TOP TIPS FOR DEALING WITH DAMP
If you have a damp problem in your home, you may be able to diagnose the problem yourself. Below are some simple tips to help you solve dampness problems in your property.
Dampness appears suddenly
Has the problem appeared suddenly? If so, it is likely that the dampness is due to a leak from a pipe or escape of water. The source could be from pipework in the floor, or from the bath, shower, dishwasher, sink, WC or washing machine. Check what you can, you may need the help of a plumber to locate. Once fixed, dry the area and make good. Click here for more information on water leak detection and flood restoration services offered by Biocraft.
Dampness affecting outside walls and ceilings
If dampness is affecting the outside walls/ ceilings and is mainly black mould, then it is likely to be a condensation issue. Condensation is caused by warm, moist air coming into contact with cold surfaces. Solutions are: reduce moisture in the air, improve heating and ventilation and improve installation. Click here for more information on condensation control.
Dampness which is high on walls with blistering paint
Is the problem appears high on the wall or ceiling or around doors, windows or chimney and appears as a stain and/or flaking/blistering paint or plaster? It is likely penetrating dampness. You would need to check the roofing, guttering, pointing or brick work, the seals around doors and windows, drip grooves on windowsills. You may need a builder or handyman to carry out repair to building detail. It is a good idea to look outside when it is raining heavily to see if there are any problems with leaks or overflow guttering.
Dampness on fireplace and chimney breast
If there is dampness on the fireplace and chimney breast, it is likely due to water ingress, lack of adequate ventilation, to the chimney flue or combustion salt contamination. Check the condition of the chimney, including pots and flashing. If chimney or part of the chimney is not used, then it should have a ventilated covered pot and the fireplace should be ventilated to provide air flow up the chimney. Long term water ingress can cause salt contamination which may need re-plastering after the source of the moisture has been removed and the masonry has had time to dry (several months, 6-18 months depending on the thickness of the wall).
Dampness in kitchen or bathroom
If the problem is in the kitchen or bathroom and is at low level, it is highly likely to be a leak or escape of water. This is the most common source of dampness in kitchens and bathrooms. Be aware the source of the moisture may be a little distance from the appearance of the damp, especially if the walls and floors are tiled. The second most common damp in kitchens and bathrooms is condensation and mould – improve heating and ventilation.
Long-term and low-level dampness
If the problem is at low level, long term in nature and is very gradually getting worse over time, it may be rising dampness, but could also be a bridged DPC, lack of subfloor ventilation, or blocked cavity – investigate further to determine cause. Click here for more information on specialist damp services.
Dampness on below ground walls
If the problem is on a wall that is below ground, such as, a basement or semi basement. If there is black mould it is likely a condensation issue due to lack of ventilation and/or heating. If there are no pipes, drains or appliances that could be causing the damp, it is likely a failure or absence of waterproofing to walls and floors and you will need specialist advice. Click here for more information on waterproofing.
Black mould on edge of bedroom ceiling
Black mould on a bedroom ceiling – at edges or in squares/ rectangles, can indicate missing loft insulation. This causes cold bridging, leading to condensation and mould. Refit loft insulation but make sure there is a 25-50mm ventilation gap above the insulation for ventilation of loft space.
Dampness in a traditionally built house (Pre 1919)
As with all dampness issues, it is essential to make sure the source of dampness is correctly diagnosed. Any remedial work should be carried out using compatible material for the type of building being worked on. Using sand and cement renders, plasters & pointing on a lime-built building can lead to serious problems in the future. Biocraft can advise on dampness in traditionally built buildings and structures.
Should you require specialist damp proofing advice, please contact Biocraft LTD on 0118 945 1144 or email [email protected]. Biocraft offers specialist damp proofing and damp control services throughout Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Oxford.