Holland Damp Proofing system - another Con Artist bites the dust

There are numerous damp proofing systems out there which use one combination or another of strange bricks, tubes, triangles and pots  stuck into holes smashed into your wall.  They all claim to evaporate water from the wall by some wondrous method.

The Holland damp proofing system is one - it's sometimes referred to as the Schrijver system, although there are apparently some differences and the companies dont appear to like each other... These systems are pushed by very slick sales presentation in the UK as being the cure-all for damp.  At least one of these companies have been investigated several times by the Advertising Standards Authority, and asked to remove or amend their advertising claims.   The ASA stated in 2002 that 'the advertisers had proved neither that the Schrijver System stopped rising damp, nor that it reduced the moisture content caused by penetrating damp, condensation and mould'

There seem to be various versions of it - each as bad as the other. Professional videos are shown  of chocolate box cottages with wallpaper peeling off the walls (in classic condensation patterns that could be cured by opening windows!).  They claim to have won prizes for their system.. One was from a Dutch 'infotainment' tv show called National Suggestion Box where according to Jeff Howell, the winning 'invention' was voted for by a studio jury!!

It is based on a system of 'Knapen Tubes' developed as early as 1908, and never shown scientifically to work.There are a few variations on it - all of them involving putting bricks or porous pots of some sort into the wall.

The system uses horrible, unsightly bricks or porous tubes which are drilled into the walls all around the house which supposedly allow moisture to escape from the walls.  Unsurprisingly, most, if not all of the photos and films they'll show you are of houses which are covered in thick coats of cement render.  Of course the wall is sopping wet - and anything that breaks the render will release water - far simpler just to take the render off!!  

The marketing pitch is one of fear - pictures of mould - wallpaper peeling off (condensation), peeling paint (coming off cement render!) salt deposits (oozing out of cement render!) Lots of stuff about people being ill and suffering from health disorders because of damp.  'Buy our product, and you'll never suffer health problems again - all that peeling wallpaper will go away, the mould will disappear - and your house will look like something out of the Alien, with horrible brick shaped blocks drilled into the wall all around it' - hardly chocolate box!  

Oh... and did I say that cement is not porous?  That it traps water?  So whenever I do a survey and find these stupid blocks drilled into a sopping wet wall - they are fixed in place with... you guessed it... cement - so the wall could never breathe into them anyway cos the damn things are surrounded by cement.

Is there no limit to the snake oil tricks that people will use to sell rubbish.  Why not just be honest and tell them that if they take the cement render off, the damp will disappear...?  They'd even be able to make some money taking it off.. and go home with the warm glow of honesty in their heart.. 

As with all the other snake oil systems - run them out of town, push them off a cliff, send them back into the sea they crawled out of, and report them to Trading Standards.  The system is NOT approved for use in the UK - The BRE has not tested and approved it, and there is a much easier and cheaper way to sort the problems out that they show on the various websites that use this ridiculous system - open a window, and follow the instructions on the site for reducing condensation and cement trapped moisture.

And from a grateful client ...

I am so glad that I found your site. My mothers home is a brick terrace from about 1940. the brick walls up to second floor are solid without cavity. About 25 years ago a Holland system was installed at great expense and never worked. Plaster is blowing off the inside of exterior walls and we have had several ideas of rectification. Your site has answered questions that have troubled me for years. I now know that the main problem is the plaster and paint used I will forever follow your site. thanks Keith Butler

Damp and Condensation
Update on Holland Damp Proofing

Well - after claiming to be so wonderful, for so long, Holland have disappeared off the face of the earth, leaving their clients wondering what happened.  Their telephone number is disconnected, and there's nothing left of them on the internet.  Just goes to show - I identified these shysters some years ago and they even threatened legal action against us for daring to suggest they were nothing but con artists.  Hey Ho - they were, and they're gone.  

So now we have ANOTHER snake oil outfit moving in to take their place - this time it's Hydrotek.  I'll do a bit more on them on the main page - but beware of a bloke called Derek Spring, who is not who he says he is.  Trading Standards are investigating - but yet again, the Damp Industry has spawned another con man.

Update:  Hydrotek Wallguard have gone - Derek Spring, the con artist was investigated and has since died - thankfully the public now spared his fraudulent activities.

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