

In addition to these materials, having a basement fully tanked and waterproofed not only protects it against damp and flooding, but also adds an extra layer of insulation to keep the heat in.

Best Insulation for Cellar Ceiling

Insulating basement ceiling areas, as well as all basement wall and floors, is the best method of ensuring your basement is fully protected against heat loss.

The best insulation for cellar ceiling areas is the same insulation that can be used to insulate the rest of the basement, which includes insulating materials like wool or foam.

You may need to create a cavity space in the ceiling that can hold the insulating materials, or it may be possible to insulate the basement ceiling through the existing floor space in the room above.

How Much Does It Cost to Insulate a Basement?

The cost to insulate basement areas will vary from one property to the next. The main factors that determine the overall cost of an insulation project will depend on:

  • The size of the basement
  • The type of insulation being installed
  • The time taken for the work to be completed

Costs may range from a few hundred pounds for a small basement, to several thousand for large, complex projects. Despite the upfront cost, you stand to save money in the long run as you cut down on heat loss and therefore save on energy bills.

A basement insulation specialist can provide a detailed quote after carrying out a survey of the area that needs insulating.

Contact‌ ‌Danford,‌ ‌Brewer‌ ‌&‌ ‌Ives‌ ‌for More Information on Cellar and Basement Insulation

For‌ ‌more‌ ‌information‌ on the best cellar and basement insulation options, ‌please‌ ‌contact‌ ‌our‌ ‌friendly‌ staff ‌on‌ 01765‌ ‌804050‌ ‌or‌ ‌fill‌ ‌in‌ ‌our‌ ‌‌online‌ ‌contact‌ ‌form‌.‌ ‌ ‌

Our‌ ‌experienced‌ team ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌on‌ ‌hand‌ ‌and‌ ‌ready‌ ‌to‌ ‌offer‌ ‌expert‌ ‌advice‌ ‌tailored‌ ‌to‌ ‌resolve‌ ‌your‌ problem.

How to Stop Basement Leaks - Photo

How to Stop Basement Leaks

Learning how to stop basement leaks is essential if you want to avoid water damage, damp and flooded cellars.

Basement floods need to be contained before they cause further damage or damp in your property, and basements need to be fully waterproofed to ensure leaks don’t occur again.

If you need to know how to stop basement flooding, the expert team at Danford, Brewer & Ives is here to explain everything.

How to Solve Basement Flooding

If you don’t know how to stop basement leaks, then your home could be seriously affected by flooding, damp, water damage and many more issues.

If your basement is leaking or has already been flooded, the first step is to isolate the source of the leak or the cause of the flooding. The leak needs to be contained, any damage repaired, and the basement then needs to be fully waterproofed to ensure the problem doesn’t persist.

A specialist can identify the cause of the leak and carry out the most appropriate fix. They may suggest one or a combination of the following in order to solve basement leaks:

  • Fix pipes and gutters: Leaks may be caused by broken pipework and guttering which fails to channel away water. Once broken pipes or gutters are identified, they need to be fixed immediately.
  • Fix or install a damp-proof course (DPC): A DPC is one of the best ways to waterproof a basement. If it’s broken, then it needs to be repaired or a new DPC needs to be installed.
  • Lower the ground level around the building: If topsoil is located above the DPC, then water can seep into the basement. The ground level needs to be lowered to a depth below the DPC to avoid this.
  • Fully waterproof the basement: Basements need to be fully waterproofed to stop leaks and floods. This can mean tanking the basement so it’s fully protected against groundwater or floods.
  • Improve ventilation: Pooling water can be caused by a lack of ventilation that allows condensation to build up over time. Improving ventilation or installing dehumidifiers can stop this from being a problem.

How Much to Fix a Basement Leak?

The total cost to repair a basement leak will vary from one home to the next. You’ll need to contact a basement waterproofing specialist like the team at Danford, Brewer & Ives for an accurate breakdown of costs, following a professional survey.

Costs could range from a few hundred pounds to find and repair leaks, to several thousand in order to tank and waterproof a flooded basement as well as repairing extensive water damage.

The main factors that will affect the total basement leak repair cost include:

  • The size of the basement
  • The extent of the leaks
  • The damage caused to the basement
  • The complexity of the repair and waterproofing work

Contact‌ ‌Danford,‌ ‌Brewer‌ ‌&‌ ‌Ives ‌to‌ ‌Find‌ ‌Out‌ ‌How to Stop Basement Leaks

For‌ ‌more‌ ‌information‌ on how to stop basement leaks,‌ ‌please‌ ‌contact‌ ‌our‌ ‌friendly‌ ‌team‌ ‌on‌ 01765‌ ‌804050‌ ‌or‌ ‌fill‌ ‌in‌ ‌our‌ ‌‌online‌ ‌contact‌ ‌form‌.‌ ‌ ‌

Our‌ ‌experienced‌ team ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌on‌ ‌hand‌ ‌and‌ ‌ready‌ ‌to‌ ‌offer‌ ‌expert‌ ‌advice‌ ‌tailored‌ ‌to‌ ‌resolve‌ ‌your‌ basement leak problems.‌

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Basement?- Photo

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Basement?

