Here we have listed some of the most common questions and answers.
Our magnetic DPC systems are completely safe to use. They conform to all relevant European standards, PASSING all electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) tests, as shown by the test certificate below.
Being passive systems they do not radiate out anything and don't create electromagnetic pollution. Our in-house test also shows this on the video below.
One of the common questions we are being asked by building- and conservation professionals is whether the magnetic DPC can "overdry" or have a negative effect on historic timber furniture, paneling or fixtures?
The short answer to this is NO. Magnetic DPCs can't "overdry" timber. On the contrary: by reducing / normalizing the relative humidity (RH) of the internal environment, it takes timber out of the "danger zone" making it less susceptible to rot. This is a rather positive effect.
For professionals, here is a more technical answer to this question:
How Timber Loses its Moisture?
When a tree is first felled, it contains large amounts (up to 65%) of moisture. Moisture in wood takes two different forms :
- Free water: the water in the wood cell cavities, used to move water and nutrients within the tree
- Bound water: the water trapped (bound) within the tree cell walls
Timber dries and loses its moisture content in 2 phases:
- Losing the free water: once a fresh log is cut it starts losing its free water content, water evaporating or draining our from the cell cavities. During this process, the wood does not contract or change its dimensions since its fibers are still saturated with bound water. Once the free water content is lost, it's not possible to get it back, unless the timber is submerged in water.
- Losing the bound water: after the free water is gone, the wood starts losing its bound water content from its fibers, during which a reduction of the wood’s volume occurs. The timber will eventually reach an equilibrium moisture content and becomes seasoned.
The moisture content of seasoned (dry) timber is determined primarily by the relative humidity (RH) of the SURROUNDING AIR. When the surrounding air is humid, timber absorbs some of the humidity from the air, increasing its bound moisture content. Sticking doors and windows in the wintertime confirm this. When the surrounding air is dry, timber dries out, giving up some of its bound moisture content.
As the magnetic DPC dries out the walls, the excessive evaporation from the walls reduces, the ambient RH in the building stabilizes in a normal range, making timber less susceptible to fungus and tor due to elevated moisture levels.
We guarantee the correct functioning of our magnetic DPC systems for a period of 25 years, however the life expectancy of the units is significantly longer, about 100 years as there are no moving parts prone to breakdown.
Freestanding walls (above ground level walls or walls not in direct contact with soil): we guarantee that all freestanding walls under 600 mm will dry out and reach air-dry state within 3 years, assuming all other moisture sources interfering with the dehydration process have been rectified. The dehydration of thicker walls can take longer, which we let you know during the initial survey.
Underground walls: due to unknown technical factors, the complete dehydration of underground walls can’t be guaranteed unless they are free from sideways penetrating moisture as a result of additional technical measures (e.g. retainer walls, vertical barrier, drainage etc.) implemented by the Client.
Each magnetic DPC system is covered by money-back guarantee, if it fails to dehydrate the building from rising damp within the specified time period. The DPC system must be left in the building for at least 12 months. The dehydration progress must be done with industry-standard gravimetric (drilled core) measurements. Core Conservation Ltd must have attempted to rectify the matter before initiating any refund request.
What is Excluded from Warranty
For clarity, it is important to specify here, that solving other sources of moisture (e.g. rainwater ingress, leaks, dampness resulting from pointing problems etc.) for which the dehydration system has not been designed to solve, does not constitute a failure of the system and thus is not covered by the money-back guarantee. This is just common sense.
In addition to rising damp, other types of moisture sources (e.g. leaks, water ingress etc). can also affect the building fabric and overlap with rising damp, thus the remedy of these other moisture sources also becomes relevant and important. We do our best to spot and let you know about these occurrences, however they are not always obvious, especially at the beginning of the dehydration period, when in a very damp building it can be difficult to judge how much of the moisture is rising, falling or penetrating. Some moisture types can also be seasonal, e.g. interstitial (in-depth) condensation which occurs during the cold months but it's non-existent during summer. Thus not every effect is always known or obvious from the very beginning, sometimes it can take a full year (a cycle of all 4 seasons) to get the "full picture".
Due to the complexity of buildings and their interaction with moisture sources, it is almost impossible to foresee every scenario that can affect the course of dehydration, however certain materials and renovation techniques are known to create problems or are considered industry "bad practices". The following cases are thus excluded from the money-back guarantee:
- Damp patches on the surface of the walls during / after the dehydration: just because the surface of the walls looks damp it does not mean that the core of the walls is damp, or rising damp has not been sorted, or the dehydration system has not worked. Most often surface dampness after the installation of the dehydration system is due renovation mistakes and not rising damp. Here are the most common poor renovation practices that can make a wall surface appear damp:
- The presence of salts: salts being hygroscopic (able to attract moisture from the air) can make the wall surface look damp even when the core of the wall in dry.
