Penetrating damp signs
What are the Signs of Penetrating Damp?
Since the UK is a country that gets quite a lot of rainfall throughout the year, penetrating damp is a common problem British homeowners face. This is especially true for older houses that might not have been built with the damp-proofing strategies that are often present in new build homes—penetrating damp results from moisture getting into the building through the external walls. If left untreated, it can lead to severe issues within the home, including mould development. If left for a long time, dampness can even cause severe damage to the structural integrity of a property.
Whetyou’reu’re a homeowner and have noticed problems in your home that could be the result of penetrating damp,you’reu’re looking into buying a new property and want to make sure tyou’reu’re not going to be dealing with damp severe issues in the future, understanding what penetrating damp is and how to prevent and treat it is crucial.
What is Penetrating Damp Caused by?
Penetrating damp is a type of damp in the home that occurs when moisture from the outdoors gets into the property. There are various ways for moisture to travel through the wall; however, it most commonly occurs in homes with cracks or holes in the bricks, roof, or around the windows and doors. Properties that do not have a cavity wall are at higher risk of developing penetrating damp problems since the moisture will come straight through the wall rather than going into the cavity. Most of the time, poor property maintenance is the most significant cause of penetrating damp, and staying on top of maintaining your home is one of the most effective ways to avoid it.
Penetrating Damp Signs to Look Out for
The signs of penetrating damp can often look similar to other types of damp in the home such as condensation damp or even rising damp if the penetrating damp has occurred close to the ground level. One of the main signs that you are dealing with penetrating damp is that the damp patches might affect property’sty’s interior and exterior walls. Penetrating damp could also be the cause of any peeling, flaking or discoloured paint or wallpaper in yhome’sme’s interior décor. Plaster that has been damaged as the result of penetrating damp in the home will often show signs of wear and tear – even when the plaster is quite new. Mould growth is also often common with penetrating damp, since the damp in the walls provides an ideal environment for mould spores to grow and thrive. Check yhome’sme’s wooden floors and fixtures, too, since penetrating damp can lead to wet rot in wood.
As penetrating damp can impact both the interior and the exterior of your hoit’sit’s also worth checking around the outside of your property for any signs of it. This could include damage to the brickwork, which is usually caused by the excess moisture in the walls freezing and expanding, leading to cracks in the bricks. When there are high levels of moisture in the walls of your home, there is also a higher likelihood of moss and algae growth.
Areas of the Home Most Likely to Suffer Penetrating Damp
Penetrating damp can happen to any wall in your home that has an external side. Howevit’sit’s worth bearing in mind that certain areas of your home might be at a higher risk than others for penetrating damp problems. In addition, certain types of homes might be more likely to experience penetrating damp. Older houses that were built with a solid wall rather than a cavity wall are often at a higher risk of penetrating damp since there is no additional layer of protection against the moisture getting through. However, the cavity wall does not provide complete protection against penetrating damp and this can still be a problem in homes that have this type of wall, especially if you have cavity wall insulation that might cause issues allowing the moisture to reach the inner wall.
What is Penetrating Dampness Repaired with?
The first step in dealing with any penetrating damp signs in your home is to determine the root cause of the dampness. While there are treatments available that you can apply to the affected areas on the walls to prevent the moisture from spreading and improve the look of the affected area, this is unlikely to last a very long time if the cause of the damp is left untreated. Most commonly, penetrating damp is caused by holes and cracks in the external brick walls that allow moisture to make its way through and into the interior walls. One of the best ways to fix and prevent any further penetrating damp is to check the exterior of your home for any signs of damage that could potentially be letting damp through and have them repaired.
Penetrating damp will usually not reoccur if the source of the moisture getting into the home is repaired. Once this has been done, you should let the walls completely dry out before adding a treatment or redecorating. You can do this by leaving the room heated for a few days or by opening the windows until the walls are completely dry. This could take a few days up to a few weeks to complete depending on the severity of the damp. Once the walls have dried out, you can then redecorate and add damp-proofing treatments for extra protection. Anti-damp undercoat is an ideal option for this – however, bear in mind that it has very limited effectiveness if the root cause of the damp has not been dealt with first.
