Why Is Damp In A Property A Big Issue?

The presence of damp in a property is a potentially major issue. While damp in it’s simplest form can be a nuisance, at worst it can be an indicator of structural problems or weatherproofing failure. Here we discuss the 3 most common types of damp found in properties.

Rising damp

  1. It can be caused by the upward movement of water through walls and sometimes floors.
  2. Water travels upwards through porous materials like brick, sandstone and mortar.

Condensation

  1. Found in poorly ventilated rooms particularly a kitchen or bathroom with high moisture content.
  2. The external wall internally is a cold wall whereby the hot air internally clashes with it.
  3. Found behind settees etc where poorly ventilated.

Penetrating Damp

  1. Masonry or rendering with cracks.
  2. Faulty flashing, missing or cracked tiles or slates within the roof area.
  3. Windows and doors with missing or defective seals.
  4. Blocked up weep holes.
  5. Cavity walls with missing or defective trays.
  6. Holes in walls for cables or pipes – not sealed.
  7. Walls facing prevailing wind are more prone to penetrating dam.
  8. Defective or blocked guttering, downpipes.

Internal Damp Misconceptions

Damp in a propertyMany individuals who see unsightly black mould on the walls automatically conclude that it is rising damp (please see below picture), but a high percentage of the time it is condensation. Condensation occurs when moist air meets a colder surface like a wall, window, mirror etc which is why windows sometimes mist up if a bathtub hot water is run, this is due to the air not holding the moisture and tiny drops of water appearing. Alternatively, it also occurs in places the air is still, like the corners of rooms, behind furniture or inside wardrobes.

Rising Damp Remedies

Firstly, you need to tackle the cause of the problem and then look at treating the rising damp issue. Secondly, you can look to remove the problem which can take different forms, sometimes the existing Damp Proof Membrane (DPC) is below the outside path which links into the first identification. If you have a faulty (DPC) a new (DPC) can be installed via various methods with the most common being chemical injection/chemical (DPC).

Condensation Remedies

As discussed previously condensation can be caused through poorly ventilated rooms with high moisture content, to remedy this problem creating ventilation in the affected areas is important to solving the problem. This can be done mechanically through Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) units which create fresh and healthy living environments by supplying fresh, filtered air into a property at a continuous rate throughout. Also adding vents attached to the external environment and the internal environment is also a plus.

Penetrating Damp Remedies

Identifying the problem first is a must with this type of damp as if it is a problem such as roofing, cracks in external walls or faulty guttering it can be solved quite soon. Most problems can be identified, and problems solved on merit, but others would need attention. For porous brickwork, sealants can be now purchased and sprayed or painted onto the surface that stops damp penetrating with the bonus of this material also breathing. As an example, cavity trays around windows can also be a breach for penetrating damp so it could be fixing a cavity tray that doesn’t exist on occasion. A recent problem that seems to be arising more is the installation of material into the cavity that could be mineral fibre wool, polystyrene granules. In particular, the mineral fibre wool is becoming soggy inside the cavity and causing damp patches internally. If you look at things logically, cavities were built for a reason and not to be filled to block the void between internal and external walls.