Different Ways to Tackle Damp in a Property
Due to the often wet weather throughout the UK, damp is a common occurrence in UK homes. Damp is caused by excess moisture in the property and can lead to serious health hazards or structural issues in the property if left untreated over time. Whether you already own a property with damp problems or are looking into purchasing a new home and want to ensure that you are not plagued with damp issues in the future, it’s important to understand the different types of damp that can affect a home, what causes them, and what you can do to repair the problem and prevent it from reoccurring in the future.
London Damp Solutions – What are the Types of Damp to Look Out For?
Damp is a problem that is caused by excess moisture in certain areas of the home, but it can happen in different ways, which leads to three different types of damp that are commonly found in affected UK properties. The main types of damp to look out for if you are buying a home or want to make sure that you are aware of damp issues in your current property include:
Condensation occurs when warm air from inside comes into contact with colder surfaces like walls and windows, and it can happen anywhere in the home. However, it is typically more likely to occur in rooms of the home where there is more moisture present such as kitchens, bathrooms, wet rooms, and utility rooms.
Since new homes are built with a new damp proof course, this type of damp is usually more commonly seen in older properties. Rising damp will penetrate through a damaged or bridged damp proof course or may occur where there is no damp proof course present. The damp travels through and up the walls due to the porous bricks that allow moisture to pass through. This type of damp will start at the ground level and slowly rise upwards. It usually appears around the skirting boards on the ground floor of the property.
Penetrating damp is a type of damp that will occur in the property when moisture is able to make its way inside from the outdoors. This might be through porous bricks that have not been sealed against moisture or where there is no cavity wall insulation present in the home, which can increase the risk of penetrating damp. Leaks in the roof, gaps, cracks, and other openings in the roof or walls can also lead to penetrating damp, along with windows that are not correctly sealed. In most cases, penetrating damp is a result of poor property maintenance.
What Causes Damp in Houses?
Often, dealing with damp in the property will involve understanding why it has occurred so that you can repair the root of the problem. There are many different reasons why damp could occur in your home, but it is always due to an excess of moisture in some way. Rain penetration through the walls and condensation inside the home are some very common causes of damp in the UK, however, there are several further issues that can lead to this problem including:
Damp Proof Course Problems:
If you’re in a house or a ground floor flat and there is damp that does not go much further than just above the skirting boards, this is an issue known as rising damp and is most commonly caused by problems with the damp proof course, which is a waterproof layer put in place to prevent moisture from reaching the walls of your home. A damp proof course that has been bridged or is otherwise faulty is likely to lead to this problem. Bridging of the damp proof course could be due to something new in the area like a flower bed or patios that could lead to an excess amount of soil. In some cases, removing the new feature or lowering the ground level will fix this issue.
Leaks in the home can often be of the major causes of damp and issues like mould and wet rot. Damp that has occurred as the result of a leak in the home will usually be contained in one area of the wall or ceiling, making it easy for you to determine where it is coming from. Leaks in the internal plumbing system of your home might not always be immediately noticeable, so if you have noticed a damp patch on the wall or ceiling that does not appear to be coming from an obvious source, it’s worth checking to see if there are any corroded or faulty pipes and joints in the area that could be the cause. Leaks in the gutters, drains and downpipes in your home can also lead to damp, so make sure that they are not blocked and backed up – the most common cause.
Despite the wet weather in the UK, you might be surprised to hear that many causes of damp in the home don’t actually begin outdoors. In fact, condensation has been the leading cause of damp in homes around the UK for the past twenty years. Condensation is an issue that will occur when the water that we generate from everyday living activities like cooking, washing, boiling the kettle, and even breathing becomes trapped inside the property. These activities produce a lot of warm, moist air, which will turn into condensation when it comes into contact with colder surfaces of the internal walls of the home. Using a dehumidifier, consistent home heating and good ventilation is necessary for preventing condensation damp problems.
Do You Need Damp Solutions? How to Spot Damp Issues in the Home:
If your property has a problem with damp, the smell will often be one of the first signs of the problem that you will notice. Serious damp issues tend to have a very distinctive, earthy and musty smell that is hard to miss. However, the smell will usually only develop when the damp is quite serious and might not be noticeable for small patches of damp in the home. Thankfully, a visual inspection of the area is usually all that you will need to determine if there is damp affecting it or not. Dark spots on the walls are a big sign of damp, along with yellowish stains and other signs of discolouration. Paint or wallpaper on the walls might become cracked or crinkled as a result of the moisture. If you are not sure whether or not the home has a damp problem or want to ensure that you are aware of all occurrences of damp within the property even when they are not immediately obvious, it’s worth investing in a damp survey or inspection.
Damp Solutions London – How to Tackle the Damp in Your Home?
The first step to tackling and solving the damp problems in your home is to identify the damp that you are dealing with, since different types of damp will require different forms of treatment and repairs. Rising damp is often caused by issues with the damp proof course, for example, while penetrating damp might mean that there is maintenance to be done on the roof, windows, and external walls of the property. A dehumidifier and anti-damp paint can help if you are dealing with condensation problems.
It’s important to bear in mind that damp is not a problem that is likely to go away over time. In fact, damp will worsen the longer you leave it, which is why it’s so important to treat any damp problems that you find in your home quickly. Damp proof specialists can help you tackle any damp in your home by first carrying out a thorough inspection to identify any high-risk areas or areas where damp is already present and recommending the best next steps to take to rid your home of damp and prevent it from developing again in the future.
Cleaning the Affected Area:
Once you have identified damp, you’ll need to clean the area before you can repair the damage. You can do this using soapy water or an anti-mould cleaning solution. Allow the area to completely dry out before painting or wallpapering; bear in mind that this could take a few weeks. Keeping the room warm can help. Once the area is clean and dry, you may need to sand it to achieve a flat finish.
Once you’ve prepared the affected area, it is worth using a damp seal undercoat on it first before you paint or wallpaper over it. You can get damp seal undercoat paint from any good hardware or DIY store and you can simply apply it with a brush or roller. This will seal the affected area and help to prevent any future damp issues on the surface.
Damp can be caused by several issues in the home and needs to be tacked quickly. The good news is that most cases of damp can easily be dealt with in a home. Call a professional if you’re dealing with heavy damp or the damp keeps reoccurring in the same spot.
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