Damp in houses is one of the most common problems we come across, one of the most serious risks to an owners health and yet is usually very easy to rectify.
The first thing to do is to establish what is causing it.
Use the list below to establish where it's coming from and what you can do to get it fixed.
- Rising Damp
- Leaking Water Pipe
- Penetrating Damp
Mould and damp walls on the ground floor only up to about 1m in height.
Powdery plaster, peeling wallpaper. Most common in pre 1930 properties as many older homes were not fitted with a Damp Proof Course (DPC) which blocks moisture from the ground entering the property.
Check to see if you have a DPC (it's usually a black line about three bricks above ground) and ensure that the ground level outside isn't higher than it.
If it is, remove the soil and that may solve the problem. If the problem continues obtain quotations and get a damp inspection from Damp Proofing Companies ensuring that they offer a minimum 20 year insurance backed guarantee.
Mould on walls, clothes, shoes and furnishings, especially behind furniture or in wardrobes.
Mould growth, a musty smell. One of the most common issues affecting the home. Usually caused by inadequate ventilation. With good insulation and double glazing, today's homes cannot "breathe" as intended.
To resolve, open windows, especially during cooking, after baths etc. Avoid drying clothes indoors. Consider buying a dehumidifier although they are costly to run long term.
Moisture traps are just a few pounds each and are useful in wardrobes or behind large furniture. Available at Robert Dyas.
Wetness or mould growth often in an unusual place, around a toilet or in a ceiling.
Identify the leak if you can and repair using a plumber if you are unable to tackle it yourself. Good tradespeople can be found at Checkatrade.
Often affecting upper floor rooms with wetness, mould or dampness around windows or in the middle of external walls.
Check guttering, brickwork and render for any cracks. Look for gaps around window frames and any missing or slipped tiles. Repair as soon as possible.
IMPORTANT: If rain has been getting through to internal walls and your home has cavity wall insulation, you will need to have this checked to ensure it is not still wet or damp will continue to enter the property.
Whatever the issue with damp problems in houses, it won't go away on it's own.
The mould growth that it causes can lead to health issues, especially in children and can damage clothes, furniture and decorations so try to get it sorted as soon as possible.