For years now, renovating old agricultural buildings into living spaces has been a tough but rewarding challenge. With more and more people looking to undertake the challenge it is important that you consider what damp proofing methods need to be put into place. If you intend on using the barn as a living space, then these methods should definitely be put into place.
There has likely been no damp proofing methods used in the construction of the barn, but knowing what the building was used for can help decide what steps should be put in place. For example, a common issue with this kind of renovation is salt contamination on the walls of the barn. This will have been caused if the building was used to house animals, as the urine would soak into the walls. If there are hygroscopic salts, moisture will be attracted from the atmosphere and soaked into the walls.
Barns are constructed out of different building materials; often granite, brick and cob. Without knowing the original use of the barn it can be difficult to determine what damp proofing method should be put in place. The most commonly used method of damp proofing in structures like these is a Damp Proof Membrane. This is a cavity drain membrane which is used for its ability to be used on walls and floors contaminated by salts. It allows for the walls to breathe and can be used on a variety of construction types.
If undertaking the task of damp proofing a building of this nature, it is highly recommended you use a specialist contractor. The work can be very challenging due to the construction of these buildings and can be ineffective if not completed correctly. Prices on the work will vary depending on the size and damage to the building already, but also what you plan to be using the conversion for. Speaking to a qualified damp proofing surveyor about the renovation will make this process easier.