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Are There Damp Patches on Your Interior Walls?

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Are There Damp Patches on Your Interior Walls?

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Apr 18, 2024

If you have recently found damp patches on the interior walls of your home, you need to identify the cause and act as quickly as possible to avoid facing expensive repair bills or risk to your health from mould and poor air quality.

There are multiple factors that can cause damp in your home, and depending on what the root of the problem is, you will need to take different steps to prevent things from getting worst and resolve the issues once and for all.

The different types of damp

There are a variety of different kinds of damp that affect homes, and they have slightly different causes:

Rising damp

Rising Damp occurs when moisture is drawn up into walls from the ground. It is quite easy to spot because it forms on the lower parts of walls, rising to around 1.2 metres above ground level and forms a characteristic stain. This type of damp results from a failure or lack of a damp proof course around the lower levels of the walls that acts as a moisture barrier or material being piled up around the outside walls of the home to enable moisture to reach the otherwise protected layers of bricks.

Rising damp needs to be treated through improving the drainage of a site and by adding of a damp course layer into affected walls above ground level. This type of work can be extremely expensive to carry out but is essential in protecting the fabric of the building for the long term.

Penetrating damp

Penetrating Damp is a result of moisture soaking through a wall from a source of water either outside or inside the building. It might be a leaking pipe, broken guttering or water entering through a gap 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.

Removing the source of penetrating damp by fixing the cause of the issue – whether this is repairing indoor pipework, adding waterproofing around a window, or fixing broken guttering or holes in your roof. Regular maintenance to exterior walls through re-pointing may also be required.

Condensation damp

Condensation damp is one of the most common types of damp in the UK and is due to high levels of moisture in the air inside a building. In most homes, this moisture comes from activities such as cooking, bathing, drying clothes indoors and even breathing. It is formed when condensation soaks 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 to resolve the problem you will need 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.

Treating condensation damp

Condensation damp can be mitigated by both preventative measures and improved airflow.

Simple actions such as closing kitchen and bathroom doors when in use, using pan lids when cooking, and avoiding drying clothes indoors or on radiators will reduce the amount of moisture being released into the air. This will reduce the humidity levels, but if you find problems in multiple rooms, taking steps to improve your whole house ventilation is needed.

Ensuring that the extractor fans in your wet rooms work 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.

Find out more

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.

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