Damp is a common problem in homes. If your house is damp you may have noticed mildew on the furniture, ceiling or walls.
It’s important to prevent damp before it gets to the stage where it is affecting the health of anyone living there and damaging your property.
Forms of Damp
Dampness usually occurs if there is a fault in your house structure. You can either have penetrating damp or rising damp.
Penetrating damp occurs when moisture finds its way into your house through external defects such as loose roof tiles and cracks in your walls.
Rising damp happens if your damp-proof course is not effective and it is allowing water to rise into your floor or walls.
It is important to know the symptoms to look for to determine whether your house is damp. Dampness symptoms include:-
• Musty smell in rooms
• Damp or mouldy shoes and clothes in your closet
• Mould and mildew formation
• Watermarks and stains on walls and ceilings
• Rotting wood in the house structure
• Damp and moold under your house
Condensation can also be a sign of damp but not in all situations. You may notice some condensation even if your home is not damp – especially in the winter.
Once you identify damp symptoms, it is necessary to establish the source of the moisture in your house.
Moisture can be created during various day-to-day activities in the house such as showering and cooking.
In most cases, the moisture produced during these activities can be easily controlled through proper ventilation, heating, and insulation.
Another major cause of dampness is moisture that comes into the house from the outside or leaking plumbing.
The moisture can also get in under your house. These moisture sources tend to be hidden and it is possible to miss them.
If these damp-causing problems are not addressed, they can damage the house and lower its value.
It is advisable to consult damp-proofing specialists if you notice any dampness.
One of the most common mistakes that people make is to assume that using a ventilation system or dehumidifier will solve the problem.
These solutions only mask the dampness problem instead of preventing it.
Preventing Damp Causing Problems
The most effective way to prevent damp causing problems is to damp proof your floors and walls.
A specialist will check for any signs of water under your floor before they damp proof it. The water can be from your downpipes, drainage or guttering.
Once the water problem is identified, it should be corrected to prevent any future dampness. They will then damp proof the floors and walls if necessary.
Specialists use waterproof barriers on the foundation to stop ground water from getting inside your home.
This will prevent the dampness and ensure your home is safe.
There are various waterproof barriers that can be used to prevent damp. The waterproof barriers can be injected into the walls if the water comes in through cracks in your walls.
This is a good solution, especially for an existing home because it not invasive.
The barrier can also be introduced into the foundation but this is an extensive process that is recommended if you are constructing a new home or carrying out major renovations.