Damp Problems

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Damp problems

Given the amount of rainwater we are subjected to in the UK, it is no surprise that many of us will encounter damp problems in our property at some point. This excessive moisture in the air and ground contributes to damp problems related to rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation.

Continue reading to find out more about identifying different damp problems and how to resolve them. Alternatively, get in touch to arrange an appointment with one of our qualified damp experts on 0800 633 5712 or complete the enquiry form below.

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Do you have damp patches on your internal walls?

The images below show the different effects damp can have on the walls of a property. Although damp patches on internal walls are a common symptom of most forms of damp, other signs such as internal salt marks appearing on brickwork or plaster can be an indicator that rising damp is likely the cause of your worries. If you recognise any of the signs in the picture below then you may want to consider contacting us for some professional damp proofing advice.


Damp on walls

What causes damp patches on walls

If you have noticed damp patches, peeling decorations or black spot mould appearing on your walls, then generally speaking the most likely culprit will be one of the three types of damp outlined below. Identifying the cause of your damp walls is of course integral to pinpoint the correct for of treatment you will require to resolve the problem, so continue reading to see if you can  establish the cause of your damp walls.

Damp walls caused by rising damp

Rising damp can only ever affect walls the property’s ground floor. The biggest tell-tale sign of rising damp is “tide mark” on the wall above the skirting. Another common symptom of rising damp is white marks left by salts that are drawn out of the brickwork. The salts and tide mark will often cause damage to paint or the peeling of wallpaper along with a damp musty odour.

Damp walls caused by penetrating damp

Penetrating damp refers to moisture ingress through a lateral wall. It is a damp problem that can penetrate walls at any level of a property. If water management systems like guttering or downpipes on the outside of your property look damaged or blocked then they are likely the source of a penetrating damp problem. Defective pointing and leaks in plumbing can cause penetrating damp. 

On your internal walls, penetrating damp will create damp patches that damage plaster, leave water marks and leave a damp musty smell.

Damp walls caused by condensation

Damp on walls caused by condensation will typically manifest as black mould spots on paintwork and wallpaper. Condensation problems are more likely to occur on cold, outside facing walls but can affect any wall in the property given the right circumstances. Condensation problems are more common in the autumn and winter months when people close their windows and increase the humidity and is particularly prevalent in bathrooms and kitchens.

How to deal with damp problems

Damp is one of the most unpleasant problems a property owner can encounter. Damp problems can make a property feel miserable and ugly, and if they are left to fester they can lead to structural problems and potentially costly repairs.

Fortunately, there are many solutions for damp problems that range from simple lifestyle changes to DIY maintenance and professional help for the trickiest conditions. There are also early warning signs that can allow property owners to nip damp problems in the bud before they cause too much damage.

Check out the guide below for help and advice on identifying damp problems, fixing them yourself and knowing when to call in the professionals.

Top tips to prevent damp problems

  • Tip 1 - Inspection and Maintenance - A “property inspection” does not automatically mean getting a professional surveyor to visit you. There are many checks you can do yourself. That said, we would recommend getting a professional property health check every 3 years or so.

    Property inspections that anyone can do include:

    • Looking at your roof for loose or broken tiles.
    • Checking for foliage or moss in your gutters.
    • Cracks on the stonework.
    • Checking for damaged pointing or mortar between the bricks.
    • Checking the chimney for any damage to lead flashings, valleys and parapet walls.
    All of the above can lead to water ingress and damp problems. If you notice them and can fix them – great. If you cannot, there is always a professional who can.

  • Tip 2 - Acting Fast - I you do spot a damp in your property you should act fast! The longer a damp problem is allowed to persist the more damage it has the potential to cause and ultimately, the more costly the issue becomes. Put simply, nipping a damp problem in the bud as soon as possible will save you money.

  • H3: Tip 3 - Stop Moisture Build-Up - Condensation is the number one cause of damp problems in UK properties, and bizarrely this is due to an increase in living standards. As our properties have become warmer, with double-glazing and improved heating, they have sadly become less well ventilated. This means that when we boil a kettle, run a bath or even breather the moisture we pump into the air simply has less chance to escape.

    Thankfully, it can often be very simple to reduce the impact of condensation, and avoid ugly black mould patches on your walls. Modest routine changes such as opening windows when showering and cooking or turning on the extractor fan more often can make a world of difference.

    Occasionally, professional help will be needed if extra ventilation needs to be installed into your home. However, professionals like the condensation experts at Peter Cox are always here to help.

  • Tip 4 - Investigate the Bathroom - When you think about it, it seems obvious; the room in the house with the most potential to cause damp problems is the one that gets the wettest. So many damp and rot problems we survey and treat stem from bad seals and leaks from the bathroom. By taking care of your bath or shower, you can avoid spending hundreds, possibly thousands, of pounds fixing devastating damp timber problems like dry rot or wet rot.

Does cavity wall insulation cause damp?

Many properties in the UK have cavity wall insulation, and while it is perfectly functional most of the time, certain circumstances can lead to a link between cavity wall insulation and penetrating damp.

To find out more about damp problems created by poorly or innapropriately installed cavity wall insulation you can visit our dedicated damp and insulation page.

When do I need professional help with damp problems

When damp has got to a point that is causing damage and you are unable to identify or fix the source of the problem then we would recommend getting in touch with a professional.
Everyone has their own level of experience and expertise when it comes to fixing their property and the professionals at Peter Cox are able to help with everything from condensation through to rising damp, penetrating damp and dry rot. If you have any doubts about damp problems in you property our team are here to help.

If you have damp problems in your property and you need to speak with a damp proofing expert then call Peter Cox today on 0808 256 6495 to request a damp survey. Our surveyors are highly experienced and CSRT qualified and our damp treatment process is rated and approved by Which?, TrustMark, The Property Care Association and other recognised trade bodies.

If you would prefer to contact the Peter Cox team online then fill out our online form and someone will get back to you.

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Next Steps

*Survey enquiries for your local branch will be directed to our dedicated central survey control teams across the UK. Calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers are free unless you are calling from a business phone, in which case the rate will be set by your provider.