- Incorrect plaster and building materials, or incorrect renovation procedures: renovating the walls with the wrong type of plaster can make the surface of the walls look wet or spotty, despite of the fact that the core of the walls is in fact dry. In extreme cases, salts can even "recycle" humidity back into the walls.
- Skimming the walls instead of completely re-plastering it. This is known to create problems; the fresh plaster will be contaminated by ground salts within a few months, ruining the appearance of plaster.
- Dot-and-dabbing of plasterboard instead of mounting it onto battens. Salts migrate through the glue patches into the plasterboard, ruining its appearance. For longevity reasons the use of galvanized steel battens are recommended.
- Not enough time given: the DPC system has to work long enough in the building to get the job done, especially if other sources of moisture are suspected to be present and interfere with the dehydration. While a large percentage of residential buildings dry out in 1 year or less, in some cases (e.g. thick walls, very porous, damp or salty building fabric etc.) this can take longer.
- The client has changed it's mind and does not want the system anymore. Most goods and services in the UK are covered by a 14-30 days cooling-off period or return guarantee. Even Amazon's return policy is limited to 30 days and they are one of the most generous companies in this regard.
A small number of clients, despite of the good results, wanted to return the magnetic DPC system 6 or 12 months later, under the pretense that "they are not happy" with the results. To protect ourselves from such fake claims we have included this clause here.
In real life such "dispute" cases are far and few in-between. The vast majority of buildings dry out without issues. Most problems can also be easily rectified, and we do that proactively, even before it becomes a problem. We stand 100% behind what we do and rest assured, we will do everything to get your building dry, and if our technology fails to solve your rising damp we will give your money back.
Once the wall fabric has reached air-dry state and the building became dry, the money-back guarantee ceases and it will be replaced by our 25-year functional warranty.
Please feel free to contact us with any specific questions.
The price of the magnetic DPC is very competitive and includes all the following:
- The magnetic DPC system: the equipment, guaranteed for 25 years
- Professional installation
- Long-term monitoring of the dehydration. We come back regularly to assess the progress until the building dries out.
- Renovation advice: if needed, we can advise you about planned repairs, what plasters or materials to use etc.
- Additional benefits which can result in additional significant savings:
- It can dry out walls behind non-breathable cement
- No need to remove or redo an otherwise good cement floor, the walls will dry out
- Reduces the crumbling of the old, historic wall fabric
- It protects timber floor joists by drying the walls to solum level
- Reduces mould and musty smell etc.
As a guideline:
- Smaller buildings: for a normal sized residential building the magnetic DPC system costs less or about the same as an injected damp proof course.
- Larger buildings: cost less than most competing solutions, often significantly less. Also, in comparison this solution is non-invasive, permanent, it does not have to be redone after a few years, and the price also includes the long-term monitoring of the building.
For more questions or to receive a price estimate, please contact us.
Based on the registered patents, most development of this technology seems to originate from the European mainland - France, Germany and Austria. Historically, there was no research of this technology in the UK - until very recently.
The commercial availability of these products in the UK only goes back a few years, which is not enough to get mass adoption.
As part of our follow-up services we come back every 6-12 months after installation of the DPC system to take core readings from the building. We monitor the building until it dries out. Very often the positive changes in the building are noticeable by the inhabitants. Such changes include, but they are not limited to:
- The musty smell disappears after a few weeks / months
- The building feels warmer
- The color of the walls looks lighter as the wall is drying out
- The crumbling of the fabric stops or reduces
- Drawers, doors stop sticking as the relative humidity of the living space normalizes
- Less humidity in the building
- Often less mould
The magnetic DPC technology has a technical background. Negative comments are only voiced by those who don't understand it and never bothered trying it or using it. Some people are reluctant to even try new technologies and they make comments or statements without any fist-hand experience or knowledge. This is part of the natural adoption of any new technology.
The primary source of any negative reviews can be traced back to one single person, who is even negating the existence of rising damp, despite all worldwide scientific evidence. This person has been fighting every main organization, group and technology dealing with rising damp. Read more about that here.
Most professionals who try it and see it in action are very excited about this technology as it solves some problems in old buildings that have never been properly solved before. Some professionals express skepticism because they don't understand it or never tried it. Architects, surveyors or builders who have used this technology are very pleased with it - same as old building owners.
Any more questions? Please contact us.