Damp is an all too common problem in households throughout the UK. The high humidity makes it difficult to keep homes dry and free from damp. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to tackle dampness around the home.
The first step is to identify the source or cause of the damp. Once you know why your home is damp, you can then begin to make small but significant changes that will help to tackle the problem.
For some people, damp is a seasonal issue, but some people struggle with damp year-round because of the way their home is built. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most common methods to address damp in the home.
What is damp?
Damp occurs when moisture builds up on surfaces. It can lead to unsightly patches of mould forming around your home. Damp walls can appear in any home, making it feel uncomfortable and unhygienic.
If left unresolved the effects of damp walls can be long-term and extensive, so it is important to make sure the problem is fixed as soon as possible. The good news is that there are several solutions available to get rid of damp walls and create a healthier living environment.
For example, improving ventilation by opening windows regularly, maintaining humidity levels with a dehumidifier or airing cupboard, as well as ensuring drainage systems are operating correctly.
There are also structural ways to treat damp, such as rendering the affected wall. While more extensive, these methods could help to tackle damp at the source. With the right solution for your situation, it is possible to resolve damp walls quickly and effectively.
What causes damp?
The first step in getting rid of damp is to identify the source of the dampness. This could be from leaks, condensation, or rising damp. Identifying the source of dampness is the first step in tackling any moisture problem.
Different sources require different methods of resolution, so it’s important to accurately pinpoint what is causing the issue.
Common sources among residential buildings include:
- Leaks stemming from a plumbing fixture
- Condensation from high-humidity environments
- Rising damp, which is an external and structural issue
Determining the source of the dampness will help you to choose the right steps to fix it.
How to cure and fix damp walls
Once you know the source, you can take steps to fix it. For example, you might need to fix leaks or increase ventilation. Knowing the source of a problem is the most important step for fixing it. Once you are familiar with the cause, you can begin to effectively address it.
Damp caused by moisture in the air
If you have a humid home with lots of moisture in the air, you will need to address ventilation issues. This type of damp is common in internal rooms with no windows, or rooms with high moisture levels such as the bathroom.
To address this type of damp, you should use moisture traps and dehumidifiers in affected areas. Something as simple as opening windows in the morning to allow moisture to escape can also help.
In winter months, try moving furniture away from walls to help improve circulation around the room, particularly if the furniture is touching colder exterior walls. Moisture in the air will settle on cold surfaces, but good air circulation and help to prevent this.
Sealant paints can help to prevent damp from returning, but these will not work in isolation. You’ll also need to keep moisture levels low through ventilation.
Damp caused by leaks
If you have a leak somewhere in your home, you need to address the source of the leak. You’ll then need to allow the wall to dry out before treating it with specialist paint. This type of damp can be difficult to identify because the leak might be under floorboards or behind furniture.
Damp caused by rising damp
If your damp issue is structural, you’ll need to address this at the source. A specialist will need to visit your property and check that your damp-proof course is still intact. If this fails, damp can rise up through your property, causing damp and structural issues.
You might be able to address the cosmetic problems with this type of damp, but only a specialist will be able to address the cause of the problem.
Can I ignore a damp problem?
Mould growing on damp walls is not only unsightly but could potentially cause health hazards if left ignored. To make your home more comfortable and conducive to healthy living, it is necessary to combat this common issue. If left untreated, damp can lead to toxic mould build-up and even structural damage to your property.
Some small changes to your daily routine can help to combat a damp problem in your home. First, check if the damp problem is structural or the result of a leak or plumbing problem. If the damp is caused by moisture or condensation, look for ways to increase ventilation. Alongside increased ventilation, try moisture traps to attract excess moisture from the air.
And finally, you should address the cosmetic issues associated with a damp problem to help cure and fix damp walls. Specialist sealant paint will help to create a barrier on internal walls to help prevent the damp and mould from returning. This can be useful in high moisture environments such as the bathroom.
Damp walls are a common problem, but there are several ways to fix them. The first step is to identify the source of the dampness – this could be from leaks, condensation, or rising damp. Once you know the source, you can take steps to fix it – for example, fixing leaks or increasing ventilation. In some cases, you may need to use specialist products to help with damp walls – these can be found at most DIY shops. With a little bit of effort, you can cure your damp walls and make your home more comfortable.