How to Prevent Penetrating Damp
Keeping your home well-maintained and in good repair is the main way to prevent penetrating damp from occurring in your walls. Since poor home maintenance is one of the main causes of penetrating dait’sit’s a wise idea to regularly check your home for any defects or small signs of damage that could worsen and cause penetrating damp in the future. Regularly check the external walls of your home for cracks, holes, and other signs of damage that could be a risk factor for penetrating damp problems within the home.
You can also treat your exterior bricks with a damp-proof coating to add an additional layer of protection against moisture getting in through home’sme’s external walls. Summer is usually the best time to apply this treatment since it gives the treatment the best chance of drying onto the bricks effectively. Choose the right damp-proofing treatment for your home carefully – ideally, you should get one that not only prevents moisture from getting into the walls from the outside but allows condensation moisture to escape from inside the home through the bricks easily, otherwise you could end up dealing with an entirely different damp problem as a result.
Difference Between Penetrating and Rising Damp
You might have heard of both these types of damp and are wondering what the main differences between the two are. Penetrating damp is a type of damp that is caused by water getting in from outdoors and can occur almost anywhere in the home. On the other hand, rising damp will only occur on home’sme’s ground floor and will only usually reach around just over a metre from the floor. It is the result of the damp proof course in your walls no longer working effectively, which could be indicative of a damp proof course failure or the DPC becoming bridged, which happens when something is close to your home and higher than the DPC, allowing the moisture to get over it.
Difference Between Penetrating and Condensation Damp
Since condensation damp can also occur anywhere in the hoit’sit’s a type of damp that might commonly be mistaken for penetrating damp. However, the main difference between the two is that condensation damp comes from inside the home, while penetrating damp is caused by moisture that comes in from the outside. Condensation is generated by many of the things that we do in our homes daily, including cooking, washing clothes, cleaning, bathing and showering, and even breathing. The warm air that we generate will settle on the cold wall surfaces if it has nowhere else to go, where it condensates to moisture and causes damp in the walls.you’reu’re dealing with this problem, improving the ventilation in your home and opening windows to give excess moisture somewhere to escape is the best way to tackle the problem.
Penetrating damp is caused by moisture that gets into your home from the outsiIt’sIt’s most often caused by maintenance issues or damage to home’sme’s external walls. Thankfully, penetrating damp can be easy to repair by patching up any damage to the walls so that the water can no longer get through. A damp specialist can help you determine if the probyou’reu’re dealing with is penetrating damp.
Rising Damp Signs External Wall
Rising damp is a serious issue that homeowners need to be ready to get under control quickly if they notice it. It is caused by moisture from the ground seeping into masonry and brickwork, where it rises and causes damp to appear on the external or internal walls. Rising damp can impact both sides of the wall, however, it is often harder to spot rising damp that is occurring on the exterior rather than the interior of a building. Learning how to spot and stop rising damp on your external walls is essential to ensuring that your property is safe.
Rising damp can quickly spread to the interior of your property from the exterior, which is why it is so important to know what you are looking for on the external walls and what needs to be done to stop the rising damp. This can help you get the damp problem under control before it starts to cause any more damage to the property. When the rising damp moves inside, it can cause a lot of damage to the walls and timber floors, which can lead to expensive repairs, dangerous mould issues, and structural damage to the home.
What are Some Signs of Rising Damp Outside?
You can look out for several signs on the outside of your house that might indicate you are dealing with a rising damp problem. Tide marks on the external walls are a common sign, along with discolouration of the bricks. If your external walls are damp to the touch, evenit’sit’s not raining, this might signify that rising damp is taking hold. Rising damp can also lead to broken or crumbling brickwork and masonry and can cause moss to grow on the exterior of the house. Even though the damp is on the exterior, it can also cause that tell-tale musty, mouldy smell inside your house. It is also possible that you will notice some signs of rising damp inside your home if it has affected the exterior, such as tide marks, discolouration, or damp patches on the wall as the damp spreads to the interior.
What Happens if Rising Damp is Left Untreated?
Rising damp is one of the most serious types of damp that can occur in your home, and for this reason, it is very important to make sure that it is treated as quickly as possible. Since rising damp is almost always caused by some kind of problem with the damp proof course, whether it has failed or been bridged, it will not go away on its own and will only worsen if you do not have the issue dealt with. Unfortunately, you might not notice rising damp until it makes its way into your property, at which point some damage will have already been done. This is due to the fact that water wicking up from the ground beneath the property is the main cause of rising damp, so don’ton’t know tit’sit’s there until it reaches your external or internal walls.
