In the wet Irish climate, damp is a serious problem for homeowners. Damage from the elements can creep in and become a serious nightmare. The best defence is to build (and renovate) with that in mind. That’s where breather members come in.
Breather members sit between the insulation and the exterior wall of a building. They prevent dampness from seeping into the insulation while allowing air to flow through. Because the Irish climate is so damp with driving rain, it is important to get the best quality material possible for this layer. Builders can hope some other measures such as passive fire protection will never be put to the test, but there can be no doubt in this part of the world about how regularly breather membranes will be tested.
The Dangers of Damp to Structures
Both penetrating damp and rising damp can cause serious damage. Using quality material to protect a structure can prevent damp patches, damage to finished surfaces, mildew, mould, damage to insulation, and even electrical problems, which can be caused by dampness in walls where wires are laid. While these issues are unsightly, the real danger is that they can cause more serious damage to property. That is why it is critical to prevent damp from seeping in with superior air-permeable membranes.
Condensation inside walls is another issue that a moisture-resistant, air-permeable barrier addresses. A damp-resistant membrane that was not also air-permeable would lead to interstitial condensation and subsequent damage to the structure.
The roof is the part of any structure most exposed to rain and snow, and breather roofing membranes will protect the building from the ingress of dampness. This is where the material chosen will be put to the test. The choice of breather roofing membranes will affect the longevity of a structure as well as the quality of life its inhabitants enjoy.
While the long-term protection available is the most important criterion in selecting breathable membranes or breather roof membranes, another consideration is how easy they are to install. For exposed roofs especially, wind can be an issue. Choosing a membrane with high resistance to mechanical damage makes for a safer installation.