You’ve got your new basement conversion all planned out. You’ve designed the ultimate underground games room, or maybe you’re excited to build an extra bedroom, bathroom or living room.

You’ve picked out the flooring, furnishings and decor, but wait, do you need planning permission for a basement? Before you get carried away, it’s important to know which planning laws and building regulations you need to follow when converting a basement. Otherwise, you could be in trouble with your local authority.

If you’re designing your dream cellar conversion, the expert team at Danford, Brewer & Ives is here to explain everything you need to know about basement planning permission.

What Is Planning Permission?

In the United Kingdom, planning permission is the consent that may (or may not) be required from your local council or authority in order to build a new structure or property, or to alter an existing one.

Planning permission exists in order for the local authority to control building standards, to ensure there are no conflicts with an existing property, and for many other reasons. Failure to secure basement planning permission when needed may result in prosecution and fines, and you could be forced to remove any changes that have been made to the property.

However, not every change or building project requires planning permission. It largely depends on the extent of the change or construction, and what the new or altered structure will be used for.

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Basement in the UK?

So, do you need planning permission to build a basement? The answer to this question isn’t straightforward, so it’s important that you seek the advice of a basement conversion specialist like Danford, Brewer & Ives when you start planning your dream conversion.

There are several, often complex factors to consider. The UK government explains that there are three instances when ‘you’ll probably need planning permission’:

  • When you build something new
  • When you make a major change to your building
  • When you change the use of your building

This means that if you are building a brand new basement that involves digging down and underpinning a property, you will most likely require planning permission. However, if you already have an existing cellar space that you intend to either renovate or extend, it will be unlikely that basement planning permission is needed.

Things get more complicated if you are planning to use the basement space as a dwelling. If the basement is going to be a new residential unit where somebody lives, then you will need planning permission to build this. This means that if you have an existing cellar space that you are converting into a studio for a lodger, for example, you would need to secure planning permission.

There are other instances where you may also need cellar planning permission, so it’s always important to check with a professional. For example, if you live in a listed building or in a conservation area, you will also need basement planning permission.

If you’re unsure and are still asking the question, ‘Do I need planning permission to build a basement?’ then always seek professional advice before beginning a project. In fact, even if you’re certain that you do or don’t need planning permission, given the complexity and potential penalties involved, we always recommend seeking professional advice first.

How Long to Get Planning Permission in the UK?

Applications for planning permission are either approved or denied by the local planning authority in your area. However, all applications can now be made online through a dedicated Planning Portal.

This speeds up the process, but it may still take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks for the local authority to process your application. In busy times, this could take even longer, so make sure you start planning early!

How Much Does It Cost to Get Planning Permission in the UK?

When you’re budgeting your basement conversion, you need to factor in the cost of securing planning permission, if needed. Each planning application incurs a fee, which is paid to the local planning authority to cover the costs of processing the application.

This fee is set by the UK government and is standardised, but it may change each year. Different types of building work may also incur different fees. Currently, these fees start at £96 per application.

What Happens If I Don’t Get Basement Planning Permission?

If you forget to apply for planning permission or discover later that you require planning permission for work that’s already been completed, it is possible to apply retroactively.

This retroactive application process means that, in theory, it’s possible to begin building a basement without permission, thereby saving time on the project. But you’ll need the expertise of a professional to ensure that nothing is missed that would result in the application being denied.

If you don’t secure basement planning permission for your new conversion, you could find yourself in serious trouble. If it transpires that you do, in fact, need planning permission and the planning authority denies this retroactively, then you will be asked to remove the alteration or change. This would mean undoing the work that’s been completed, which in the case of a basement could be as complex as the installation. You could also be subject to fines and prosecution if you fail to abide by the planning rules or fail to remove the completed work when asked.

Contact‌ ‌Danford,‌ ‌Brewer‌ ‌&‌ ‌Ives ‌for More Information on Basement and Cellar Planning Permission

For‌ ‌more‌ ‌information‌ on how to get planning permission for a basement or cellar conversion,‌ then‌ ‌please‌ ‌contact‌ ‌our‌ ‌friendly‌ staff ‌on‌ 01765‌ ‌804050‌ ‌or‌ ‌fill‌ ‌in‌ ‌our‌ ‌‌online‌ ‌contact‌ ‌form‌.‌ ‌ ‌

Our‌ ‌experienced‌ team ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌on‌ ‌hand‌ ‌and‌ ‌ready‌ ‌to‌ ‌offer‌ ‌expert‌ ‌advice‌ ‌tailored‌ ‌to‌ ‌resolve‌ ‌your‌ problem.

Can You Build a Basement Under an Existing House UK? - Photo

Can You Build a Basement Under an Existing House (UK)?

If you’re looking to expand your property, building a basement could be the best way to maximise the use of limited space by extending below ground level.

