From a minor leak to rising damp and mould, you may not always notice damp in your home until it’s too late. Damp problems are very common but, if left untreated, could cause serious damage to your property or health. We asked Allerton Remedial Treatments, a company who have been dealing with damp issues for over three decades, to give us some tips on how to spot damp, what causes it and how to treat it.
What is damp?
Damp is a general term used to describe the presence of moisture, water or condensation within a property, and occurs in many different forms.
What are the main types of damp and what causes them?
Moisture or damp in buildings can be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, poor ventilation or poor damp proofing in the foundations of the property. The most common type of damp is condensation, which occurs when the air is saturated with moist humidity and it touches a cold surface, and also when ventilation is poor. Rising damp is caused by groundwater moving up through a wall or floor while Penetrating damp is caused by water leaking through the walls.
What are the signs?
While all damp is different, there are certain signs that you can look out for that will indicate damp in your home:
- Damp or musty smell
- The growth of black mould both internally and externally
- Discoloured or peeling wallpaper
- Algae and mould will be present on the external walls
- Walls or floors will feel damp or cold to the touch
Who is most sensitive to damp?
While damp can affect the whole family, those who are elderly, young children or people with pre-existing conditions. Damp can cause respiratory problems or even worsen existing asthma problems and can be dangerous to those who have weak immune systems.
How do I deal with damp?
Damp proofing is the installation of preventative measures to stop damp problems from occurring, The main thing to remember is to ensure your house is breathable while also keeping your space warm and well ventilated, and setting a thermostat to a lower temperature for a longer period should reduce the likelihood of damp. Vents or fans, along with humidity absorbers, are the most obvious way to prevent damp caused by condensation – by opening windows or vents, or turning on a simple humidity device when cooking, taking a shower or boiling the kettle, the likelihood of damp occurring will be significantly reduced. The key to solving penetrative damp is by sealing the point of entry. More often than not, however, penetrating damp is caused by problems at the property – such as a leaking roof, cracked bricks, blocked gutters or poorly installed windows, and so you should always check these first. Rising Damp barriers can often solve rising damp problems. You may cure a rising damp problem by allowing the area to dry out naturally. After that, all you really need to do is to regularly open your windows and heat the room.