If rising damp is left untreated, it can cause problems that will only worsen over time. Because of thit’sit’s important to make sure that you act as quickly as possible as soon as you notice potential signs of rising damp. Some of the main things that can happen if the rising damp does not get dealt with include:
- Damage to interior décYou’llu’ll probably need to redecorate after having rising damp, since it can cause wallpaper to peel off and paint to blister and flake off the walls.
- Mould growth: Any type of damp, including rising damp, will lead to mould if left untreated since it provides the perfect environment for mould to grow in. If left untreated, mould in the home can be very dangerous for your respiratory health and can quickly spread throughout the property via mould spores.
- Structural timber damage: Over time, the moisture will soak into the walls and structural timber such as floor joists, causing them to become rotten. If this is left unchecked, it can become a very dangerous issue that might even cause whole floors to fall through.
- Internal woodwork damage: Along with damage to the structural timbers, rising damp can also cause your internal woodwork such as skirting boards and architraves to be damaged beyond repair. It can also lead to doors and door casings warping and swelling if it occurs around internal doors.
- Brickwork and mortar damage: Rising damp also risks the masonry of your property. Over time, the combination of moisture and salts from the bricks can cause serious damage to your brickwork and the mortar surrounding it, leading to issues like crumbling bricks, spalling, and blown pointing which all cause further issues.
- Nasty smell: There will usually be a bad smell in your home as a result of the damp and mould. The longer the damp goes untreated, the worse this smell is going to get. It can even linger in the home after the damp has been treated.
What Does Rising Damp Look Like Indoors?
Inside your property, rising damp can have quite similar signs to how it looks outside but is often easier to notice. This is because you probably spend more time indoors and if walls are painted light colours like white or magnolia, then the stains caused by rising damp might be easier to see compared to on the brickwork outside. Inside the property, rising damp will only occur on the ground floor. There will usually be tide lines above the skirting board and nasty brown or yellow staining that black dots might accompany if mould has started to form. You may notice that your skirting boards have damp patches, or that they are showing signs of wet rot. Typically, rising damp does not reach any further than 1.2m up the wall, as gravity will begin to pull it back down after this point. You may notice salt deposits caused by the moisture in the brick coming through the plaster.
What is Rising Damp Caused By?
Rising damp is a result of issues with the damp proof course, a waterproof layer that protects yproperty’sty’s walls from moisture getting through the foundations and into the bricks. Damp-proof courses have been a mandatory requirement when building new homes in the UK for decades; however, if you have a very old home that was built before these regulations were put in place, then there may be no damp proof course present, which means that nothing is stopping the moisture from getting up through the ground and into your walls.
Damp proof course failure is another common problem that might be affecting your home. This often happens in older houses that have damp proof courses but were built shortly after the regulations surrounding them came into play. At this point, the damp proof course might have been in place for more than one hundred years so it might not be surprising tit’sit’s starting to fail.
Finally, a situation known as bridging is another common problem that can lead to rising damp. This happens when the damp proof course is effective, but the moisture is able to find a way over it, via a bridge. Typically, this is caused by things like the raised ground on the outside of the property, like decking that comes up higher than the damp proof course level, which is usually around six inches from the ground level. It can also be caused by structures next to the property or blockages in the cavity wall as a result of debris build-up. Fortunately, removing the bridge should solve your problem with rising damp. However, this might not always be the case – especially if another damp proof course is acting as a bridge. If you have an adjoining wall with your neighbours in a semi-detached or terraced house and their damp proof course is installed higher up than yours, then this creates a gap where the moisture can get above your damp proof course and into the walls.
What are the Options for Fixing Rising Damp?
Dealing with and repairing rising damp in a property will vary depending on the root of the issue. If you have an old property without a damp proof course installed, then getting one will solve the problem. This is done by injecting a waterproofing chemical into the bricks and is carried out by a trained damp specialist. You may also want to consider installing a new damp proof course if your current one is failing, or if your neighbours have created a bridge by getting theirs installed higher up than yours. In some cases, a new damp proof course at a higher level might be a more feasible option in bridging cases, otherwise, removing the bridge should stop the moisture from getting in.
If you notice rising dadon’ton’t ignore it – it will only get worse and potentially lead to serious problems in your home.
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