In the UK, it’s possible to convert existing cellar spaces into basements or to underpin an existing house and excavate a new basement from scratch.

In this article, the team at Danford, Brewer & Ives explains everything you need to know about building a basement under an existing house in the UK.

How to Excavate a Basement Under an Existing House?

Given the scarcity of land in the UK, building a basement beneath our feet is often the best option if you’d like an extension. Basements can add huge value to properties while providing a functional living, entertainment, storage or utility space that’s highly customisable.

But can you build a basement under an existing house in the UK? The short answer is yes, and it’s possible even if there’s currently no subterranean space (such as a cellar) below the property.

This can be achieved by excavating the area beneath your home, through a method that’s known as underpinning. Underpinning is a technique used to extend existing cellar spaces in order to create more room, while the technique can also be used to create an entirely new space that can be converted into a basement.

The underpinning process sees qualified engineers excavating the soil below the foundations. This space can be filled with concrete or other sturdy construction materials that ensure the foundations of your property remain as strong as before. Above this, you have a newly excavated space that forms the basis of your basement.

Once the underpinning has been achieved, the basement can be created. As part of this process, your engineers will need to factor in integral structural elements like drainage, waterproofing and lighting. When the basement has been built, the final stage is the interior design, decoration and furnishing.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Basement?

Now to the all-important question, how much does it cost to build a basement? Unfortunately, there’s no exact figure, as there are a number of variables that any basement conversion project needs to factor into its budget.

The most important variable is often whether or not there’s an existing cellar space below the house. If there is, this can seriously lower costs, as the existing work can be expanded on. If you need to start afresh, a new build basement cost in the UK will be significantly higher, as more work will be required.

Other important variables include:

  • The size of the basement conversion
  • The complexity of the basement conversion
  • The materials used in construction
  • The interior design, furnishings and decoration

We should note that building a basement is a serious project that requires a comprehensive budget in order to be completed safely. Always use a professional service and the best available materials for the best results.

How Long Does Building a Basement Take?

As with cost estimates, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact timeframe in which it takes to build a basement. This also depends on a number of variables, but you can expect any basement conversion to take a number of months from start to finish.

To help you visualise the process and how much time this may take, it’s important to consider that there are several main stages involved in the design, excavation and construction of a basement beneath an existing house in the UK. These are:

  1. Planning, initial design and surveying
  2. Excavation and building work
  3. Interior design and decoration

These factors will of course vary. The larger and more complex a basement conversion is, the longer it will take to complete. If you have an existing cellar space, it can lower the timeframe whereas excavating a basement from scratch will take much longer.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives to Find Out How We Can Make Your Basement Plans a Reality

If you’re planning on building a basement, Danford, Brewer & Ives has an expert team of basement converters ready to assist.

From the initial survey and design stages through to excavation, underpinning, waterproofing and interior decoration, we provide a professional, full-service basement conversion package tailored to your needs.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives today to find out how we can make your basement dreams a reality.

why are my walls so cold

Internal Wall Insulation


It’s estimated that up to 50 per cent of a building’s lost heat escapes through the walls. For homeowners that’s a lot of energy to lose, and it quickly leads to mounting gas or electric bills.

Internal wall insulation can help you to lower your energy bills by keeping the heat inside your property. If you’re interested in learning more about internal wall insulation, contact Danford, Brewer & Ives’s team of experienced insulation installers to find out more.

What Is Internal Wall Insulation?

Internal wall insulation is designed to insulate the inside of a home by forming an effective barrier that traps heat and stops energy from being lost to the outside. It’s most commonly used to insulate solid stone or brick walls that have no insulated cavity space and therefore lose an incredible amount of heat through the walls.

How to Install Internal Wall Insulation

The primary goal of internal wall insulation is to provide an insulating barrier that protects against heat loss. This can be achieved in a number of ways.

The most popular method of insulation is to build a second layer of ‘wall’ against the existing solid wall, leaving a space in between that can be filled with effective insulating materials.

Internal wall insulation can also be combined with damp proofing, as a damp-proof course and other forms of damp protection not only create a waterproof barrier but act as insulators too.

The best method of insulation depends on a number of factors, including the type of wall, the size of the home, and the extent of the heat loss problem. For this reason, it’s important to seek professional advice when installing internal wall insulation.

How Thick Should Internal Wall Insulation Be?

To work as an effective insulator, internal wall insulation must be at least 60mm thick. The exact thickness of the insulating material will depend on how much space is available inside the room; where possible, it should be extended to 100mm in thickness.

Homeowners need to bear in mind that the thicker the insulation is, the more effective it is at retaining heat. Obviously, thicker insulation takes up more space though.

How Much Does Internal Wall Insulation Cost?

The overall cost of an internal wall insulation project depends on a number of factors. The major points to consider are:

  • Type of material used for insulation
  • The number of rooms being insulated
  • Time taken for the work to be carried out

Homeowners also need to factor in any redecoration work that needs to be carried out, as well as electrical fittings that might need to be moved or replaced to make way for internal wall insulation.

