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How Can I Get Rid Of Damp?

Damp and mould are caused by excess moisture. Moisture in buildings can have a number of causes including leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in due to damage to roofs or window frames. In a newly built home damp can occur if the water used when the house was built is still drying out. But the most common cause of damp in homes is condensation as a result of high humidity and poor ventilation.

Arrange a Survey How Can I Get Rid Of Damp in the house?

There are multiple different factors that can cause damp in your home, and while the way the damp itself is treated regardless of the cause, the steps you take to stop it returning are dependent on the specific cause.

One of the most common forms of damp that you will find in your home is known as condensation damp.  As the name suggests, this is caused by the presence of excess moisture from every day activities like cooking and bathing.  When humidity levels are too high for long periods of time, the moisture from the air can soak into porous surfaces such as wood and plaster where it will build up to form patches of damp patches where mould will grow.

Another type of damp that is common in older houses is rising damp.  This is caused when moisture from the ground travels up through the walls through capillary action, if there is nowhere for this moisture to naturally dissipate it will travel up onto the walls causing mould and structural damage. 

The third most common type of damp is known as Penetrating damp.  This is caused by water entering a property through walls, floors and ceilings, causing external construction damage to guttering, rendering and wall joints.

The most common causes of penetrating damp are leaking walls, air gaps, burst gutters and pipes, porous bricks, cavity wall problems and/or poor cavity insulation. Penetrating damp can also be caused internally due to leaks in your central heating pipes or water system – it can even come from a poorly fitted washing machine.


The presence of damp in a home can be found through a variety of signs.  Some common indicators of damp in the home include:

  • A musty smell in rooms or cupboards
  • The appearance of patches of mould or mildew on walls, floors or ceilings
  • Dark or discoloured patches on walls or plaster
  • Lifting or peeling wallpaper or bubbling paint
  • Excessive condensation on windows

In the case of rising damp, a structural engineer will need to survey the property to determine the extent of the damage and implement a solution. To resolve rising damp, either a chemical or osmotic damp proofing course (DPC), or a new damp membrane must be installed.  A DPC is often used and is injected via holes in the masonry, the DPC repels water whilst a damp membrane acts as a physical barrier to stop damp.

Areas inside the house where the rising damp is present will usually need to be re-plastered with a salt-retardant plaster and new skirting boards will probably need to be fitted if the existing ones have rotted.


How to Get Rid of Mould

You should deal with damp as quickly as possible to prevent mould from forming. Mould spores can be a health hazard for people with weaker immune systems such as young children or older people.  They can also cause problems for people with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory problems.

Some moulds are severe and toxic and will require professional treatment in order to safely remove them.  Disturbing mould through improper cleaning can release large numbers of spores into the air and spread the problem around your home.  However, for other strains of mould, you can use fungicides or dilute bleach.

When cleaning mould from walls, you should wear eye protection, a face mask, gloves, and older clothing – some mould sprays use bleach, so you should also ensure that you move any furniture that could be damaged or discoloured by drips from the spray.

One of the simplest solutions for removing non-toxic mould from walls in your home is to clean it using a non-toxic, mould cleaning solution. Spray the area where the mould is growing and after giving the cleaning product time to work, wipe the remaining mould away.  When you have finished, dispose of the cloths you have used in the bin and dry the walls carefully to help stop the mould from returning.


Tips for removing mould

There are some things to consider when removing mould yourself:

  • Ensure that it is a non-toxic strain
  • Ensure that it is caused by condensation damp
  • Ensure that it covers an area less than 1 metre square
  • Never attempt to clean mould yourself if it has been caused by sewage or other contaminated water.

Steps for cleaning mould

  • Protect yourself from mould spores by wearing goggles, long rubber gloves and a mask that covers your nose and mouth. 
  • Open the windows for the room to provide ventilation but leave doors closed to prevent spores spreading to the rest of your house.
  • Have a plastic bag ready for any soft furnishings or clothes and soft toys that are mouldy. Soft furnishings should be professionally dry cleaned to remove mould spores properly.
  • Fill a bucket with bleach diluted 6 to 1 with water, or specialist mould removal liquid. 
  • Using a rag dipped in the mixture carefully wipe the mould off the wall. Do not to brush it, as this can release mould spores.
  • When you've finished, use a dry rag to remove the moisture from the wall, ensure the area is completely dried. 
  • When you have finished, put the rags in a plastic bag and throw them away, all the surfaces in the room should be thoroughly cleaned by either wet wiping or vacuuming to remove any remaining spores.
How to Remove Mould

8 Damp Preventing Tips

The best way to stop condensation damp from forming is to improve the ventilation in your property. There are also small every-day changes that you can make which will also help:

1) Wipe down windows and sills in the morning to remove condensation.
2) Deal with steam from cooking.
3) Get rid of bathroom moisture.
4) Don't overfill wardrobes & cupboards.
5) Keep your house warm.
6) Insulate.
7) Make sure the extractor fans are on.
8) Don't hang clothes to dry inside.

For more handy tips on preventing condensation, check out our full list of tips to stop condensation -  >> 14 Ways To Help Reduce Condensation In Your Property. 


If we don’t expel all the excess moisture we create out of the home, it will be left lurking inside, usually ending up in the coldest places of the house such as windows, doors etc. This will ultimately lead to damp and damage to your health and your property. The best way to get rid of damp is to prevent it starting in the first place and the best way to prevent it is to ensure your home is consistently well ventilated. A good habbit to get into is to open the windows but keep doors closed to prevent spores spreading to other areas of the house.

However this measure will only go so far, the best ventilation is of course a fully fitted, intelligently designed system. EnviroVent has a range of ventilation systems designed to prevent condensation and mould problems. By fitting a whole house ventilation system and correctly ventilating your home, condensation dampness will disappear and your damp areas will dry out, ready for redecoration.

The best way to control condensation in your home is by installing a ventilation system such as a Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) system, or by installing a Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) system which is the best system for ensuring desired levels of humidity and good indoor air quality.

The whole house ventilation system will effectively remove condensation dampness and leave you with a healthy indoor environment every day of the year. If you would like an expert from your local area to examine your damp issues and advice on a ventilation solution, you can arrange a free survey today by clicking here. 


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