Dryfix News

Church Revival


Dryfix Preservation Ltd were invited by the committee of Kirkby Moorside Methodist Church to undertake a damp report and provide a repair solution to their ongoing battle with dampness.

The Methodist Church, constructed in the 1800's has a pitched slate roof with external walls constructed from rubble-filled stonework approximately 600mm thick. The main hall of the church is huge 144 meters sq with three large external walls, all of which have suffered dampness and spoiling finishes previously despite numerous attempts to resolve damp problems with chemicals and tanking membranes.

The cause of damp is due to surrounding ground externally providing a car park and gardens to adjacent properties, which is much higher than the internal floor of the church. Therefore the church walls are earth retaining and susceptible to damp migrating laterally, In addition to the effect of rising damp above the ground as the building lacks a damp proof course.

Dryfix identified the cause and presented three alternative repair options for consideration by the church committee, with each options advantages and disadvantages clearly described, including the environmental impact of the repair to the church and surrounding land.

The three options are described below:

Option one - Traditional repair

A traditional repair of excavating the ground surrounding the church and constructing earth retaining walls in order to support the remaining land. Removing the ground from contact with the walls would alleviate the need of providing physical protection to the walls below ground level internally. The disruption internally would be minimal with only minor damp repairs required to the damaged plasterwork. The majority of disruption would occur externally and consent would be required from surrounding land owners.

Option Two  Cementitious tanking membrane

To provide physical protection to the walls below ground level with the use of a cementitious tanking membrane. This would require removal of the internal plaster affected by damp, due to the random and poor construction of the walls it would be necessary for us to re-render with a specialist modified render in order to provide a suitable substrate for the membrane to applied too. Once the render had partly cured a specialist cementitious tanking membrane (Vandex - Supplied by Safeguard Europe) would be applied on top of the render by trowel application overlapping the solid floor. Once set the membrane would provide a moisture resistant barrier to prevent damp ingress. New plaster finishes would be reinstated over the tanking system.

This repair would have involved the use of chemicals during application and would have created a huge amount of disturbance to the church walls internally.

Option Three - Our proposal

Specialist above ground damp proof membrane system - a non-chemical damp proofing solution

Our proposed system would involve, lining the affected walls using a specialist above ground damp proof membrane. The membrane would act as a physical damp resistant barrier which new finishes can be installed directly upon or in front without risk of damp or decay from the walls behind, in effect creating a dry internal cosmetic finish regardless to the state or condition of the walls.

The membrane is fixed to the walls using specialist moisture resistant plugs over top of the existing plaster, which alleviates the messy and disruptive work of removing the original plaster to apply the system. The membrane is also designed with a shallow stud on the reverse side, which is used to create a small cavity allowing the wall to breathe naturally.

Above all the membrane system is clean and efficient to install, with minimal disruption to the church walls internally and no disruption to the external ground. With this system there are numerous options available for reinstating finishes and if used with a plasterboard lining system, full redecoration can be undertaken once the skim plaster has dried (days), considerably less than alternative traditional plastering systems which can take months to dry before redecoration can begin. As the work involved is far less labour intensive than the alternative options this system is also considerably cheaper to install.

The systems requires no chemical application, and as the existing plaster provided sound can be left in situ, reduces waste disposal for landfill which is much more environmentally friendly.

Dryfix skilled and experienced operatives undertook the repair in September 2010, using the favoured above ground membrane system as agreed with the Church Committee. The work was carried out within a time scale of three weeks, on time and on budget with no hidden extras. Dryfix not only completed the specialist work involved but also managed the refurbishment project, which involved plumbing, electrical and specialist carpentry forming all new window cills and restoration of a rose window over the south elevation.

The church committee and residents of the village were thoroughly delighted with the repair and wrote a lovely review of our services.

"The whole Service received from initial survey to completion of the project was exemplary. Russell and the team were professional at all times, indeed visitors to our church commented upon their polite and helpful attitude in all situations. Having being involved in many significant building development programmes in my professional career, I cannot be anything but positive about the service and project completion from Dryfix.

Thanks for everything!"

Mr Hall - Acting on behalf of Kirkbymoorside Methodist Church

Dryfix favour a holistic approach to damp proofing and where possible try to minimise impact to the property and the surrounding environment. If you would like to know more about green damp proofing systems or our specialist above ground damp proof membranes please feel free to look at our website www.dryfix.net or contact us, 01904 791388

Congratulations Dryfix,

Job well done

Russell Rafton

Dryfix Preservation - Managing Director.


Church Revival Restoration

Methodist Church - Front entrance 

Church Revival Restoration

High ground surrounding the external wall of the main meeting hall. 

Church Revival Restoration

 Severe dampness affecting the plaster and general fabric of the church.

Church Revival Restoration

Main church hall, all walls affected by damp due to the high surrounding ground levels.

Church Revival Restoration

Above ground membrane system applied to south facing wall, including following the detail of the arched windows and centre rose window.

Church Revival Restoration

Above ground membrane system carefully applied to affected wall.

Church Revival Restoration

Centre of the hall protected by a temporary erected false wall, with walkway providing access to the external walls.

Church Revival Restoration

Carpenter (Ian) carefully builds new bespoke window cills for each window

Church Revival Restoration

Repair to the church walls complete just awaiting drying and redecoration. 

Church Revival Restoration

Repair to the church walls complete just awaiting drying and redecoration. Radiators refitted, new window cills installed, all new joinery and skirting boards fitted.

Church Revival Restoration

Repair to the church walls complete just awaiting drying and redecoration. All walls membrane applied and plastered. 

Church Revival Restoration

Rose window carefully reinstated 


Dryfix Preservation Ltd | Head Office: Unit 12, Pyramid Court, Rosetta Way, York, North Yorkshire YO6 5NB.