Penetrating Damp

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One of UK's leading property care specialists since 1951, with 65+ years experience

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Signs of Damp

Damp problems can affect any building new or old, but more often than not, they can be attributed to poor property maintenance, poor build quality, the use of low-quality materials, or the absence or failure of an existing damp proof course.

Signs of Damp – What Does it look like?

Often damp problems can go unnoticed in your property, but there are telltale signs of damp which verify whether or not there's a damp problem:

  • Damp musty smells
  • Paint cracking or deteriorating
  • Damp marks around chimney breast
  • Damp stains, damp mould or salt residue on walls
  • Staining of wall coverings
  • Rusting nails or screws
  • Evidence of dry rot fungal growth on walls and structural timber
  • A discoloured or white tidemark on walls, indicating rising damp

Signs of a damp problem outside of your property:

  • Water marks on walls
  • Salt stains on walls
  • Moss or vegetation growing on the exterior of buildings

Will damp damage my home?

Although it might not be noticeable, over time damp will cause structural problems - the presence of fungi in wood often causes wet rot and dry rot problems, which leads to the weakening of structural timber. It also provides ideal conditions for woodworm to thrive, and can cause unsightly and unhealthy mould problems to develop. The longer damp infests, the worse a woodworm, wet rot or dry rot problem will become and the greater damage caused to a property's structure.

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Noticed the Signs? Tips to prevent damp

Damp is caused by the entrance of water to a property – either through leaks in roofs, windows and doors or rising through floorboards, internal walls and external walls.

There are steps you can take in the home to reduce the risk of damp problems:

  • Check windows and doors have no damage or leaks which could be letting damp into your property
  • Remove obstructions such as leaves and weeds from roofing, guttering and drains
  • Make sure your home is well ventilated and air bricks are kept clear
  • Make sure your property is heated sufficiently during winter to reduce condensation
  • Check outside wall at ground level for signs of damp
  • Maintain external ground levels at least 150mm below the damp proof course

Recognise the damp signs - Need some help?

If you spot any signs of damp on your property, you should contact Peter Cox to arrange a professional survey to identify the cause, and give advice on treatments and solutions.

Peter Cox was established in 1951 and has over 66 years experience in providing damp proofing solutions. We are the market leader in the repair and preservation on all types of property.

Contact us to book a Peter Cox damp proofing survey from one of our damp specialists.


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