How can I identify penetrating damp?

Penetrating damp occurs when water penetrates the external material of a building; the moisture begins to seep its way into the internal walls. Potentially the most damaging, penetrating damp contains salts and other pollutants, which are then carried into the façade of the building. Sounds serious, right? And yes, it can be. Penetrating damp can cause a variety of different issues, including the corrosion of wall ties and metal framework, damage to timber, loss of strength and stability and the growth of algae and lichen on walls.

If penetrating damp is left untreated, the strength of the building’s facade can be affected, damp substrates can start to deteriorate in the freeze thaw cycles causing cracking and defacing of bricks. If your property is suffering with this, it is vital you seek specialist help to stop the damage spreading.

Properties that are suffering from minor symptoms of penetrating damp can still experience changes that will affect your living. One prominent change is the building’s thermal conductivity; this will significantly reduce the property’s insulation, as the moisture continues to seep deeper into the interior walls.

If a building is suffering from damp plasterwork, increased heat loss, damp musty smells and frost damage there is the potential that the building may be suffering from penetrating damp.

This problem could be the result of may defective issues outside of the property including cracks in the masonry, damaged water management systems, broken gutters or defective plumbing.

It is not just your property that will suffer; any form of damp on internal surfaces can cause respiratory health problems, such as asthma.

What can I do to cure penetrating damp?

You will ideally need to fix the underlying building fault or issue. There are also a variety of external water repellents you can use, depending on the severity of the damage. We have listed our top five water repellents suitable for treating penetrating damp quickly and effectively.


Permagard’s Microshield is an effective high-performing water repellent suitable for external use on masonry materials such as brick, concrete and stone. In one single coat, this micro- porous repellent will protect masonry materials against penetrating damp.

The ready to use liquid is based on silanes and siloxanes, rapidly curing penetrating damp even at near zero degree temperatures. Simply by applying one single coat of this colourless and odourless solution will create a micro- porous layer, protecting the surface against driven rainwater.

microshield masonry water repellent

Unlike most water repellents, Microshield can be applied to highly alkaline, dry or damp cement-based surfaces, however it is not suitable for wet green-cured cements or concretes.

Microshield is a reliable water repellent, creating an invisible layer, protecting against wind driven rain or surface moisture.


Microshield Ultra Masonry Waterproofing

Microshield Ultra is an advanced masonry waterproofing cream specially designed to create long-lasting protection for brickwork and façade against efflorescence and destruction by water soluble pollutants as well as against frost damage and the attack of micro-organisms.

The water repellent is combined with a strong beading effect to mineral surfaces. The beading effect causes water to simply ‘bead’ on the surface and roll off, allowing the material to maintain its natural moisture balance.

Click on the link for more insight into how this waterproofing cream product works. 

Aside from being an excellent water repellent, Microshield Ultra can also save you money by improving the building’s thermal performance. The water repellent reduces heat loss through damp or wet walls, allowing you to save money on energy costs.

Microshield Ultra guarantees long-life protection due to its ability to penetrate deeply into the surface.

microshield ultra

Water Repellent (Solvent Based)

This professional treatment is a solvent-based silicone resin suitable for protecting masonry materials from penetrating damp.

The liquid can be applied using a variety of methods, although brush or lambs wool treatment are the methods generally used for applying this product. Large areas which need treating will benefit from a knapsack sprayer method or a piston pump.

masonry Water Repellent

With only one application, this masonry water repellent will form a highly protective barrier against penetrating damp on poorly absorbent surfaces. However, on highly absorbent surfaces, it is recommended that you use two coats, applied wet on wet.

Façade Cream Water Repellent

Façade cream is generally used for waterproofing, creating an invisible barrier against water penetration on external masonry materials.

The water repellent forms a barrier against water and will effectively improve the building’s thermal performance over a period of time. Heat lost through damp or wet walls could reduce up to 30%.

Click on the link for more insight into how Remmers Facade Cream works. 

Facade Cream water repellent

Façade cream will also reduce growth of algae and other organisms which normally appear on damp surfaces by reducing the amount of water available for them to grow.

Read more benefits of this facade cream.


Call us on 0117 982 3282 if you'd like to talk to us about our range of water repellents or if you have any questions about protecting your home from penetrating damp. We'd like to hear from you.