Rising damp occurs when the masonry structure of a property has been left unprotected and a damp proof course has either not been installed or is defective. Without effective treatment, rising damp will continue to get worse.
Is your home at risk of damp?
What are the signs of damp and how can you prevent damp from occuring in your home?
Problems with damp can be a significant concern in any property. Not only can it be an unsightly, but it can also affect your health too. The good news is that damp is treatable and there are some easy signs to keep an eye out for that might indicate if you have a damp problem. You can implement simple strategies to help reduce the risk of damp in your home.
Here’s how to identify damp and what to do if you spot damp in your home.
What are the signs of damp?
The signs of damp depend on the type of damp that your property has. Typically, you can expect to see evidence of watermarks on the wall, staining on the ceiling, wallpaper peeling off the wall, cracked plasterwork and rendering, mould or fungus patches and tidemarks (amongst others). There may also be a presence of a musty damp smell and excess water or moisture on the affected area.
What kind of damp do is affecting my home?
Rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation are just three of the most common types of damp that can affect your home.
This is one of the most common types of damp problems which can occur in properties. This is most commonly caused by water leaking through the walls, typically via leaking pipes and damaged brickwork. Typical signs of penetrating damp can include patches of damp on the walls that don’t seem to air out, damage to walls/timber, watermarks and possible a damp smell too.
Condensation is one of the most common types of damp. It is caused by warm air settling on a cold surface and moisture is subsequently released. It is normally easy to see signs of condensation as you will see drops of water occurring on windows and walls.
Rising damp occurs when water travels up a wall where it reaches a height where it is not possible for the water to evaporate. Identifying rising damp is relatively easy, typically signs of damp stains, peeling wallpaper, damp deposits and (sometimes) rotting floorboards is evidence that rising damp is occurring in your property.
How can I prevent damp in my home?
There are many ways that you can prevent damp from occurring in your property. In the first instance, we would recommend ensuring that your home has a damp proof course implemented. It may well be that your property has already received some damp proofing but that the damp proof course may well be defective.
Other measures that you can take can include:
• Inspecting the point and flashing on the roof and around windows to ensure it is preventing water/excess moisture from entering the building.
• Keep your property properly ventilated, especially during the cooler months when we have the heating on and windows are less likely to be opened.
• You can also apply a weather protective coating to the exterior of your building to help protect it from the elements.
• It is also recommended that you regularly check downpipes and drains to ensure that there are no leaks or blockages.
• Check your roof regularly for damage, especially after winter storms.
• Keep the gutters clear and aim to fix any areas affected by damage.
The adage that ‘prevention is better than cure’ certainly rings true and it is always wise to put necessary steps in place to protect your home from potential issues with damp.