Average costs for internal wall insulation work out to be around £50 per square metre, but you’ll need to have a survey carried out for a more accurate cost estimate.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives for More Information About Internal Wall Insulation.

For more information and advice on internal wall insulation, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced specialists are on hand, ready to offer expert advice tailored to your needs or arrange a thorough survey of your home.

Keeping Your Home Damp-Free

The Ultimate Guide to Damp-Proof Course


If you’re looking to damp proof your home, a damp-proof course is an essential protective measure. A damp-proof course is designed to stop water from rising up into a home by creating an impermeable waterproof barrier, and it can protect your home from potentially expensive and dangerous issues that may result from damp.

Modern homes are fitted with a damp-proof course as standard, but older homes may not have ever had one installed. A damp-proof course can fail for any number of reasons, but a damp-proof specialist can help you to identify and fix problems before they can cause damage.

To help you understand the importance of damp proofing your home, the experts at Danford, Brewer & Ives have put together their ultimate guide to damp-proof courses.

What Is a Damp-Proof Course?

A damp-proof course is designed to protect a property against the dangers posed by moisture, damp and excess water. When properly installed, a damp-proof course creates an effective waterproof barrier that prevents moisture from rising up through the brickwork and masonry, and then into the home.

A damp-proof course is generally fitted just above ground level, with the main goal being to protect against rising damp. There are several different types of damp-proof courses that can be installed, with the most common method being to inject a damp-proof cream into the ground floor masonry.

Without a damp-proof course to create a waterproof barrier, excess groundwater and moisture can rise up through the brickwork and cause damage to a property. If left unchecked, this damp problem can lead to structural and health and safety issues within your home.

How Do Damp Proof-Courses Work?

All damp-proof courses are intended to create a protective barrier that stops water from rising from the ground and into the home, but there are different types of damp-proof course and they all work in slightly different ways.

Any damp-proof course needs to be installed at least 150mm above ground level. This is a legal requirement, and it ensures that the waterproof barrier is formed above groundwater level. Because a damp-proof course is intended to protect primarily against rising damp, which enters a building from the ground upwards, they are generally installed in the masonry or brickwork on the bottom floor of a home.

Modern damp-proof courses consist of chemical injections, but they are at their most effective when used in conjunction with other damp-proofing methods, such as a damp-proof membrane. Here are the most common varieties of damp-proof courses that can be installed in your home:

Chemical Damp-Proof Course

A chemical damp-proof course is injected into the masonry and brickwork of a home, and is at its most effective when placed 150mm above ground level. It consists of a specialist damp-proofing cream that forms an effective waterproof barrier once it’s settled into the brickwork.

To be installed, holes are drilled directly into the wall at the intended level, and the chemical damp-proof course is then injected into them.

Mortar Damp-Proof Course

A mortar damp-proof course is also injected directly into holes drilled into a wall, and again it must be injected 150mm above ground level for it to work effectively.

Mortar damp-proof courses consist of a chemically enhanced mortar that can fill any holes in the masonry and brickwork that might be causing damp problems.

The mortar, once injected, creates a waterproof barrier by filling in these holes and removing any chance of rising damp moving through the walls by removing any gaps in the brickwork.

Non-Chemical Damp-Proof Course

Non-chemical damp-proof courses are also available, with the most popular method being an Electro Osmotic damp-proof course. This works differently from a chemical damp-proof course because it involves installing metal wiring to create an electric charge.

Rather than creating a physical, waterproof barrier, this electric charge changes the polarity of the wall itself. This means that rising damp isn’t drawn upwards through the brickwork, but is repelled downwards.

This system isn’t as common, as it’s more difficult and time-consuming to install in comparison to a simpler chemical injection.

Damp-Proof Membrane

A damp-proof course creates an effective barrier against rising damp, but it works best when installed alongside other damp-proofing methods. The most popular damp-proofing method is a damp-proof membrane, which creates a physical impermeable barrier that protects against damp and moisture.

A damp-proof membrane is essentially a thick sheet of waterproof material that’s installed above or below the floor. A damp-proof membrane needs to be at least 1,200-gauge thickness and it needs to be installed so the sheets overlap, and therefore create a continuous barrier.

Why Do I Need a Damp-Proof Course in My Home?

The main goal of a damp-proof course is to protect against different forms of damp and water damage that could cause costly and even dangerous repairs. Damp is caused by excess moisture and water, and the damp-proof course exists to create a waterproof barrier against this.

Damp can cause any number of problems inside your home, including:

  • Structural damage
  • Decaying timbers
  • Damaged plaster and decorating
  • Mould
  • Wet and dry rot
  • Respiratory illness

There are several types of damp that can be found inside a home, including condensation, rising damp and penetrating damp. A damp-proof course is primarily intended to protect against rising damp, which occurs when water rises up through the brickwork from ground level using capillary action to move vertically through bricks and mortar.

