Dampness in the house is a source of serious concern for homeowners. Damp issues give rise to unhealthy living conditions that are detrimental to the occupants’ health and wellbeing and may weaken the structural integrity of the house if left untreated.
This article will go over everything you should know about the causes, prevention, and treatment of damp in houses.
Causes of Damp Issues in Houses?
Damp is caused by excessive moisture that makes its way into the house via air or water.
Some of the most common causes of damp in houses include poor ventilation, clogged drains, leaky ceiling and windows, water droplets dripping from cracks in the walls, rising moisture from the floor, and more.
How To Lookout for Damp Problems?
Damp patches on the walls, peeling wallpaper, and flaking plaster are telltale signs of dampness in the house. Another indicator is the musty stench it may give off. However, it takes quite some time for damp to progress to a stage before it gives off a noticeable smell.
You can also identify dampness by dark mold spots and yellowish stains on walls. Prolonged exposure to moisture can cause mold growth on walls and furniture and damage other indoor materials. Damp and mold may lead to several health problems for the occupants. Taking the services of damp specialists, you can effectively treat various types of damp and protect your and your family’s health.
Cavity Wall Treatment
There might be seepage of water into the internal walls from the exterior of the home structure. That is known as penetrating dampness. Poor maintenance like leaking gutters, broken roof tiles, blocked drains, or even spalling brickwork is often the most common cause.
Accordingly, spotting any defects, cracks, or blockages in the exterior through which water may be getting in is the most obvious solution. You can then control it by sealing the cracks on the exterior walls using plaster and then repainting them with waterproof paint.
Once you have identified the defect, you may apply a suitable damp proofing solution. A cavity wall construction creates space for the moisture that penetrates through the exterior wall to evaporate before reaching the interior wall, preventing moisture buildup. Installing cavity trays will prevent water ingress by draining away water from the inner walls.
Damp Proof Course (DPC)
Installing a new damp-proof course into the floor walls of the structure is the most common method to treat rising dampness. As mentioned at advanceddamp.co.uk, rising dampness refers to the movement of water upwards through the floor and walls of a house. It is most common in older properties. A DPC is a waterproof plastic membrane inserted at the base of a building to prevent moisture from rising through walls and floors.
Condensation is perhaps one the most common type of damp problems and the simplest to resolve. It results from excess moisture buildup in the home. If the walls feel cold and damp to the touch, it may be a sign of condensation. To prevent condensation and control the humidity within the house, you must improve ventilation within the home and take care of the following:
- Ensure that there is proper cross-ventilation of fresh air
- Install exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen to remove residual moist air from the interior
- While cooking, cover frying pans and other utensils with a lid to prevent water droplets from evaporating and condensing on the kitchen walls.
Air Brick Walls
Another common and effective technique of improving ventilation includes installing air bricks to the exterior walls. Air bricks contain small holes in them to allow the circulation of fresh air through them. They maintain the airflow under the ground floor timbers, keeping condensation at bay, which will prevent dampness and rot to the timber floors.
Internal Damp Proof Paint
An adequate measure to prevent and protect your home from unwanted moisture is to damp proofing paint the interior walls. However, it is cal to note that it is not in any way a standalone cure, as you must identify and treat the root cause of the damp before applying it.
With that said, it does serve as an effective extra layer of protection for preventing future damp issues in areas where condensation damp is most likely to occur, including kitchens and bathrooms. It effectively covers up unsightly black mold spots and condensation stains on walls and ceilings.
Tanking creates an impermeable waterproof barrier using a liquid-based coating, known as tanking slurry. It is a damp-proof material that seals the walls of a home, especially foundation walls below the ground level like the basement, preventing penetrating dampness by stopping water ingress right in its tracks. It is also a possible remedy for rising dampness. After inserting a new DPC, a damp-proof membrane is installed onto the interior walls. That is a plastic sheet that protects the internal wall by waterproofing it.
Considering the relatively wet climate in the UK, dampness in the house is a common problem for many residents. If you suspect a damp issue in your home, you must not neglect it and take immediate measures to resolve it with the above-given tips before it wreaks havoc on your home.