If you’re dealing with damp in your home, you might be curious to know how your choice of decor can influence the presence of damp. Some homes are more prone to moisture than others. Maybe it’s an older property with less insulation. Or maybe there are ventilation issues that prevent you from keeping the property aired out.
Whatever the reasons, there are simple solutions you can try to help prevent damp conditions from taking over your home. Remember that the underlying cause of the damp should always be addressed first. But if you’re confident you’re just living in a home that is prone to moisture build up and damp, then a fresh lick of paint could be all you need to solve the problem.
What is breathable paint?
Many paints are made from synthetic materials which create an impermeable barrier. With breathable paints, moisture vapour can pass through to the surface without restriction. This is ideal for damp properties, as it will prevent moisture from building up on the surface.
The most common breathable paint is called claypaint, but some emulsion paints will also have breathable qualities. Very few house paints are breathable, so it’s important to look for this specialist type of paint if you are interested in protecting your home.
What paint is best for moist walls?
If you are dealing with moist walls due to ventilation or insulation problems, the best thing you can do is protect the surface so that you don’t have to keep paying to cover up any damage. If you have wallpaper on your walls, you’ll find that this often peels and comes loose. Painting surfaces that are prone to damp is far better.
Choosing a mould-proof or breathable paint will help to address the cosmetic issues related to damp. Mould proof paint contains fungicides that kill mould spores before they can reproduce. This can help in the short-term, but it won’t address the underlying issues.
How do I know what is causing the damp?
It isn’t always obvious what is causing your damp issue. Damp can’t always be seen with the naked eye, we can only see the consequences of damp. So the best way to tackle a damp problem is to arrange a damp survey.
During a damp survey, a specialist will use thermal imaging to determine the extent and source of the damp. This technique identifies cold spots on the walls, floor and ceiling, which can help to show how far the damp has spread and where it is coming from.
If the damp is isolated and only due to excess moisture in the air, poor ventilation, or poor insulation, this will be evident in the thermal imaging camera results. But if your damp is due to a structural problem or a leak, then this will be visible on the camera.
What can you paint on a wall to stop damp coming through?
There is a debate about whether you should deal with moisture using mould-proof paint, or allow the walls to breath with breathable paint. The truth is that you should always stop damp by addressing the underlying issues.
If there is a structural problem with the property, this needs to be addressed before you repaint. You might need a new damp proof course, or you might need to fix a broken roof which is letting rainwater in.
If your dampness is caused by a buildup of moisture in the property, you need to think about ventilation and how to ensure that moisture can’t build up. Moisture comes from sources like showers or boiling pots in the kitchen. It is then attracted to the coldest surfaces in the property.
If your property is not heated evenly and there is poor insulation, you can guarantee that moisture will continue to be a problem. While using breathable paint might help limit the damage, it isn’t a long-term solution.
How do you stop damp coming back on walls?
The only way to deal with damp is to address the underlying cause. However, it’s worth noting that properties can continue to feel damp long after the cause has been addressed. In this instance, you should consider using dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture from the air while also ventilating the property well.
You can also use breathable paint to allow the walls to dry out completely, which should eventually make your home far more comfortable and cosy.
What else helps to deal with damp?
The best way to deal with damp is to stay on top of the issue. Some properties are more prone to damp because they are poorly insulated, poorly ventilated, or they are difficult to heat. How you use the property will also have a big impact on the dampness levels. For example, if you have long showers and don’t open then the windows afterwards, this can lead to excess moisture in your home.