If rising damp is left unchecked, it can eventually cause serious structural damage to the foundations of your home. Other unwanted side effects include fungus and mould, which can lead to respiratory illnesses and serious health and safety dangers for anyone who lives in the house.

Lack of a damp-proof course is one cause of rising damp, although it can also result from major leaks, floods or other broken infrastructure, such as drains or pipes. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that your home is fully damp proofed, with an effective damp-proof course in place to protect against excess moisture and water.

How Do I Know If My Home Has a Damp-Proof Course?

Your home should already have some form of damp-proof course installed. Since the late 19th century, it’s been a legal requirement for a property to have a damp-proof course installed. This means that modern homes will have one already in place, and it’s very likely that much older homes will, at some point, have had a damp-proof course installed too.

However, there is a small chance that a Victorian-era house may never have been upgraded with a modern damp-proof course. If this is the case, then it’s important to have a modern damp-proof course installed quickly and to have any other damp-proofing measures updated.

A damp-proof course is also liable to deteriorate over time, in which case you could find your home affected by damp problems. The ground may shift, walls may sink, or brickwork and masonry may crumble after the damp-proof course has been installed. Regular checks and a professional damp and timber survey can help to identify any existing issues with the damp-proof course in your home, or in a property you might be hoping to purchase.

If you are worried that your damp-proof course is failing, there are several key signs to look out for. The following are all big indicators that your home has a damp problem, which could be the result of a damaged damp-proof course:

  • Damp, musty or mushroomy smells
  • Mould and fungal growths
  • Damp patches on the walls
  • Damaged plasterboards or wallpaper
  • Crumbling or damaged masonry or brickwork
  • Tide marks on the walls
  • Unusual growths on the outer walls

You can spot signs of damp on both internal and external walls, but the most noticeable sign of damp is likely to be a strong musty smell drifting through the home. If you spot salty tidemarks on the walls, this is a common sign of rising damp, which as we’ve explained, generally results from a failed damp-proof course.

Of course, a failed damp-proof course isn’t the only cause of damp, and different types of damp can result in different problems and require different fixes. If you are worried about any issues relating to damp, then it’s important to have a professional inspection in order to correctly identify the cause and solution of the problem.

How Do You Fix a Damp-Proof Course?

A broken damp-proof course can either be fixed or replaced entirely. If you notice any of the key signs of damp in your home, then the first stage is to call in a professional for a damp survey.

The professional will identify the cause of the damp and the type of damp before recommending the best way to fix the problem. If the issue is a broken or missing damp-proof course, then they will recommend the best type of damp-proof course to have installed.

Before the damp-proof course is fixed, any damp needs to be removed. Once this has been done, the new damp-proof course can either be injected or fixed in place. This may involve removing brickwork or timbers to gain access, or it could be as simple as drilling holes into the walls and injecting a chemical damp-proof course.

How Much Does a Damp-Proof Course Cost?

The cost of a damp-proof course varies from one home to the next, as multiple factors need to be considered and priced up. The main factors that affect the overall cost are:

  • The size of the home
  • The type of damp-proof course
  • The amount of work needed
  • Damage already caused by damp

Let’s take a look at the above factors in more detail:

The Size of the Home

Broadly speaking, the larger the property is, the more it will cost to have a damp-proof course installed. This breaks down to a higher cost for more supplies and materials, and more time needed to fix the damp-proof course in place.

The Type of Damp-Proof Course

Different types of damp-proof courses have different costs associated with them. The best value damp-proof course is a simple chemical injection, while a physical damp-proof membrane can cost comparatively more per square metre to be installed.

The Amount of Work Needed

The amount of time and work needed to properly install a damp-proof course also has a large effect on price. If your home is older, safe installation could be more difficult and this causes an increase in price. If masonry or brickwork needs to be removed or if access to ground level is difficult, then costs will also rise.

Damage Already Caused by Damp

If your home is already affected by damp, then you need to have any damage repaired before having a new damp-proof course installed. You need to factor in costs to repair any structural damage, such as broken brickwork or decaying timbers, as well as any costs needed for redecoration later on.

Remember, the earlier you catch problems associated with damp, the sooner they can be fixed. If damp is left to fester and spread, then the cost needed to remove it and repair any damage caused is always going to increase the longer it’s left.

For an accurate estimation of costs, you need to speak with a damp-proofing expert. There are several factors to consider, and a damp survey will need to be completed before the total cost of a damp-proofing project can be considered by a professional.

Contact Us for More Information About Damp-Proof Courses

If you’re looking to damp proof your home, then a damp-proof course is essential. From the initial survey through to installation, the expert team at Danford, Brewer & Ives is ready to help with all of your damp-proofing needs.

Contact our team today for more advice on installing a damp-proof course, or to book your initial survey and consultation.


why are my walls so cold

How Do You Waterproof Masonry Walls?


When masonry walls begin to crumble, age and deteriorate, they can quickly lose their ability to repel moisture and water. Once masonry has lost its waterproofing, then rising damp and penetrating damp can seriously begin to damage your property.

