Damp Problem Tips

Older Homes often have Damp Problems; there may be no Damp Proof Course, take a good look around your house – is there a fault, cracked wall or blockage through where water could be getting in? Often a simple inspection will tell you that you may have a damp problem, even before it gets too bad.

Look for signs of  penetrating damp problems, an ounce of prevention or finding the cause early will save you a lot of work. Usually damp problems in walls and masonry are caused by a defect in the building or plumbing where water has been able to leak into your property. A water mark on an internal wall could be a sign of penetrating damp and can give you a good clue as to where the leak is. Check outside masonry in the same place as the inside wall mark for any obvious problems such as cracks or blockages.

Check your pipes, drains and gutters for blockages and remove the blockage such as leaves, moss etc. and you may find that the damp problem simply goes away.

Old and damaged guttering may need replacing.
Make sure that any cracks in the walls or window frames/sills get fixed.
Get a good look at your roof for loose slates and storm damage problems with the roof are a common cause of many damp problems.

Take a good look around and feel the walls, are there signs of damp or any marks or mould on the walls?  Are the walls wet to the touch?

This could be a sign of condensation damp problems. Condensation damp means that there is excessive moisture in the house. This moisture forms condensation when it meets the cold walls. When this excessive moisture cannot escape, mould often forms and a dank, musty smell is also often present.

Make sure you regularly open windows to air the house.
Use extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms.

Make sure your washing machine and dryer is properly plumbed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Look at interior walls. Is there a water mark on walls on the ground floor, with a damp patch that rises no more than one metre up the wall?

If so, this sounds like rising damp. A common cause of this rising damp is when the earth from the garden butts directly up on to your outside wall, which traps moisture. If your building is old, the damp problem might be made worse because it doesn’t have a damp proof course.

Modern homes normally have cavity walls (two layers of bricks with a space in between) this can help prevent damp problems. At the base of the wall a damp proof course (DPC) is usually installed. This comprises a waterproof covering such as slate or felt which works to prevent any damp rising through the wall from the foundations. Old houses don’t usually include this DPC.
First try digging away any soil that butts against your outside wall.

If your building is old, and you think it might not have a damp proof course, then we suggest one solution may be to install Damp Proof Membranes, it may save you having to completely install a damp proof course. For advice on this, please give us a call, our experts can usually recommend the best product for you and “could” save you a heap of toil and trouble.

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