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Diagnosing Damp Problems in Your Home

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Diagnosing Damp Problems in Your Home

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Feb 25, 2021

It is a worrying statistic for homeowners that 1 in 5 UK homes has problems with damp and knowing what to do to prevent long term damage to your health or property is essential.

Preventing and treating problems with damp usually requires a specialist, but it is vitally important to know what type of damp you have so that you can take the right action.

There are three main types of damp that can affect homes, and the treatment path for them is different.  The main damp types are:

  • Condensation Damp – caused by condensation from inside your home settling on cold surfaces.
  • Rising Damp – caused by water from the ground being drawn up into the walls.
  • Penetrating Damp – caused by water from outside sources leaking in or soaking through walls.

Damp will usually affect walls and is often identified when mould starts to develop or the plaster in the wall starts to crumble.

Rising Damp is a serious problem as it can directly affect the structure of your home and may require building work to resolve it by installing a damp course layer in external brickwork and replacing plaster and any affected woodwork.  Rising Damp will normally be restricted to the ground floor of your home – gravity prevents liquid from rising more than about 1.2 metres above ground level, so you might notice a “tide mark” on the wall.  If the plaster has become saturated, you may notice that wallpaper has started to detach from the wall, particularly at floor level.  Skirting boards may start to rot and come loose from the walls.  You may also notice that nails and screws in any woodwork are rusting – this may show through the paint.

Penetrating damp can be found anywhere in the home.  It may have a straightforward cause such as an overflowing gutter forcing water down a wall, or a broken pipe.  It will usually be isolated to specific areas where the liquid is present such as around windows or close to your roof.  You may notice rust-coloured patches in the ceiling if water is leaking from internal pipework.  Because there are so many potential sources for penetrating damp, the amount of work required to fix the problem can vary and may require a builder to re-point a wall or fix the roof.

The most common type of damp – and the one that EnviroVent can help with is Condensation Damp.  This is where condensation from the air soaks into walls and ceilings to create patches of damp where mould can grow.  Condensation Damp is unsightly and the mould that it causes can lead to health problems.

This type of damp originates from the humidity in the air of the home.  Water is released into the air from activities including cooking and bathing, and unless there is good circulation of air, it has a chance to condense on walls or ceilings.  There are simple things you can do to reduce the amount of condensation in your home such as ensuring that you use lids when cooking on the stove, avoiding drying your washing indoors and closing the bathroom door when you shower.  To prevent condensation though, you will need to improve the ventilation in your home.

If you are experiencing problems with damp and want help, arrange a free survey with one of our local specialists who will be able to advise you about the right solution for your needs.

Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.

During the free survey we will

  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

Arrange a FREE Home Survey now