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Preventing Damp Problems in the Home

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Preventing Damp Problems in the Home

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Feb 25, 2021

Damp can come in multiple forms and is one of the most common problems to affect homes in the UK – around 1 in 5 properties suffer from damp issues.  Left untreated it can cause unsightly mould to grow that affects the health of residents, and it can also lead to damage to wooden fixtures such as doors and window frames as well as causing plaster on your walls to crack and flake.

If you have a damp problem in your home – even if it just a tiny lingering wet patch on a ceiling or window it is a good idea to get it checked out to prevent the problem getting worse.  A small damp area can quickly develop into a large patch of mould and attract dust mites which in turn can trigger asthma and other allergies.  Untreated, damp will be depressing to look at, but it can cause serious health issues.

There are three different causes of damp which need to be treated differently.

Penetrating Damp

As its name suggests, penetrating damp is caused when water penetrates your home through walls, ceilings, or floors from outdoors.  This may be caused by faulty joints in window frames, defective guttering, and broken roofing tiles, 

Penetrating damp can develop quickly if a gutter or roof tile breaks, and you will often find it worse during wet weather.  You will need usually need to speak to a specialist who can remedy the problem by repairing the issue in your home, but you will also need to take action to treat any effects of the damp such as mould.

Rising Damp

Rising damp is caused by moisture rising through your walls due to capillary action in the bricks and cement that make up your external walls.  It is often found in older homes where there is no damp course installed in the walls, but it can also occur in floors.  You can usually identify rising damp due to it only appearing in the lower parts of your walls – gravity prevents it rising more than about 4 feet above ground level.

Walls affected by rising damp will often have problems with peeling wallpaper and crumbling plaster or rotting skirting boards.  The areas of walls will usually have a clear tide mark at the height that the damp has affected and will often contain mould.

You will need to consult with an expert to deal with rising damp – it often requires specialist work to be carried out on your home to address the issues and apply preventative measures.  It is not a DIY project.

Condensation Damp

Damp due by condensation is different to the other types as it is due to moisture from inside rather than outside your home.

Cooking, cleaning, and appliances such as kettles and washing machines all release moisture into the air and increase the humidity around your home.  When warm, humid air encounters colder surfaces such as windows or exterior walls, the moisture is released and forms condensation patches.

If these are left to stand for long periods, the surface water can soak into the fabric of the wall or ceiling and create an environment that is attractive to mould and dust mites.  You may find patches of black mould or mildew in areas of the home where there is poor airflow – such as behind wardrobes that are positioned against external walls.

Mould caused by condensation is a serious issue for your health and your home and needs to be addressed quickly.  Improving airflow through the house by installing automatic extractor fans in your kitchen and bathrooms draws moist air out of your property which prevents the condensation from forming.

If you have issues with condensation damp in your home such as mould on walls, EnviroVent can help.  We offer a free survey to identify the causes of condensation damp in your home and can provide advice and a range of products that treat the problem forever.  Contact us today to speak to a local specialist.

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

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