Penetrating damp is a common damp problem that can affect many buildings. Sometimes referred to as rain penetration this kind of damp occurs most commonly when water is allowed to leak into a building’s walls or ceiling.
There are many possible defects that could cause penetrating damp but the most likely causes are; defective guttering, damaged downpipes, cracked rendering, roof damage, dilapidated windows and damaged or aging brick walls.
While identifying the cause or causes of penetrating damp may not be as difficult as solving other kinds of damp proofing problems, penetrating damp can still cause damage to your property and just as with other variants of damp, the problem will only get worse the longer you leave it.
It’s very important to find the source of penetrating damp quickly because even if the penetrating damp is yet to penetrate all the way through the wall or ceiling it can still cause moss growth, frost damage, increased heat loss and mould. Depending on the surfaces affected by the penetrating damp, you might see a variety of effects.
For example, if the wall affected is plastered then you’ll likely see paint and plaster deterioration, staining and salts. Whereas if the penetrating damp is localised to one area then you’ll likely see blotchy patches of damp on the surface of the wall.
Correcting the Defects
Since penetrating damp can be caused by a variety of defects there are various ways to fix the problem. Below are a list of possible fixes to the various defects that can cause penetrating damp.
Defective Guttering – If you find that your gutters are leaking then you’ll need to repair them or replace them to stop the leak. Also be sure to carefully examine your window frames to make sure there are no gaps.
Roof Damage – Unless you’re qualified and have the necessary expertise then you’ll likely be best getting professional help to check and repair a damaged roof if you believe it to be the cause of penetrating damp.
Dilapidated or Damaged Windows – Check window sills to make sure the drip grooves aren’t blocked as these can be susceptible to a build-up of dirt and moss. If found to be blocked, make sure to clean them thoroughly. If your windows are noticeably aged or damaged then you’ll need to get them replaced.
Damaged Downpipes – Like with the drip grooves around your windows it’s easy for downpipes to get blocked up by a build-up of dirt. If you find that your pipes are blocked then simply clean them thoroughly to prevent penetrating damp from spreading.
Once you’ve identified the problem causing the penetrating damp, you’ll then have to go about fixing the damage the damp has done. This is normally done by simply replastering the affected area with new plaster or ‘dry lining’ the walls with a Cavity Drain Membrane sheet.
Find out more about penetrating damp.