6 Reasons Why You Might Need a Damp Proof Specialist

Anyone who lives in the UK knows that this country gets a lot of wet weather, so it’s not a surprise to most that the average UK home has a few damp problems. Issues with mould and damp are quite common. Damp can develop on the inside of any property and can be the result of several potential issues from damaged damp proof courses to drains that are not working effectively. Whether you already own your home or are considering buying a new property, it’s worth getting a damp specialist to take a look and ensure that there are no serious damp issues that you will need to deal with or to make sure that you are aware of any issues that have the potential to worsen in the future if not quickly dealt with.

What Types of Damp Will Damp Proofing Specialists London Look For?

There are two main types of damp that you are likely to find on the inner walls of an affected property: rising damp and penetrating damp. Understanding the two different types of damp will help you figure out what has caused the problem in the property and what needs to be done to fix it and prevent it from reoccurring.

Rising damp is usually the result of a damp proof course failure or the absence of a damp-proof course at the property. It will typically occur in houses and is not a problem for flats that are above the ground level. Rising damp looks like damp that is rising up the wall from the ground level, hence the name. It will usually require drainage around the property to be improved, the damp proof course to be installed or repaired, and sloping of the ground around the property to drain water away from the building.

Penetrating damp is another common type of damp in UK properties due to the weather. This type of damp occurs when the water penetrates through the walls from the outside, going deep into the brickwork. This type of damp can penetrate through the internal walls if they are not protected from moisture, or it might be a result of water getting in through cracks and gaps in the wall. Good maintenance of the external wall, plus cavity wall insulation, can help to prevent this problem.

When Do You Need Damp Proofing Specialists in South London? Common Damp Causes:

Damp can be the result of several issues in the home that should be attended to and repaired as soon as possible by a damp proof specialist. If left unchecked, damp will only get worse over time and can lead to more serious issues in the home like mould, along with causing a potentially serious health hazard. Some of the most common reasons why you may need a damp proof specialist for your home include:

Damp Proofing Specialists for Older Houses:

The risk of damp in a property can vary depending on the age of the building. Older properties were built in such a way that the materials were allowed to breathe, however, this can often put them at a higher risk of damp since the air flow may also allow moisture in. On the other hand, newer houses tend to be built with damp-proofing in mind, using a system of defensive barriers throughout the construction to keep moisture at bay.

In any property, installing insulation is usually the best way to prevent damp, mould, and other moisture issues like condensation. If you are purchasing or already own an older property, however, there are several factors to keep in mind before you invest in insulation, including ensuring that there are mechanisms in place for controlling condensation and the risk of ‘sweating’ during the colder months in a building that has been sealed against moisture, which can increase damp and condensation indoors.

Damp Proofing Specialists East London for Your Damp Proof Course:

Your damp proof course is a waterproof layer that works to block the moisture from reaching the walls of your property. Issues with the damp proof course at your home is one of the common causes of rising damp in the home and can lead to serious issues with drainage or mould in the home if left unattended to. A damp proof course that is not present or no longer working effectively will usually lead to signs of rising damp on the ground floor of the home. If you have noticed damp that is present on the walls of your home just above the skirting boards, this could be the reason why. Damp proof specialists will be able to check if your damp proof course is bridged or otherwise faulty.

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Damp Proof Specialists South East London – Condensation Issues:

Damp on the internal walls of a property is most commonly caused by condensation. Condensation forms on the walls when the warm, moist air inside your room comes into contact with a colder surface like an external wall. As a result, the warm air begins to cool down, which condenses it back into water and leaves moisture on the wall. This can then lead to the formation of damp patches and, over time, can cause mould to appear on the wall. Damp specialists can help to remove any damp patches that have formed on the walls over time. Installing a humidifier in the room may also help, and you could consider repainting the walls with a damp-proof undercoat to reduce the risk of reoccurrence in the future.

