Forget winter damp

It’s always hard to battle foreign competitors, but one “All Australian” manufacturing operation that is holding its own is Adven Plastics, trading as Cronidge in NSW.

The small company produces Dampsorb™ units and refill packets for distribution throughout Australia by Award Bathroom Concepts in Melbourne. Dampsorb is a crystalline product that extracts airborne moisture from damp and mouldy interior spaces. The moisture is collected as liquid in a bucket, ready to be disposed of whenever the unit is replenished with fresh crystals. It’s a simple device retailing for about the same price as a decent sponge! But it has the advantage of being a preventive solution rather than a painful cure.

According to Cronidge general manager, Jim Dryburgh, Dampsorb has been a top-selling product for about a decade. It is stocked by Danks and Bunnings, and enjoys a great deal of support from both small and large independent retailers across the country.

There are competitors with similar products, but Dampsorb is the only Australian-owned and manufactured product of its type on the market. It is also one of the few to offer crystal refill bags in one and four-kilogram quantities, thereby helping to promote long-term customer loyalty.

The secret behind Dampsorb is its active ingredient: calcium chloride. The compound is a highly effective moisture absorber, and will not produce odours or fumes that might harm delicate fabrics or paints.

Uses are unlimited. “It’s used mainly in bathrooms where ventilation is poor and mould and mildew can build up,” says Dryburgh. “It also has applications in wardrobes, boats, caravans and tool sheds. Dampsorb is effective in any confined (interior) areas where there isn’t much of a breeze.”

Another increasingly popular application is in the office. Storage cupboards where paper and stationery are kept need to be dry, otherwise paper can become crimped and potentially harmful to sensitive machinery like photocopiers. Dampsorb keeps paper products in prime condition over long time periods. Starter packs including bucket come complete with a 340-gram crystal pack.

The company is also excited about the release of a brand new product that is also aimed at the hardware industry. Water Magic is a garden product that absorbs and holds moisture at the base of potted plants. Highly absorbent crystals are laid at the bottom of pots below the soil, and remain wet for ages to sustain plants during dry spells or infrequent watering schedules. One teaspoon of Water Magic crystals can absorb 300 ml of water.

People who are away from home often, or who want to provide more consistent water availability to plants in small pots, are typical target markets. Water Magic, like Dampsorb, is distributed via Award Bathroom Concepts.

For more information about either of these products, e-mail Dryburgh on odorsorb@nullidl.net.au.

Story by John Power