Keeping your masonry waterproofing fully sealed is therefore an important task for any homeowner. If you’re wondering how to keep your home damp free throughout the year, here’s our guide to the best ways to keep your masonry fully waterproofed.

What Is Masonry Waterproofing?

Masonry waterproofing is the term used to describe how masonry walls, whether constructed from brick, concrete or other materials, have been effectively sealed in order to create a protective barrier against moisture and water.

There are several different methods of masonry waterproofing that homeowners can have installed, but the goal of all these methods is to keep water outside and to keep your home dry on the inside – no matter how hard it’s raining. Masonry waterproofing stops your home from being affected by potentially serious problems such as damp or mould, while in many cases providing an extra layer of insulation that helps to save energy while keeping your house warm.

The most popular methods of masonry waterproofing include:

  • Applying waterproofing agents
  • Repairing broken masonry
  • Installing a damp proof course
  • ‘Tanking’

Let’s take a closer look at the most common ways to keep masonry waterproofed.

Applying Waterproofing Agents

One of the simplest methods of masonry waterproofing is to apply waterproofing agents to external walls. There are many different types of waterproofing agents available, but the best products will help to waterproof your masonry walls for many years.

Waterproofing agents include waterproof masonry creams and resins, which when properly applied allow masonry to be fully sealed. This creates an effective waterproof barrier that repels rain and stops moisture from seeping into masonry walls.

Repairing Broken Masonry

If you’re experiencing leaks or have noticed signs of damp inside or outside the house, there’s a high chance that masonry has broken or deteriorated. Brickwork may have been damaged, mortar might have crumbled or important structural elements such as cavity wall ties may have broken.

All of these problems can result in water seeping into the home through gaps in broken masonry. If this happens, it’s important to identify where the masonry has failed before having it fixed professionally. Ensuring that any gaps in the masonry have been filled in, or that any broken or damaged bricks have been repaired or replaced helps to ensure that your walls are fully waterproofed.

On a wider scale, it’s also important to keep external and internal features of your home, such as tiles, gutters, windows and doors, well maintained and fully sealed in order to avoid water finding a way into the brickwork or inside your home.

Installing a Chemical Damp Proof Course

A chemical damp proof course is an excellent way to waterproof masonry walls. When properly installed, a DPC stops potentially dangerous issues such as rising and penetrating damp from affecting a property.

A chemical damp proof course can be injected directly into a masonry wall, and it’s an effective and long-term option that helps homeowners keep their property fully waterproofed. It’s particularly effective when used in conjunction with other methods of waterproofing, such as coating masonry walls with waterproofing agents and ensuring your home is fully sealed against damp.


‘Tanking’ is a process designed to completely seal and waterproof masonry walls below ground level. It’s an option commonly used to seal areas of a home such as a basement or bottom floor, with the goal being to create a tank-like barrier that stops water from seeping into the building.

There are several ways to carry out ‘tanking’, but the most common method is to strip back a masonry wall, before applying waterproofing agents and plastering the wall to finish and fully seal it.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives for More Information About Masonry Waterproofing

Masonry waterproofing is essential if you want to keep your home dry throughout the year. We recommend consulting a damp proofing specialist for expert advice on the best method of masonry waterproofing for your property.

For more information on masonry waterproofing, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced specialists will be on hand, ready to offer expert advice tailored to your needs or to arrange a thorough survey of your home.

rotten old wooden window frame

What Is Wet Rot in Wood?


Damp timbers, musty smells and dark brown stains are all signs that your home could be affected by wet rot. Caused by fungal spores feeding on damp timbers, if wet rot isn’t treated quickly, it can lead to potentially serious structural damage to your property.

Homeowners need to be aware of the initial signs of wet rot. If you suspect that timbers in your home could be affected by wet rot, it’s best to have a specialist survey carried out to identify and remove the cause.

In this article, the expert team at Danford, Brewer & Ives answer the question, ‘what is wet rot in wood?’ and explain how and why it needs to be treated.

What Is the Difference Between Wet Rot and Dry Rot?

There are two types of wood rot that can affect your home, and both are caused by fungal spores spreading and feeding off timbers. These two types of rot are known as wet and dry rot, and both require moisture to be present in order for the fungal spores to be activated.

But what is wet rot in wood? Wet rot is so-called because it requires much higher levels of moisture than dry rot. Wet rot can only occur in extremely damp and moist conditions, whereas dry rot can take hold in much drier conditions (although some moisture is needed to activate the spores).

Wet rot and dry rot both consume the cellulose in timbers, which in turn causes woodwork in your home to decay and deteriorate if left unchecked. Wet rot largely remains static, whereas dry rot can quickly spread through a home.

Knowing how to identify the initial signs of rot can help you to stop any decay before the fungal spores have a chance to spread through your home. The most common signs of wet rot in the home include:

  • Discoloured timbers (either dark brown or white stains)
  • Damp patches
  • Damp, musty or mushroomy smells
  • Visible fungus
  • Visible damage or decay to timbers and woodwork

Telling the difference between different types of rot can be difficult, as both wet and dry rot have similar telltale signs and will require slightly different treatments. For this reason, we recommend asking a professional for advice before having any treatments carried out.