Damp Proof Specialists West London – Dealing With Plumbing Problems:

When it comes to your home’s risk of damp and other moisture issues, the plumbing system has a large part to play. The plumbing in your home should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that there are no leaks that could potentially lead to damp, as internal plumbing leaks might not always be easy to spot immediately and could worsen over time, leading to further issues. If there is a leak in a hidden pipe in your home, you may not even realise what is happening or how much water is leaking over time, leading to damp and potentially mould issues. Regularly check your water pipes for any signs of corrosion and look out for other tell-tale signs of internal plumbing leaks like unexpectedly high water bills, damp patches appearing on the walls in your home suddenly, and the sound of running water in the home even when you are not running a tap.

Damp Proofing Specialists in London – Fixing Gutter Issues:

Gutters are designed to direct water away from your home and prevent damp from occurring, but in the case of gutters that are not working effectively, damp could become an issue in the property quickly. Leaking gutters are a common cause of damp because the gutters are no longer effectively directing all of the water away from the home. If you have noticed that there is water splatting from the gutters and onto the walls after rainfall, this is a sure sign that you are likely dealing with a leak, and it’s important to have it dealt with as quickly as possible as the problem will only get worse over time. Another common gutter issue is with homes that have gutters that are no longer sufficient for the amount of water they are catching. This will often be the case in older homes where the gutters that were installed at the time of building were suitable for the rainfall at the time. But with rainfall increasing in the UK over the years due to climate change, these gutters are no longer sufficient, and water will spill over the edges on to the outer walls of the home where it might lead to damp over time.

Why Work With Damp Proof Specialists:

Whether you have noticed some tell-tale signs of damp in your home, have noticed some issues that have the potential to lead to damp in the future, or are purchasing a new property and want to make sure that you are fully informed of any current and potential damp issues before you make the purchase, a damp proof specialist can help. A damp survey is worth investing in whether you are buying a new property or already own the home since it will provide you with full information on the scale of any damp problems that might not be immediately visible to the untrained eye. Using the information provided, you can make informed decisions regarding repairs and future work on the property to prevent the worsening or reoccurrence of damp. Damp proof specialists can help you reduce the risk of damp in your home particularly focusing on any higher-risk areas or areas where damp has already occurred in the past.

Damp is a common problem in UK homes due to the wet weather, so it pays to invest in the services of a damp proof specialist if you own or are considering buying a home in the UK.

Can You Get Rising Damp on Internal Walls?

Often, the internal walls are the first place that you might notice the signs of rising damp in your property. Rising damp is caused by moisture that comes up from the ground and into the internal walls of your property. It is usually prevented by a water-resistant membrane known as a damp proof course that spans the width and length of your property, but if this is not present, has failed, or moisture is getting over it in some way, then rising damp can occur. Rising damp shows up as wet patches on the internal walls or damp, rotten patches on skirting boards. Due to the nature of this damp problem, it will only usually appear on the ground floor. If you have damp around the skirting boards on the higher floors, this is unlikely to be rising damp and more likely to be another issue such as penetrating damp or a leak.

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What Does Rising Damp Look Like?

Spotting rising damp as quickly as possible is important for getting the right repair and treatment to prevent this issue from getting worse over time. When left unchecked, rising damp can lead to further issues in your home including wet rot, mould, and even structural issues depending on the severity of the damp in the walls and how much it affects the construction. With rising damp, you will usually notice it appearing on the lower internal walls of the ground floor. It might also affect the skirting boards and the edges of the floorboards with wet rot. In this case, the timber will feel damp or even soft to the touch and may have obvious visual signs of rotting. Rising damp can also cause salt deposits to appear on the walls as the moisture washes the salts out of the brick. These may occur at the same level as the rising damp or higher up, especially if you have moisture-blocking wall coverings such as vinyl wallpaper or anti-damp paint.

What Does Rising Damp Look Like on Internal Walls?

The first signs of rising damp are often visual, although you might notice a moist and musty smell in your home before anything starts to show up on your walls. Typically, this is characterised by a ‘tide line’ that appears above the skirting boards on the ground floor, with yellow or brown staining visible. There may also be black dots present if the damp has led to mould over time. Because of the capillary action that sucks moisture upwards through the tiny holes in the brick or other wall materials, the nature of rising damp means that it only reaches a certain height in your home. If you are noticing damp that gets to around one metre high on your ground floor internal walls before suddenly stopping, then it’s a major sign that you might be dealing with rising damp, as gravity is preventing the moisture from travelling upwards any further.

