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Thread: Damp Course

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    Damp Course

    I have seen many videos about house construction in Thailand. I have never seen one where the build includes a damp course.

    Is this a standard technique in Thailand or is it largely ignored because of the habit of building a house on compacted soil which is raised, please ?

  2. #2
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    I also have wondered about the lack of a damp proof course in the construction of Thai houses concrete framed houses, and it's long term effects.
    From my own observations of my in-laws house with no damp course, you will have about 40 years before it starts to cause serious structural problems.
    To try and stop the rising damp, my in laws had the floor and walls (upto 1/2 metre) of there semi detached row house tiled about ten years ago, all this did was allow the damp to travel further and faster up the walls and concrete columns, this has now had the effect of causing concrete rendering to spall off the walls above the tiles, and even some of the concrete columns are now showing the early signs of concrete cancer due to the rising damp corroding the re-bar. Interestingly the damage caused on the party wall is much more noticeable than on the other walls.

    This is one of the major concerns I would have about the traditional Thai house building process, and would be also be interested to know how this could be avoided.

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    I think every house build will be different as to what approach you take to ensure you don't get damp?
    We have never had a problem (4 houses) current house is about half metre raised above ground level (the reinforced concrete), the house level was originally raised about 2 meters, we used a very rocky soil that drains quickly, we are also on a slight hill which obviously helps.
    If you were to build in very wet soil conditions it would be preferable to raise the house so you have no ground contact apart from footings?

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    The house will be raised but it still seems sensible to have a damp course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digby Fantona
    The house will be raised but it still seems sensible to have a damp course.
    Do you experience large temperature changes at your homebuilding location?

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    I guess a visit to Thai Watsadu etc. would tell if they have any manufactured rolls for such a purpose.

    If not, then it is not normal practice.

    But you could use any heavy duty plastic sheeting between the footings/foundations and the walls and a gob of silicon around the rebar?
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    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Thais tile their floors. That is their damp proof membrane.

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    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    No damp course here. Floor is 80cm above ground. Well ventilated crawl space below concrete floor. I have wood floors so used a vapor barrier between concrete and wood. Comes in big rolls. Bought at Global House. No problem with moisture wicking up through concrete.

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    Do they carry anything like Red Guard in Thailand?

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    Quote Originally Posted by runker View Post
    Do they carry anything like Red Guard in Thailand?
    No, they tend to stay in China!

    What is "it" ? think the answer may be - No....

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    Thai rarely think beyond their next meal, so a 40 year lifespan for a house, well .............

    Not many young farang building houses either, so in current practice, the house will likely outlive you.

    See Norton's post above for palliative care.

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    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    They in fact do do membrane's in Thailand but mainly used in the building of swimming pools.

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    Thailand Expat Fluke's Avatar
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    The hotter climate probably negates the need to a DPC course
    Any moisture will quickly dry out in the heat

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluke View Post
    The hotter climate probably negates the need to a DPC course
    Any moisture will quickly dry out in the heat
    Yes, exactly. And in addition - unlike the houses in other countries (even Asian ones) - the houses here (the majority) are built with bricks or cement blocks bound and covered - rendered - by a very strong cement mortar that hardly allows to nail in a hard stainless steel nail (the s/s nail called here in Thai "concrete"). And all that is mostly painted (from both sides) by an (almost) unpenetratable paints.

    Once you demolish such a wall you will experence the huge effort to break it.

    That's why we never see any problem with the Damp Course, do we?

    Wondering, how it is in the areas with houses standing for long months under flood water 1m high.

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