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What kind of damp is affecting my home?

6th March 2018

Find out what type of damp is affecting your home so that you can eradicate the problem without spending more than you need to.

Rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation are the three most common types of damp for residential properties.  Each needs to be treated in different ways, and damp repair costs can vary dramatically, so it's important to know what type of damp is affecting your home before you try to get it fixed. 

Rising damp is caused by ground water moving up through a wall or floor. Most walls and floors allow some water in, but it’s usually stopped from causing damage by a barrier called a damp-proof course or damp-proof membrane
A damp-proof course is a horizontal strip, usually made from plastic or bitumen felt, built into the wall at the height of at least 15cm above ground level. A damp-proof membrane is a sheet of material, impervious to water, laid under the concrete floor. This should be connected to the damp-proof course so that the house is effectively sealed and protected from ground water.

Types of damp

-Rising damp - ineffective damp-proofing can allow moisture through your walls

-Rising damp - skirting boards and walls can become stained and crumbly

-Rising damp - if your damp-proof course is lower than the level of the ground outside your property, water can get in

-Rising/penetrating damp - if you have a basement, you should regularly check it for mould

-Penetrating damp - patches that darken during rainy weather could mean you have penetrating damp

-Penetrating damp - causes for penetrating damp include leaks from guttering through your roof and ceiling

-Penetrating damp - peeling paint work on exterior walls can be a symptom

-Penetrating damp - not only is penetrating damp unsightly, but it can also be bad for your health

-Condensation - if you see green mould appearing on your walls then this is probably due to condensation

-Condensation - the most common sign of condensation is water droplets appearing on your windows

Checklist of Moisture Trouble Spots

Note: Mold feeds on starches and sugars in gypsum board, wood and wallpaper glues, but it can also grow on cloth, carpet and dust.

 - Many paints that are used on basement walls will sometimes be a host for molds. If there's no paint on the walls, the mold probably won't grow as quickly.

Air drying wet clothes is another way to add unwanted moisture to a room.

- Does it smell musty or damp? If so, check the walls for signs of water intrusion and make sure there are no plumbing leaks. Be sure to check the caulking around the tub and shower enclosures. Any breaks can lead to a moisture problem.

Check for proper ventilation — proper venting through the roof or soffit is vital for moisture control in any bathroom.

Carpeting - 
Be sure to check the backside of carpeting, especially in a basement or any area that's exposed to moisture.

 - Because the foundations of homes are porous, they can absorb water from the outside and bring the moisture into the home.

Don't let efflorescence (a powder that crystallizes when exposed to air — looks like salt) fool you into thinking you have mold. This salt-like substance, however, is a sign that there is a moisture problem.

Chimneys (for a furnace or water heater)
This is another high humidity hot spot that can lead to mold problems. If there is even a slight debris buildup or if there's a blockage in the chimney, the gas that's being burned is not getting out, which means that carbon monoxide is getting back into the house. If there's a sudden moisture problem, it's sometimes related to something collapsing inside the chimney that causes a blockage. It's a good idea to take a flashlight and look in the chimney for excess debris. In fact, it's best to have a professional sweep your chimney on a regular basis.

Walls (exterior and foundation, inside and out)
Look for peeling paint, deteriorated siding, rotted window sills, rotted window trim or door trim, brick-stone-mortar damage, rotted sheathing on the roof and rotted framing members. On the foundation walls, look for holes, spalling mortar joints, deteriorating masonry surfaces, peeling paint, collapsing window wells and rotted window or door sills.

Roof Surfaces
Wet or rotting sheathing, rafters, eaves and soffits are what you want to look for on the roof.

Make sure your gutters are always clean and free of debris to eliminate any backups of water that can leak into the house. Tip: Gutter guards are great for keeping debris out of your gutters. Also, make sure the downspouts are clean and clear at all times for proper drainage. Another good idea to check the storm drains to make sure they are working properly.



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Comments (1)

19th May 2018 As I noticed a damp patch in the ceiling, I called the top rated roofing experts in Bedfordview immediately, so they helps filling the cracks and re-plastering the roof perfectly.

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