How To Get Rid of Damp?

How To Get Rid of Damp? 

How to get rid of damp? It’s a question many homeowners ask, and a common problem that can often need professional help to deal with.  

Damp can often feel like it’s pervading a home, because as well as attacking décor, furniture and more seriously the walls and plaster it can sometimes do serious damage to the structural integrity of a building. As well as looking unsightly and smelling bad, there are significant risks to health from a damp atmosphere caused by airborne mould spores.  

There are a few different types of damp and these need to be identified and treated appropriately. Hiring a professional property repair company to loo at this issue is often the best course of action. They can undertake proper damp surveys to assess the severity of the situation and provide advice on the best course of action to treat these issues.  

The Different Types of Damp 

There are three main types of damp and different ways of fixing them or dealing with them. Typically, you will find it in the following forms: 

  • Condensation 
  • Penetrating Damp 
  • Rising Damp 

 1. Condensation 

The air in our homes will always contain some water vapour from  general every day tasks such as: 

  • Cooking 
  • Washing 
  • Drying clothes 

If the weather is cold, then the warmer air in your home will travel to colder rooms or spaces. The excess water vapour will then end up on surfaces that are impermeable such as windows or sometimes walls. This build up is called condensation. It can also occur in places like  

  • Furniture 
  • Blocked up fireplaces 
  • Underneath laminate flooring 
How do you know if you have condensation? 

If you have any of the following issues, your home may have condensation: 

  • Steamed up windows or perhaps puddles on the window sills 
  • Walls that are damp to the touch 
  • Damp wallpaper that peels off 
  • Black spots of mould on walls and ceilings 
  • Musty smell  

Stopping condensation is possible by making sure you have decent ventilation and well-regulated heating in your home. There are some other steps you can take to prevent it: 

  • Better ventilation. Making sure you open windows to allow air to circulate or making sure that windows are cross ventilated at opposite sides of the house. Bathroom or kitchen extractor fans will both help with this, too.  
  • Keep the doors shut in bathrooms and kitchens to stop moisture spreading throughout your home. 
  • Keep heating regulated and keep it on constantly, so there are no rapid alterations in temperature.   
  • Keep moisture levels to a minimum by putting lids on pans when cooking, running cold water before hot water when taking a bath, drying clothes outdoors or in a room with an extractor fan, open window or dehumidifier.  

 2. Penetrating Damp 

This is a problem that occurs when water from the outside penetrates the building substrate. It may happen if there are: 

  • Faulty joints 
  • Doors and windows that aren’t installed correctly 
  • External render that has failed 
  • Blocked or damaged guttering 
  • Leaking downpipes 
  • Faulty roofing  

This is a problem is usually seen in older properties, though not exclusively so. It can be exacerbated by rainfall or other severe weather conditions.  

Penetrating damp can cause a range of serious issues to the structure of your building. For instance, it can cause: 

  • Corrosion of wall ties 
  • Rotting of timber lintels and floor joists  
  • Masonry can be affected by frozen water ingress 
How do you know if you have Penetrating Damp? 

Your home may be suffering from penetrating damp if you can identify any of the following symptoms: 

  • Damp and/or blotchy stains on plaster work 
  • Cracks or holes in any mortar joints, on renders and on masonry surfaces 
  • Wet patches which are worse after rain or extreme weather 

It’s imperative to find the cause of the damp and then look at what might have caused it. It could be down to faulty gutters, or downpipes, or any other number of reasons. Once this has been identified, get in touch with a property expert who can help you to diagnose and repair any problems.  

Check your home or property for any of the following: 

  • Roof space – look for signs of a leak such as wet timbers 
  • Gutters and downpipes – check for leaks, loose joints etc 
  • Walls – check the pointing, etc 
  • Window frames and doors –  check for gaps 
  • Flashing issues – where the roof of the wall meets the chimney 

 3. Rising Damp 

Rising damp is when ground water moves up through a wall. Most walls allow some water in, but it’s usually stopped from causing damage by a barrier called a damp-proof course. This is usually a horizontal plastic or slate strip in the wall. 

Most properties have a damp proof course which is a barrier normally made from plastic, bitumen or slate. It is installed when the wall is built and is designed to block moisture at a low level and prevent the occurrence of rising damp. If this is missing or ineffective, your wall may suffer from rising damp. Rising damp can also occur when the level of the ground outside your home is higher than your damp-proof course, allowing water to bridge the damp proof course and cause rising damp. 

How do you know if you have Rising Damp? 

If you can identify any of the following symptoms, you may have an issue with rising damp 

  • Tide marks on your wall, often caused by a line of white salts formed after evaporation of ground water 
  • White fluffy salt deposits on walls 
  • Damp on lower half of your walls 
  • Damage to skirting boards 
  • Crumbling or blown plaster 
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper 
  • Musty, damp smell  

To deal with this issue, you need to ensure you have undertaken a damp survey that your home’s damp proof course is effective.  

A professional damp specialist will be able to carry out both of these for you and advise on any treatments, or further course of action to be taken in order to deal with this issue.  

How Can Property Damage UK Help? 

Property Damage UK know that damp can cause many problems. We’d be more than happy to talk to you about any concerns or problems you might have in your home, or property, relating to damp.  

We can offer completely impartial advice damp proofing surveys and solutions Contact us now for more information.

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