Causes of Rising Damp on Internal Walls – Damp Proof Course Failure

If you have noticed rising damp in your home, it’s a good idea to get a specialist out to look at it, because rising damp has several different potential causes and is often commonly misdiagnosed. Problems with the damp proof course, such as damp proof course failure, can cause rising damp in a property. It may also be the case that you live in an older property that was built before damp proof courses were mandatory and it does not have one at all. But the fact that your property has a damp proof course does not mean that it is immune to the risk of rising damp occurring. Over time, damp proof courses can become less effective and no longer as able to keep moisture from penetrating through to the brick due to age and general wear and tear. If it’s been several decades since your property’s damp proof course was installed, then it might be worth having it checked by a professional who can determine how effective it is and if it might be worth considering getting it upgraded.

What Causes Rising Damp on Internal Walls – Damp Proof Course Bridging

One of the most common causes of rising damp, especially in newer properties where you would expect the damp proof course to work effectively, is known as bridging. This occurs when there are actually no issues with the damp proof course and it is working as it should, but there is something acting as a ‘bridge’ that allows moisture to travel over the damp proof course and into the walls where it rises and leads to damp. Since the damp proof course is usually located at around six inches above the ground level, anything higher than this that is too close to the property can create a bridge for moisture to get over and bypass the damp proof course.

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For example, garden areas like patios or decking that you may have added to your property that are located higher up than the damp proof course could be causing moisture to get in above it. Or, you might have debris collecting in the cavity wall, with moisture using it as a bridge to get into the walls above the damp proof course. Another situation that might lead to this is when another damp proof course is the bridge. For example, if you live in a terraced house or a semi-detached property and the neighbours you share a wall with have their damp proof course installed higher up than yours, moisture could potentially get in above your damp proof course and lead to rising damp.

Because there are many different ways that a damp proof course can be bridged, leading to rising damp, it’s best to have your damp proof course checked by a professional to determine where the moisture is getting in, and the best course of action to take to remove the bridge. They can also check the integrity of the damp proof course itself and make sure that it is in good working condition and will continue to work effectively as expected once the bridge has been dealt with.

How to Deal With Rising Damp on Internal Walls

Rising damp on the internal walls in your home can be a nasty problem to deal with. Not only can it produce a musty smell that can be uncomfortable to live with at home, but it also looks awful and if it leads to mould, it can be dangerous to your respiratory health, especially if you have asthma or suffer with allergies. If you suspect that you have rising damp on your internal walls, then there are a few steps to follow when it comes to dealing with the problem.

The first thing to do is get a specialist to look at the problem and inspect your damp proof course to make sure that it is actually rising damp. Often, penetrating damp occurring on the ground floor of a property close to the ground level can be mistaken for rising damp, so be sure that you know exactly what the root of the problem is before you pay any money to have it repaired.

A new damp proof course will need to be installed if there is not one present or if your current damp proof course is damaged and no longer serving its intended purpose. This is carried out by a damp specialist who will inject the brick with a special water-resistant chemical substance to create the new damp-proof course. If your issues are caused by an adjoining neighbour’s damp proof course being at a different level to yours, then this might be the best way to change your damp proof course so that the two are at the same level to solve any problems it has been causing.

If your damp proof course is present and intact, then bridging is the likely culprit. A damp specialist can inspect for any signs of bridging and figure out where exactly the moisture is getting over your damp proof course and into the walls. Removing a bridge is a job that can vary in cost and time depending on the source of the bridge. If you have debris causing a blockage in the cavity wall, for example, then this might involve knocking through into the cavity wall to remove it. On the other hand, if you have a patio or decking that is higher up than the damp proof course, then you might have to rip it out and start again. The same goes for any structures that are close to the exterior of your home and are bridging the damp proof course. Sometimes it might be as simple as relocating a shed, for example, but in other cases, you may need to be prepared for a larger job to remove the cause of the issue.

Rising damp will usually show up on your internal walls as patches of damp, discolouration, and salt deposits. It occurs on the ground floor and does not usually exceed around one metre high.

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