Spotting the signs of dampness in your property, whether you notice unsavoury smells, dreaded dark patches, peeling wallpaper or something else, could send your stress levels soaring. After all, left untreated, dampness can cause a whole range of problems. As well as being bad for your health, it can weaken your home. The key to tackling this issue is getting to the source of problem. There are a number of possible causes of damp, and you must first find out which is affecting your home.
Penetrating damp occurs when water gets into the fabric of a building from outside. It can be caused by things like leaking downpipes, ineffective roof drainage, overflowing gutters, faulty roofs and poorly fitted windows or doors. Typical signs include wet and crumbling plaster and damp or discoloured patches on walls and ceilings. If you see any of these signs in your home, it’s important to act fast to limit any further damage. The location of any damp areas should give you a clue as to the culprit, but if you’re not sure what lies behind your water problem, call in the specialists to offer their diagnoses. The solution may be something as simple as replacing ineffective guttering or investing in new Harmer Drainage systems.
In contrast, rising damp happens when moisture moves up from the ground through stonework to the height of around a metre. It can be hard to spot because much of it happens below floor level. However, as the problem progresses, you’ll start to notice water move up your walls. Watch out for dark patches appearing above your skirting boards. Also, bear in mind that you might smell the problem before you see it.
Rising damp can cause major damage to wood, concrete, stone and brick if it’s not dealt with quickly. It can also cause wet and dry rot. To combat the issue, you’ll firstly need to establish whether your damp proof coursing works. If it is functional, and you’ll need to get an expert to check, you may simply need to dig the soil away outside the problem area until it is below the level of your damp proof course. However, if you discover this protection isn’t working properly, you’ll need to replace it. One option involves injecting a special chemical solution into your walls to prevent moisture from rising above a certain level.
A third common cause of excessive moisture in homes is condensation. Common signs include peeling water, puddles on window sills and steamed up glazing. It happens when homes can’t deal with normal water vapour levels due to poor ventilation, heating or insulation. If this problem is affecting your property, you may be able to address it simply by opening your windows or using your heating more. However, you might need to install extra vents and extractor fans, particularly in bathroom and kitchen areas. You may also benefit from getting a dehumidifier.
As long as you make sure you understand the cause of dampness in your property and take appropriate action, you should be able to rid yourself of this nasty problem.