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March 2017 Blog: Fixing to Cavity Drain Membranes

Oldroyd Xp Plaster cavity drain membrane

Hello again faithful readers (we hope it's OK to use the plural!). A common question we get asked after installation is, "Can we fix radiators, shelves, etc. to the cavity drain membranes that Conifer have installed?" ...Or words to that effect!
Obviously we have to be cautious here as EVERY installation is different. However, we feel that some general guidance is possible but always check with your installer before committing to anything.

Consider first the location
What do we mean by this? Well if the cavity drain membrane has been used in a basement situation, that is, underground we would urge extreme caution in making any holes in the tanking membranes, however small. If the application is above ground it is still wise to stay away from any wall/floor joints but, providing that the wall isn't built into a bank or anything, fixing is usually possible. In the perfect world it is of course best to fit radiators, shelves, etc. to walls that have not been membraned but we understand that this is not always possible.

"So what can we do?" We hear you cry...
Well the answer where a direct fitting to the masonry is concerned is to either use Oldroyd Brick Plugs to create a fixing (these are the plugs we use to fix the cavity drain membranes, they are self-sealing and can take a screw like a Rawl plug) or where this isn't possible use a Rawl plug but fill the hole with silicon before you install the plug. In an above ground scenario, only dealing with rising damp or penetrating damp, this should suffice where a fixing MUST be made. As we have said always check with your installer before you do anything and never drill the cavity drain membrane in a known problem location.

A better solution where possible is to build stud-walling in front of the membrane and fix anything you need to to that. When we construct these we install timber baffles between the timbers at known fixing points (like where radiators are to be situated for example) so that an easy and strong fixing can be made without playing hide and seek for the timber studs! Also, and this is not really damp proofing advice but it may be useful, stay away from plasterboard fixings for anything heavy or likely to be leaned on, particularly if that thing is full of water!

No stud wall thanks, our cottage is nearly 400 years old!
Firstly, lucky you and secondly, we totally agree that character and historic properties should not be ruined by thoughtless building practices. So, when your house builders got back from fighting for, or with, Oliver's Army, they will have built something very much of that period, work that should be retained wherever possible. We have undertaken damp proofing work to a lot of old and very old properties over the years and there is almost always a way to improve their damp proofness and thermal performance carefully and with respect. Often provision can and should be made when the work is in process to provide adequate wall fixings; we suggest that thought should be given to factoring this in prior to commencement.

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