For any home, damp problems are a serous cause for concern. Regardless of the style of your property, it’s no secret that damp can seriously lower the value of your home, reduce the thermal efficiency, and, if left unchecked long-term, play havoc with your family’s health.
That being said, is there a damp wall treatment that helps?
The following guide provides you with all you need to know about damp, including the telltale signs to spot, and the failproof ways to solve it…
How to Identify the Problem
The first step towards damp wall treatment is identifying the problem. Where does damp appear? And why does it appear? Damp is usually more frequent, and apparent, during the long, Winter months, when precipitation levels are at their highest.
However, you should still look for signs and signals of mould during the entire year.
For example, for your walls, a simple test will do the trick. Hold your hand against the wall, and see if it feels very cold, or moist to the touch. One obvious giveaway is the appearance of black speckled marks or grey growths on painted walls and wallpaper.
In addition to this, if you notice curling wallpaper, or flaking paint, these are both two clear indicators of damp and mould penetration.
Other areas of your home to pay attention to include both ceilings and windows.
For your ceilings, pay close to attention to the colour of the ceiling. Do you notice any discolouration in any area of the ceiling? Are there brown patches in the external corners? Or are there brown patches near the chimney breasts? All of these are telltale signs of residual moisture in your home.
As for the windows, the easiest and most obvious sign is condensation on windows in the morning. You will also notice small puddles of water along the window sills themselves.
Those are serious indicators of high moisture levels within your home. That means you need to do something, and prevent moisture and damp from spreading.
Damp on Walls: 4 Common Causes
There are four common causes of damp. Depending on the cause, you need to select the appropriate damp wall treatment to resolve it. Sometimes, the cause might be rising damp, in other cases, the penetrating damp is the primary problem.
Let’s break down the causes, and explore the best ways to treat them…
You will notice condensation on the windows, but also cold walls and surfaces. Additionally, your home will feel considerably colder than normal.
The cause of this problem is insufficient ventilation, probably caused by the techniques deployed during the initial construction, and home renovations that made it difficult for the moisture to escape from the building.
Penetrating damp appears when the weatherproofing of your home lets you down. Usually, penetrating damp happens because of leaking roofs, leaking gutters, or damaged and deteriorating mortar, although damaged render on the exterior walls can also exacerbate the problem.
You will easily notice suddenly, and out of nowhere, the appearance of damp patches on the inside of an exterior wall. You will also spy damp in the upper corners of the room, probably on the ceiling, and near the chimney breast as well.
Once you identify the source of condensation and damp, you can easily find a damp wall treatment to alleviate the issue. However, in some instances, you’ll need to make repairs, and prevent further damp problems with proper insulation.
Leaky plumbing is very similar to penetrating damp. Damp caused by problems with plumbing, appears away from the external walls and corners of a room, and is witnessed as a growing damp patch, that shows clear signs of spreading.
Usually, damp caused by plumbing will appear on a ceiling or beneath a radiator or a sink. The cause is leaking cold or hot water supply, damaged central heating pipework, or waste water.
The best way to prevent damp caused by plumbing is to fix the leaky plumbing immediately.
The symptoms of rising damp are cold and damp surfaces, as well as mould growing in the external corners of the ground floor rooms.
Sometimes, you might even notice a musty smell. Rising damp is a problem that happens in homes that are built in the early 20th century, or properties built before then. Modern properties have damp proof courses built into the footings and foundations that prevent rising damp.
However, damp proof courses are less substantial in older homes, or they might not even be part of the construction. If you live in an older home, where there is substantial rising damp, your first, and best solution is to install a modern, damp proof course.