Will Vinegar Stop Wood Rot?

It can be tempting to look for a quick fix when you’re Googling answers to the question, ‘what is wet rot in wood?’ But it’s important to make sure the fix you’re applying is going to be the best solution.

One popular remedy for wood rot is vinegar because vinegar’s acidity has the ability to act as a fungicide that kills off fungal spores. Vinegar can stop fungal spores from spreading, allowing you to contain the wood rot and stop it from causing further damage, but it’s not the only treatment that can or needs to be applied.

Does Bleach Kill Wet Rot?

Like vinegar, another popular remedy for wet rot is bleach. It’s likely that you’ll have bleach in the home, and a bleach solution can prevent wet rot from spreading further. Like vinegar, bleach works as a fungicide and it kills the spores and therefore contains the spread of the rot.

Using bleach or vinegar may be a short-term fix, but it’s important to ask for expert advice. The extent of the wood rot may not be easily identifiable, and it may be difficult for you to find the source of dampness or rot that’s causing it to spread through the home.

What to Put on Wood Rot to Prevent Rotting?

Prevention is always preferable to treating wood rot. Treatments can be disruptive and costly if the rot has taken hold and is well established, and it’s much more effective to keep your timbers rot free, rather than waiting for problems to arise before applying treatments.

The best way to prevent wood rot is to have timbers coated in long-lasting chemical fungicides. These not only kill any existing spores but prevent them from being able to establish themselves in the wood. A damp and timber survey can help to identify where these need to be applied, and if any rot might already exist.

Fungicides are effective when the rot is on the surface, but if wet rot has already eaten into timbers, they will need to be replaced entirely. The new timbers then need to be coated in fungicides to stop the problem from returning.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Rot?

The cost to fix rot varies from one home to another. Costs largely depend on the type of rot that’s affecting your home, how far it has spread, and how much damage has been caused. If rot has spread throughout the home causing damage along the way, this will cost more to fix than isolated incidents of rot in one or two rooms.

If the rot has begun destroying important structural timbers, then costs can add up. Damaged timbers need to be removed and replaced, and this can involve lots of disruptive work. As mentioned, the most cost-effective way to treat rot is to prevent it. Ensure timbers are treated with fungicides, keep an eye out for those initial signs of rot, and always act quickly to remove any types of rot before they can cause damage.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives for More Information About Wet Rot in Wood

Learning more about what is wet rot in wood is an excellent way to help you identify the first signs of rot in your home. Due to the serious nature of wet rot, we always recommend calling in a professional to identify the cause of rot and to advise on the best treatments for your property.

For more information and to learn more about ‘what is wet rot in wood?’ please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced specialists will be on hand, ready to offer expert advice tailored to your needs.


The Effect of Wall Insulation on Energy Efficiency

How Do You Waterproof External Brickwork?


External brick wall waterproofing is essential if you want to keep your home dry, no matter how bad the weather is outside.

External brickwork is the first line of defence against moisture. If there isn’t effective waterproofing, then your property can quickly succumb to serious problems such as rising damp or penetrating damp.

It’s important to ensure that all external brickwork can repel moisture, and there are several methods of brick wall waterproofing that homeowners can utilise. If you’re wondering how to waterproof your brickwork, the experts at Danford, Brewer & Ives are here to explain everything you need to know.

Isolate the Cause of Any Leaks or Damp

If you’re seeing signs of damp either inside or outside your home, it’s likely your brickwork has lost its protective waterproof layer. However, there can be several reasons as to why this waterproofing has failed, so it’s important to isolate the cause of any dampness before attempting to fix it.

Modern properties are built with brick wall waterproofing as standard, but depending on the method used, this waterproofing can deteriorate over time. The older your home, the more likely this is to have happened.

Bricks may begin to crack, gaps may form in the mortar, or cavity wall ties might rust or break, weakening the structure of a wall and allowing water to penetrate. There may be problems with excess groundwater, your damp proof course may have broken, and much more.

We recommend calling in a damp proofing specialist to identify the cause of any leaks, damp or moisture. They’ll be able to offer expert advice and suggest the most effective form of brick wall waterproofing for your property.

Ensure External Brickwork Is Sealed

The most basic fix when waterproofing external walls is to ensure the brickwork has been properly sealed. Even if it has been sealed, this waterproofing may have deteriorated and may need renewing.

A damp proof specialist can suggest the most effective forms of sealant, because there are many different creams and waterproofing agents that can be applied to the outside of a home. The best quality products will provide an effective barrier against moisture for many decades.

You’ll also need to make sure that any broken masonry, crumbling mortar or rusted cavity wall ties have been removed and replaced. This helps to avoid further gaps forming in the wall, thereby keeping the external brickwork fully sealed.

