Posted on
June 4th, 2015

Less obvious causes of damp

Lack of extractor fan, single glazed windows – some causes of damp can be obvious, but often there are factors at play which can cause damp without you knowing. Many modern building techniques are leading causes of damp problems, but due to the long time it takes for them to emerge, the links are not always seen.

Solid floor replacements

It is important for moisture to travel up through the ground and harmlessly into the air. When floors are replaced by solid, modern designs, this is often prevented from happening. The only way for moisture to escape in these cases is for it to move across and rise through walls. This adds increased amounts of moisture in the walls, potentially increasing damage caused by damp.

Cement rendering

The use of this rendering technique results in cracks across the surface. The size and extent of these cracks can vary greatly with the skill of the builder and quality of the work done, but they will occur. Cracks capture water and allow it into walls, but at the same time, prevent the escape of moisture due to the impermeable nature of the render. Even if cracks are not visible, the impermeable render can hold moisture within a house.

Modern wall finishes

Modern paints, plasters and wallpaper are mostly impermeable so that they can be cleaned and give increased longevity. However, this can have adverse effects on the walls behind them, stopping moisture escaping and building up in brickwork.

Converted cellars

Below ground rooms were traditionally designed to remain cool and accept small amounts of flooding when in contact with the local water course. When the functionality is changed and rooms are sealed, this creates an issue for moisture, as it cannot always escape. It is important to have adequate ventilation so that moisture can escape. When cellars are converted to habitable rooms, it is likely that these ventilation points are blocked, creating a big issue for damp in the future. Even this eventuality is covered by the damp treatments for basements, available here.

These factors add to the list of warning signs and areas which you should be aware of when looking for damp.

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