Throwback Thursday: Revisiting the 1997 Home Revolution

Discover the inspiring tale of environmental ingenuity in our “Throwback Thursday” feature, where we revisit the origins of our sustainable solution to dampness. Launched in 1997 and highlighted in The Times, now the Schrijver System has serviced over 30,000 homes.

In 1997, a couple faced a challenge familiar to many homeowners: the pervasive problem of dampness. Seeking a lasting solution, they turned to the Schrijver System marking a pivotal moment in home maintenance.

Amongst the trailblazers of ’97 was our damp-proofing system. It began with a couple’s determination to find a permanent fix for their damp home, leading to the adaptation of a method from the Netherlands that would soon spread across the region.

Today, after more than two decades, the Schrijver System has been embraced by over 30,000 households. Its success is reflected not just in the numbers, but in the sustained satisfaction of homeowners who have witnessed its reliability and effectiveness. Our commitment to eco-friendly solutions has only grown stronger, driven by the positive feedback from homeowners.

The journey from 1997 to 2024 shows that environmentally friendly solutions don’t just protect our homes; they protect our planet. Our commitment to eco-friendly solutions has only grown stronger, driven by the positive feedback from homeowners.

For a deeper understanding of where it all began, we encourage you to read the original 1997 article from The Times, “Couple go Dutch to rid their home of dampness,” which details the humble beginnings of our system.

10 Signs of Rising Damp


There are 3 types of damp that can affect properties – condensation, penetrating damp and rising damp. Rising damp occurs when ground water soaks into a wall or floor – similar to how a sponge absorbs water. A damp proof course and membrane stops water causing damage to a property by sealing and protecting it. A damp proof course is built into a wall above ground level with a damp proof membrane laid beneath a concrete floor. Newer houses will have a damp proof course and membrane although houses built prior to 1875 may not.

Damp proofing can get damaged over time, which can result in rising damp. It could also be the level of the ground is higher than the damp proof course or there is something amiss with drainage. The key signs of rising damp to look out for include:

  • 1. Tide marks on the inside and outside wall; usually no more than a metre above ground level
  • 2. Damp stains above the skirting board
  • Signs of Rising Damp - Rotting skirting boards
  • 3. Crumbling or rotting skirting boards
  • 4. Discoloration or staining on walls
  • 5. Deposits causing blistering on walls
  • 6. Black mould
  • Signs of Rising Damp - Wallpaper
  • 7. Peeling wallpaper
  • 8. Rotting floor boards
  • 9. Raised floor coverings
  • 10. Smell – you can often smell damp even if you can’t actually see it

The cause of the damp needs to be identified before it can be removed as different damp issues can require different treatments. Frank Schrijver are rising damp specialists with their innovative Schrijver System an economically friendly way to lower humidity levels inside your property, leading to dry walls and continuous protection against damp.

Working with natural ventilation processes, it permanently removes rising damp. Installed outside your home, dry air flows through a series of handmade elements. This causes a drop in temperature and a “cold bridge”, taking moisture from the wall interior where it is deposited within the element. This then evaporates outside resulting in continuous damp protection.

The Schrijver System is the green alternative to damp proofing. With a lifetime guarantee, there’s no mess or redecorating required, and it’s kinder to the environment as no harsh chemicals are used. To find out more about the Schrijver System, please contact us on 01883 740 435  or email

Are you having problems with penetrating damp?


When it comes to water, if it wants to get into your property, it will have a good go at it. Even the smallest crack or hole in your wall or joint will soon be a prime target. If it’s not dealt with, it’s possible that it won’t be long before penetrating damp takes hold – which can quickly cause a real problem for your property – both in the repair work and financially.

Penetrating damp happens when water manages to seep through the walls. You can see this happen in several ways. You might find wet and crumbly plaster or signs of damp – such as growing circles on your walls or ceilings. There could be blotchy patches of damp appearing on your walls. Or you could find signs of mildew or spores or even drips or puddles. It could be that it takes weeks, or even months for these signs to appear.

Are you having problems with penetrating damp?

You might find penetrating damp at any level of your building, however, it’s more likely to happen at higher parts of your property and south-facing walls. Regular culprits for penetrating damp include a badly linked flat roof, leaking pipes, gutters that are overflowing, badly fitting windows or roof tiles that are missing. Plus, it could be that your pointing is damaged or you’ve got problems with rendering. All of these are possible entry points for water to get in and cause an issue. And certainly, if you have air bricks at your property, if they don’t have sufficient breathing space, moisture can become trapped; causing damp to become a problem here too.

The symptoms of penetrating damp can be quite similar to those of rising damp. The difference tends to be to do with structural factors in addition to weather-related issues. It tends to be found in patterns as opposed to the tideline that often occurs with rising damp. If there’s been a lot of driving rain recently, you may find damp patches that appear. Exposed timber and masonry are also areas that can be soon be affected by water seeping into them. Another way of differentiating between penetrating damp and rising damp is that you’ll find that penetrating damp appears on the higher floors of your property where rising damp doesn’t reach.

Are you having problems with penetrating damp? Penetrating damp in the corner of the ceiling and coving.

So if you’ve identified penetrating damp as a problem in your home or property, it’s vital to track down the original source. Where is the moisture getting in? Have a look throughout your brickwork. Are there any obvious points of entry? Or maybe your pipework – have you spotted any faults? It could be that your door or window frames are the issue and need to have their sealants replaced. There is an option to have your wall sealed with a water sealer spray, however, this involves a chemical solution and they may not be able to fill cracks successfully.

In order to find a natural solution that gives you a permanent answer to penetrating damp, it may be well worth considering the Schrijver system. An eco-friendly option, it’s a chemical-free system that’s cost-effective to install and gives you a green option to traditional damp proofing. Using natural ventilation, it’s better for your home and certainly better for your family.

Dealing with damp in older properties


Damp in older buildings is fairly common. Despite their strong walls, most were constructed without damp proof courses or felt under tiles and slates. Properties built prior to the 19th century, for example, were designed to allow moisture into a building but evaporate out again. Modern methods of damp proofing just didn’t exist as they do now.

Dealing with damp in older properties

Older properties are therefore more susceptible to penetrating damp caused by driving rain and rising damp – the symptoms for which include damaged skirting boards, rotting floorboards and peeling paint. Moisture in the air can also lead to excessive dampness in old buildings with the obvious signs of misting on windows.

Traditional properties are fundamentally different to those built today. Retrospective fitting of a damp course, for example, can cause an old building to have structural difficulties. A chemical option, which involves injecting a solution into holes at the bottom of a wall to create a waterproof barrier, may not be suitable either. Tanking might be an option for penetrating damp as a liquid chemical coating is added to wet walls but costly re-plastering would be required. Instead, there are other damp proofing options available that are more cost effective and chemical free too.

Dealing with damp in older properties - flaking paint

The Schrijver System, from damp specialists Frank Schrijver, is a green alternative to traditional damp proofing. It provides a natural solution to rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation. With a lifetime guarantee, there’s no mess, no redecorating or replastering with the damp control system, it’s safe for all the family.

  • Work conducted outside the property – small, handmade elements are installed to all accessible external walls.
  • Dry air constantly flows from outside into the elements causing a drop in temperature and creating a ‘cold bridge’. Moisture from the wall interior is deposited within the element by natural airflow.
  • Achieves a lower humidity level inside the property with dry walls and works continuously at reducing moisture from the external walls.