Why do you have damp walls?
If you have a damp wall that appear to be getting progressively worse, the first thing you should do is ask yourself some questions that might indicate what could be causing it. This will also help if you decide to have the problem surveyed professionally, because the more information you can give the surveyor, the easier it is for him to determining what is causing it. There are several reasons why walls in a property become damp and not all are Rising Damp. By far the most common cause of damp in a property is condensation, which is usually brought about by the lifestyle of the occupants. Before you have a survey carried out, here are some questions you should ask yourself and we will tell you what to look for.
Q1. Are the walls only damp in the winter or when the temperature outside drops? Is there black mould on the walls or mould on your clothes in the wardrobe?
A1 This is Condensation being caused by high humidity, which is often brought about by the lifestyle of the occupants. Measures to reduce this need to be immediately carried out, such as keeping the property constantly warm and adequately ventilated. Further information on this can be found on our website.
Q2. Is the damp high up on the wall or in the room above? Is it affecting the edge of the ceiling?
A2. This is likely to be rain penetration due to an external building defect such as a leaking down-pipe or guttering, blown or cracked rendering or defective pointing. Check by tapping the rendering with a hammer to see if it is hollow and check the rainwater goods when it is raining to see if they are leaking.
Q3. Is there damp staining to a ceiling or wall which appears to be getting bigger? Is the problem below a bathroom or kitchen?
A3. It is possible that there is a plumbing leak. Plumbing directly above the staining should be thoroughly checked and if necessary immediately repaired.
Q4. Does the base of your wall appear to be damp? Is the wall paper pealing back? Are your skirting boards starting to crack or are there rusty marks where they are fixed?
A4. It is possible you have Rising Damp, which could have occurred for several reasons, such as, the existing damp proof course that the property was built with breaking down, the external ground level has been raised and is bridging the existing damp proof course or the cavity walls are littered with building rubble. In many cases the most economical way of eradicating this is to inject a new chemical (cream) damp proof course, although this doesn’t take away the need for repairing any building defects.
Q5. Are the internal surfaces of your basement or below ground walls wet and cold to the touch?
A5. It is likely your wall has Lateral Damp Penetration. This is moisture from the ground that is forced through the wall under hydrostatic pressure. This can cause severe damp and damage internally but can be eradicated by carrying out structural damp proofing internally (Tanking) or installing a Cavity Drain Membrane(CDM), both of which we guarantee will solve the problem.
You should always seek professional advice to determine the exact cause and the correct remedial work that is required, but ensure you only use an experienced, reputable company such as Tapco HomeDry. Our surveyors are Property Care Association (PCA) qualified damp and timber surveyor who have a vast knowledge of dealing with damp problems in properties. No damp should be ignored because it will get worse and soon attract spores, such as Dry Rot, that will attack damp timber. Nobody wants a damp problem but the sooner you deal with it the less damaging and less expensive it will be.