Install a Damp Proof Course

External walls need to be fitted with a damp proof course to repel moisture that might otherwise cause damp problems. A damp proof course is primarily designed to stop rising damp from working its way into a brick wall and then spreading throughout the home.

Older homes may not have an existing damp proof course fitted, in which case one needs to be installed. Over time, a damp proof course can shift position, in which case it would need to be repaired. A chemical damp proof course, which can be injected directly into the masonry, is the most effective option for homeowners.

Have ‘Tanking’ Carried Out on External Brickwork

If your damp proof course is lower than the ground level, you may find that water seeps into the home laterally (this is a form of penetrating damp). If this happens, then you can have a process carried out called ‘tanking’.

The idea of tanking is to completely seal and waterproof a wall below ground level, in such a way that you create an impenetrable, tank-like barrier. This is often achieved by stripping the wall right back to the masonry so the bricks are exposed, before rendering the exposed brick with a waterproofing agent. The brickwork can then be lined and plastered to create an effective waterproof barrier.

Tanking is commonly used to seal areas of brickwork that are below ground, such as basements. Because of the pressure caused by the ground above, these areas of brickwork are very susceptible to leaks, a problem which tanking aims to stop.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives for More Information About Brick Wall Waterproofing

Brick wall waterproofing is essential if you want to keep your home dry and damp free all through the year. With so many different methods of brick wall waterproofing available, we recommend consulting a damp proofing specialist for expert advice.

For more information on brick wall waterproofing, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced specialists will be on hand, ready to offer expert advice tailored to your needs or to arrange a thorough survey of your home.


damp survey

Is Solid Wall Insulation Worth It?


Is solid wall insulation worth it? With ever-higher expenses and the rising cost of living in the UK, that’s a question we hear frequently at Danford, Brewer & Ives. People are rightly worried about spending more money on things they are unsure of, particularly if there’s a large upfront cost involved.

But installing solid wall insulation is an excellent way for you to save money in the long run. Without adequate insulation, it’s estimated that houses can lose up to 50 per cent of their heat through the walls – and that translates into a lot of wasted money spent on unnecessarily high electric or gas bills.

Solid wall insulation can help to keep your house toasty and warm in winter, you’ll save energy, save money and help the environment. If you’re interested in having solid wall insulation installed, here’s our guide to why it’s worth it.

What Is Solid Wall Insulation?

Modern homes are routinely built with cavity walls, a simple system that allows a building to be thoroughly insulated. A cavity space between the inner and outer wall is filled with insulating material such as foam, and this traps warm air inside the home rather than allowing it to escape.

However, older homes dating back to the 1920s or earlier were constructed without cavity walls. Instead, they were built with what’s called a solid wall. These solid brick or stone walls are incredibly poor insulators, and they result in unnecessarily large quantities of energy being lost, especially in winter. This in turn results in the homeowner paying unnecessarily high energy bills to keep their home heated.

There is a solution, however. Installing solid wall insulation allows a homeowner to create a cavity space that can be filled with insulation. It’s most commonly installed inside the home, where a second layer of wall can be added to the existing solid wall, before being filled in with foam or other effective insulating materials.

What Are the Benefits of Solid Wall Insulation?

Upfront costs and disruption to your home can be off-putting for property owners, but in the long run, we firmly believe that solid wall insulation is incredibly beneficial.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of installing solid wall insulation:

  • Keep your home warm: solid wall insulation helps you to keep your home warm in winter, as heat energy is kept inside rather than being lost through the walls.
  • Save energy: keeping heat inside ensures you save energy, as your thermostat can be kept constant without expending further energy.
  • Save money: saving energy results in direct savings on your energy bill, helping you to save money over time. With ever-higher energy prices, this is more important than ever.
  • Help the environment: with dwindling resources, saving energy allows us to create a more sustainable planet for future generations.

How Much Does Solid Wall Insulation Cost?

Homeowners shouldn’t be deterred by the cost of installing solid wall insulation. Prices vary from one home to the next, but the most cost-effective and least disruptive option is to have internal wall insulation added to a property.

You should always contact a professional for a full survey and accurate quote, but you can expect prices to vary depending on the following:

  • The size of the area that needs to be insulated
  • The amount of work needed to insulate the area
  • The materials used
  • Extra work that also needs carrying out (such as rewiring or redecorating)

Costs can range from a few hundred pounds for a small section of wall to be insulated, up to a few thousand for an entire home to be fitted with internal wall insulation. Despite these upfront costs, you will save money on your energy bills, allowing you to recoup the expenditure and eventually save money.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives to Find Out More About Solid Wall Insulation

So is solid wall insulation worth it? Here at Danford, Brewer & Ives, we say yes. Solid wall insulation can save you money in the long run on your energy bills while helping to keep your home warmer than ever before in winter.  Don’t forget, too, that installing solid wall insulation in your property helps you to play your part for the environment.

For more information and advice on solid wall insulation, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced specialists will be on hand, ready to offer expert advice tailored to your needs or to arrange a thorough survey of your home.