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What are The Differences Between Rising Damp and Condensation

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What are The Differences Between Rising Damp and Condensation

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Jan 11, 2022

While different forms of damp may seem similar in your house, knowing how to distinguish between them is critical if you want to solve the problem.

The Main Types of Damp

In a residence, there are two primary types of damp:

  • Internally caused damp from Condensation released inside the property
  • Externally caused damp from water outside entering the property from outside

Rising damp from the earth, rainfall leaks, inadequate drainage, or faulty plumbing are examples of external sources of damp.  The humidity in your house from cooking, bathing, and breathing causes condensation moist.  Condensation damp is typically worsened by chilly weather because airborne humidity is more likely to condense on walls and windows when temperatures are lower.  Other forms of damp, such as rising damp, are more likely to worsen in rainy weather.

By looking at it, you can usually identify what's generating the wetness.  Other forms of moisture cause a stain mark to emerge on walls, ceilings, or floors, whereas condensation tends to produce patches of mould with soft edges.

Why is Damp a Problem?

Damp in your house can cause a multitude of issues that must be addressed as soon as feasible.  Long-term damp difficulties may lead to the decay of window frames, flooring, and skirting boards, as well as the flaking of plaster off walls.  In the near term, moisture promotes the expansion of home dust mite populations by causing mould.  Both mould and dust mites can exacerbate allergies and respiratory illnesses.

What Are the Causes of Rising Damp?

The entrance of water from the ground into the walls of your home causes rising damp.  A damp course layer - a plastic barrier in the walls – is used in modern constructions to prevent bricks from pulling water up from moist ground.  The capillary action of tiny spaces within bricks and cement, in the absence of a damp course, pulls water from the ground like a sponge and keeps it in the structure of the building material.

Rising damp can only ascend around 1.2 metres above the ground before gravity prohibits it from going any higher.  This limit on how high the damp may climb typically results in a distinct damp stain on the inner walls of your home.

Mould spores can take root in the moist material in an afflicted wall, resulting in the formation of mildew or the potentially hazardous black Stachybotrys Chartarum mould.  This must be dealt with as soon as possible since it poses a serious health risk.

Condensation Damp

Condensation occurs when humid air comes into contact with cold surfaces such as walls and windows.  The quantity of moisture that the air can contain decreases as the temperature lowers, and small droplets of water develop on the surface.

The air in your home will always have some level of humidity, but the production of water vapour from cooking, bathing, and showering, as well as respiration, adds to it.  If condensation is left to linger on your walls for an extended amount of time, it can penetrate through paint and into the plasterwork where it causes damp and creates an environment where mould can quickly grow.

Condensation Reduction Techniques

Condensation damp is extremely avoidable, and there are instant actions you can do to lower your risk.

  • Close the kitchen and bathroom doors while in use
  • When cooking, use extractor fans and pan covers
  • When showering or bathing, use an extractor fan
  • Dry your clothing outside
  • During warmer weather, keep windows open
  • Avoid overcrowding your closets and cupboards
  • Position furniture at least 2 inches away from exterior walls

If your property is plagued by chronic condensation and ugly wet spots, you may need to check your present ventilation system to see if it is adequate for proper circulation.  Extractor fans are essential for ventilation, but they should be updated every 5 to 10 years since their motors might wear out and become clogged.

Condensation and Damp Treatment

It can be easier than you think to get rid of the condensation that causes wetness in your house.  Condensation problems can be almost immediately resolved simply through the installation of a modern extractor fan in a bathroom or kitchen that can automatically adjust the power level depending on the amount of humidity in the air.

Find out More

Did you know that almost 1 in 5 UK homes have a problem with condensation or damp and mould!  By acting today, you can resolve issues with condensation forever.  Arrange a free home survey from one of EnviroVent’s local ventilation specialists who can advise you about how proper ventilation can benefit your indoor air quality and prevent damp.

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:

  • checkAssess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • checkTake readings of the relative humidity levels
  • checkIdentify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

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