Guest Post: How to Identify, Repair and Treat Damp at Home


Are you struggling with damp, and looking for ways to fix the problem?

Damp is inevitable, especially in old houses where damp proof measures may have failed or if routine building maintenance has not been kept up. It can cause serious damage to the fabric of a building if left untreated. Although the most common form of dampness in homes generally occurs during the winter months, due to high levels of humidity causing condensation.

This can be easily treated and prevented if you remain vigilant and look out for the early signs of dampness regardless of the time of year. There are more serious forms of damp, which we will also cover in this article albeit thankfully less common.

Once you spot signs of damp in the house, ensure you identify the root cause before taking any treatment or prevention measures.

Understanding the kind of damp affecting your home will help you avoid unnecessary costs incurred in eradicating the problem as different types involve different treatment methods.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of damp for residential properties…

Condensation

The most common form of damp in domestic homes is condensation. It forms when warm moist air is prevented from escaping through poor ventilation and touches a cold internal wall or surface, ultimately leading to dampness. It mainly affects kitchens and bathrooms as they tend to generate a lot of air moisture.

That said, it can also be triggered in other rooms around the home, especially if good ventilation measures are not practiced or built in air flow mechanisms are not used. The simple practise of routinely opening windows can significantly prevent any build-up of air moisture.

Image illustrates a build-up of condensation within an ‘at risk’ room which has poor ventilation and therefore created an ideal condition for mould to grow and take hold.

Signs Of Condensation

The signs to look out for are:

  • Formation of dark mould on windows frames and surrounds.

  • Bad mouldy smell.

  • Water droplets on windows or walls.

  • Peeling and stained wallpaper.

Managing Condensation In The Home

When condensation is left untreated it can cause additional damage to paintwork, decoration and even wall plaster. It will also eventually cause decay to wooden window frames. The good news is there are five simple and cheap solutions to avoid these issues which include:

Ventilate your home. Open a window, install window vents, roof ventilation tiles and air vents especially in the ‘at risk’ rooms to help curb condensation.

Wipe away condensation. Always ensure all surfaces are thoroughly wiped down with a dry cloth to prevent water droplets collecting and damaging the surface.

Control humidity levels. Consider installing extractor fans in “high risk” or affected rooms ensuring doors are closed when the fans are on to enhance efficiency.

Non-effective control methods. Try to avoid the temptation of applying non-porous paints and wall coverings as they hinder the free circulation of air.