Any building can suffer from moisture. What you might not know is that there’s no such thing as ‘a’ or ‘the’ damp problem. Rising damp problems, penetrating damp and condensation all fall under the damp umbrella but they all need different treatment for you to have a chance of getting rid of them.
Before we go any further, it’s important that there’s no confusion with the phrase, ‘damp proof course’. Its funny name causes many people to mistake it for a builder’s course! It’s actually the name for the slate or plastic damp proofing material which rests between your bricks. As damp proofing goes, it’s in good favour as it forms a barrier preventing your damp from rising.
Before any damp problems can be treated, you’ll need to work out which type your home is suffering from.
Identifying your damp problem
The clue is in the name for this baddie. Starting below your flooring, the damp will begin to spread upwards, leaving patches as it climbs your walls. It could be that you have a faulty pipe near the bottom of your wall which is causing water to collect. In most cases though, your damp proof course is to blame, or lack of one! Your builder may recommend a chemical injection into your flooring, just above ground level as a booster to your old damp course.
All sorts of home disasters could be to blame. Your roof tiles could be loose or your windows might not have been fitted correctly. Tell tale signs are fungi on your walls and a case of crumbling plaster. If you have a cellar, you could need what’s known as cementitous tanking – a cement sealant treatment which stops damp from making the outside to inside switch. If you don’t own a cellar, new guttering could make your home as good as new – it all depends on how the water is entering your home.
Last but not least, we have condensation, caused by poor ventilation. The most common damp problem of them all! This one’s the easiest to spot. Look out for mould, most commonly in wet areas like the bathroom and be aware of ceilings and corners close to water, which don’t see much sunlight. Ventilation problems can also attack tightly fitted laminated flooring which can lead to dry rot. You may just need extra vents or extractor fans but in other cases, cavity wall insulation can work wonders.
Need help identifying your damp problem? Or just need professional help to fix it? Whatever stage you’re at, find a builder to help rescue your home from moisture.