Dampness in buildings can result from a number of different factors, such as lack of ventilation, broken drainage or leaking pipes. Another cause can be wind-driven rain, which can cause problems with penetrating damp. High levels of wind-driven rain affect many homes in the western areas of Great Britain and can create conditions that make their walls unsuitable for insulation.
Damp conditions can also lead to mould growth, which poses a number of health risks. Moulds produce allergens, which can cause respiratory problems such as asthma and other allergic reactions. Dampness in buildings can also potentially be harmful to the structural integrity of the building fabric if left untreated.
Damp walls also negatively affect the energy efficiency of domestic homes, as moisture can significantly affect the levels of heat loss. Homes lose around a third of the heat through their walls, and wet masonry accelerates this heat loss, potentially leading to higher energy bills due to increased heating requirements.
A range of products to address the issue of damp walls is available on the market, which make a range of claims as to their efficacy. How can consumers evaluate the claims of competing products? And how can you make your product stand out from the rest?
Energy Saving Trust’s Verification Scheme allows us to work with manufacturers to develop and promote product performance claims to use in association with the Energy Saving Trust brandmark. Energy Saving Trust, as an independent body, evaluates data from field trials and independent testing to establish the performance levels of each product before awarding the verification.
Three manufacturers – Safeguard Europe, Dulux Trade and ProPERLA UK – have now had their external wall waterproofing products verified under the scheme with Energy Saving Trust developing a range of performance claims for commercial use as a result.
Independent results, from certification bodies such as the BBA and Lucideon Ltd., showed that these products soaked into external brickwork and created a hydrophobic layer that was resistant to penetrating damp. The products were also breathable, allowing water vapour in the home to pass through the wall. The result was a dryer wall that could help reduce the dwelling’s rate of heat loss, which in turn could reduce the amount of energy required to heat a home to desired comfort levels.
Energy Saving Trust’s verification scheme helps manufacturers to communicate product performance claims to consumers and helps enhance their credibility. Gary Thompson, Managing Director of ProPERLA UK told us:
“We decided to explore Energy Saving Trust verification in order to have our product range independently assessed by a respected professional body. The Energy Saving Trust provided us with the opportunity to engage with relevant sectors of the market to help us promote our brand on a national basis.”