If you have recently discovered damp patches on your interior walls, you might be worried about the cause. Damp can be a major problem in houses and ultimately lead to expensive repair bills or allow the growth of mould that is damaging to health.
Damp can be caused by many different things and depending on what the root of the problem is, you may need to take different steps in order to prevent things getting worst and to resolve the issues altogether.
There are several different types of damp that can affect buildings, and these are caused in different ways:
This is where moisture is being drawn up into walls from the ground. Rising damp is relatively easy to spot, as it will typically form on the lower parts of walls, rising to around 1 metre above the ground and forming a clear stain. Rising Damp is caused by a failure or lack of a damp proof course around the lower levels of the walls that acts as a moisture barrier.
Rising damp needs to be treated through improving the drainage of a site and through the addition of a damp course into any walls above ground level. This can be extremely expensive to carry out but is essential in protecting the fabric of the building.
Penetrating Damp forms as a result of moisture soaking through a wall from a source of water either outside or inside the building. This might be due to a leaking pipe, broken guttering or water entering around a window frame. Penetrating damp can usually be identified based on the source of the moisture ingress and will form patches or stains around that source.
Penetrating damp is resolved by fixing the cause of the issue – whether this is repairing indoor pipework, adding waterproofing around a window, or fixing broken guttering. Regular maintenance to exterior walls through re-pointing is also required.
Condensation damp is caused by moisture within the building – usually from cooking and bathing or drying clothes indoors. It is formed when condensation is able to soak into porous surfaces such as plaster or wood. Like other types of damp, condensation damp will often lead to the development of mould on walls and ceilings.
Condensation damp forms because moisture is building up inside a property, and in order to resolve the problem it is necessary to find ways to allow the moisture to escape. This is made more difficult by the construction of buildings which use various barriers and seals to maintain energy efficiency through avoiding heat loss.
Condensation damp can be mitigated through a combination of preventative measures and improved airflow. Ensuring that kitchen and bathroom doors are closed when in use, and that extractor fans are used properly will help minimise the amount of moisture that can escape into the rest of your home, but in order to allow the moist air to escape, improved ventilation is required.
Ensuring that the extractor fans in your wet rooms are working properly and replacing them if necessary is a simple first step and will make a big difference to the amount of condensation damp that can form.
In some cases, it is better to fit a whole house solution such as a Positive Input Ventilation system (PIV). This uses a central point to bring fresh air into the building that can displace any humid air and prevent condensation from being able to form.
By speaking to a ventilation specialist, you can find out what the best solution for your condensation damp problem is.
If you are concerned about damp in your home and want to find out more about how improving ventilation can help reduce condensation as a cause, please contact us today. We can arrange a survey of your property and provide advice about what kind of ventilation will help.
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.
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