Damp forms due to the presence of excess moisture caused by factors such as condensation through rain water seeping into a property or rising damp where moisture from the ground travels up through the walls by capillary action.
Damp problems tend to be at their worse during the winter however if left unresolved damp can be an issue all year round. You can spot the signs of damp on walls and ceilings, your walls may feel cold and look wet whilst ceilings will look stained and discoloured.
If left untreated damp can have an affect on your health causing things like; runny nose, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation.
Damp in whatever form is an unwanted visitor in your home, at the first sign of damp you need to act quickly. First establishing what damp is present, next getting the appropriate treatment - whether that be a professional or simply a DIY solution.
However prevention is always the best method, with that in mind we have some top tips on preventing damp -
1) Try to keep the inside temperature reasonably constant.
2) Avoid drying clothes indoors.
3) Do not dry clothes over any radiators.
4) Ensure tumble driers are properly vented or the condensate is regularly emptied.
5) Keep furniture away from walls.
6) Do not turn off or disable extractor fans.
7) Ensure extractor fans are well maintained and offer adequate airflow.
8) Bath your Pets and wash their bedding regularly
Rising damp is harder to prevent and it can occur in a modern home, however, it is normally found in older properties as homes built from 1875 onwards have been built with a damp proofing course, known as DPC.
According to the English House Condition Survey, conducted in 1996, 11% of dwellings built between 1900 and 1918 are affected by rising damp with 1% of houses built after 1956 also affected.
If the damp proofing in the property has been ‘bridged’, for example, the exterior ground level has risen above the interior level; problems with rising damp are more likely to occur.
The following will help prevent rising damp:
Rising damp is easy to spot but it is often confused with condensation damp. Condensation damp is easier to remedy and not as expensive to fix.
Poor or inadequate ventilation is the root cause of condensation damp, prolonged condensation damp leads to the appearance of black mould on walls, doors, ceilings and around window frames.
Depending on how bad the condensation problem is, black mould can appear almost anywhere in the home.
You can prevent condensation damp by ensuring that your home is correctly ventilated.
If you are in the process of having any home improvements such as triple glazing or cavity wall insulation installed, you need to be aware that as you ‘seal up’ your property to conserve energy, you may be reducing the ventilation.
Once the ventilation inside the property is prohibited or restricted your home could become vulnerable to condensation and mould.
Check that all of your extract fans are in working order and not clogged up; fans that are clogged up won’t perform as efficiently as they should.
One way to prevent condensation damp is to have a whole house ventilation system fitted in your loft space or hallway to ventilate your home.
The ventilation system delivers fresh, filtered, clean air into the home from a central position and reduces the moisture levels within the home.
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