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Does Damp Proof Paint Work?

Can Using Damp Proof Paint to Treat Walls Stop Damp?

Damp-proof paint is a type of paint that is specifically designed to prevent moisture from penetrating the surface of a wall or other surfaces. It is often used in areas prone to dampness, such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens, to help prevent the build-up of moisture and the associated problems that can arise, such as mould and rot.

There are several types of damp-proof paint available, each of which works in a slightly different way. Some types of damp-proof paint contain waterproofing agents that help create a barrier on the wall’s surface, preventing moisture from penetrating. Other types of damp-proof paint contain materials that absorb moisture, helping draw it away from the wall’s surface and into the air.

If you have recently discovered a damp patch on a wall in your home, you might be tempted to turn to a damp-proof paint to prevent the issue from getting worse, but unfortunately, in most cases, it is not the most effective way to stop damp.

The problem with damp-proofing paint

While damp-proof paint will reduce the amount of moisture that soaks into a surface, it does not remove the cause of dampness, so the problem will not go away, and in some cases, may be transferred to a different room or different area of the same room.

Damp is caused by moisture soaking into a wall or other porous surface, and it is the source of this moisture that needs to be dealt with to prevent damp.

Rising damp and penetrating damp are caused by water soaking into a home, either by being drawn up from the ground, or through gaps in walls, ceilings, or leaking pipes. Applying a coat of damp-proof paint to a wall will not remove the source of the problem.

In the case of condensation damp – where elevated humidity levels in the air meeting cool surfaces cause condensation to soak into a wall – damp-proof paint can be more effective, and many bathroom and kitchen-specific paints are less permeable. Unfortunately, as with rising and penetrating damp, the damp-proof paint is not a definitive answer, and condensation will still form elsewhere and cause damp.

The only effective way of preventing dampness from developing into problems such as mould, which can be damaging to health, is to remove the underlying problem. In the case of condensation dampness, this means improving ventilation to reduce humidity.

Preventing damp

Rising damp and penetrating damp is caused by a source of water entering your home and will usually need to be addressed by a builder or plumber who can install a damp course layer around the bottom of walls, patch up holes in the roof, or fix a leaking pipe. Condensation damp, however, is caused by the build-up of moisture in your home's air, which can only be resolved by reducing humidity.

You can make some behavioural changes to reduce the amount of condensation that will form. Ensuring that you use pan lids when cooking; keep kitchen and bathroom doors closed when in use; and avoid drying clothes indoors can all help to reduce humidity levels, but you will also need to improve the ventilation in your home to keep moisture levels at a safer level.

Fitting extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens removes a lot of the moisture from the air in your home before it can spread into other rooms. Still, if you face problems throughout your property, you may also want to look at a whole-house ventilation system. Positive Input ventilation systems (PIV) draw fresh filtered air in through a central unit that can be mounted in your loft or a cupboard. Then, disperse that dry air into different rooms to replace the humid air and prevent condensation gently. PIV systems such as EnviroVent ATMOS are highly efficient and run continually to protect your home against damp.

Find out more

If you have discovered damp in your home, do not ignore it or try and hide it with damp-proof paint. Unless you take action to remove the cause, the problem will only get worse. Book a free home survey from one of our local specialists. They can identify the causes of condensation damp in your home and advise you on the best way to stop the problem for good. Enter your postcode below to find an expert in your area.

Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

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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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