Damp is an incredibly common household ailment, and not only does it cause serious damage to the walls of your home, but it can also make it a very cold, wet and uncomfortable place to live.
If damp is left untreated, then it can cause serious harm to both your home and your health. If you live in a damp house, you are 75% more likely to develop respiratory problems down the line.
There are many different types of damp including:
- Rising Damp – this is mainly caused by moisture seeping through porous materials in your walls.
- Condensation Damp – condensation is caused by a range of every day activities and if a house is not well ventilated the moisture in the air will stick to walls.
- Penetrating Damp – the most likely cause of penetrating damp is a leak somewhere around the exterior of your home, such as a gutter or pipe.
What to Look For
Damp is quite easy to spot, look for wet areas on your wall and run your hands across them to feel for particularly cold areas. Damp usually leaves watermarks too, caused by salt deposits.
If you do have damp areas and they go unnoticed, then you may well see patches of mould or moss appear on either walls or pieces of furniture. Walk around the outside of your home and look for mossy areas, this should indicate where the problems are.
How to Avoid Damp
There are many different ways you can avoid damp in your home:
- Clear any gutters and pipes around the outside of your home, as obstructions will cause them to overflow and leak.
- Check your roof for any damage or cracks and make sure there are no tiles that have slipped out of place.
- Avoid drying clothes on radiators and make sure any room wet clothing is hung in has the windows open.
- Use any extractor fans that you have installed in your kitchen and bathrooms.
If you think that you may have a damp problem then you are best off ringing a specialist and asking them to have a look around your home. They will carry out a damp survey on your home and then let you know where the problems lie.
There many different types of damp proof course (DPC) available, depending on your situation. A chemical damp proof course is the most invasive solution and is injected into the wall to create a water-repelling layer.
A solid DPC is the most traditional solution and involves a layer of solid material placed between courses of brick above ground level. It is a very reliable method but can be tricky once the wall has already been built.
A Damp Proof Membrane is best for more modern houses that have concrete floors, as damp can easily rise up through concrete unless a membrane is in place. Usually a large sheet of polythene, copper or bituminous felt is used and attached to the DPC used in the walls.
Electro-Osmosis DPC uses an electrical charge to draw any moisture towards negative electrodes within a wall. The damp will be repelled against the electric force and any water rising up with will be counteracted and reversed.
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