Posted on
May 14th, 2015

Damp: What To Look For

Damp can cause problems across a property, so could be caused by a wide range things. It is a good idea to know what to look out for so that your home stays in the best condition.

For a quick summary of what to look out for, take a look below.

– If your gutters are leaking or overflowing, then they can quickly saturate a wall. This is easy to see after rainfall by potting damp patches which remain after other areas have dried.

– Damage to your underground pipework can slowly saturate the ground below a property. This is hard to spot and is often only noticeable by an increased water usage, or when spotted by a professional.

– Plants and vegetation hold moisture within their roots. Rather than absorbing it from the surroundings, it can sometimes increase the moisture content within your walls, as well as damaging your property as they grow.

– Prolonged periods of cold inside a house can create a build-up of moisture. This can be held in fabric, wall coverings and brickwork, so sustained warmth may be needed to restore safe moisture levels.

– With many new properties, chimneys and flues are blocked when not in use, but this can create damp issues. Rather than blocking off completely, a ventilated chimney cap should be used, allowing for a flow of air throughout a property.

– Rain water should not be allowed to stand once it has fallen on your property. Even if shallow puddles form and evaporate quickly, they can still be absorbed into the building. When this is repeated many times, it can cause considerable damage.

– Check that the finish on your walls is appropriate, both indoors and outdoors. A finish can seal a wall, or leave it vulnerable to damp. Additives such as no more mould can make an inappropriate coating work across a range of surfaces.

– Although it may be obvious, you should make sure that an existing damp course is above the level of the ground on all sides of a property and adjoining buildings. It can rise over time, so this is especially important for older buildings.

– Similarly to above, you should ensure that floor level grilles are clear – both inside and out. Variations in ground height can cause them to become blocked, so make sure you check that they are approximately 150mm higher than the ground.

– Ensure that roofing has sufficient protection against moisture. This should be in place on newer buildings, but old buildings, or those which have had work completed such as extensions may vary in condition.

– Leaks from your plumbing system can sometimes be easy to spot, but can also be hidden within walls. It is important to check over your plumbing systems, especially with the change in the seasons due to the expansion and contraction of pipework.

Of course, it may be hard to isolate a mould or damp issue, so getting the opinion of a professional is always recommended when you are in doubt.

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