Owning your home can be expensive and there seems to be a constant list of things to do that all eat up your cash. This means prioritising and doing the jobs that are going to give you the most benefits for your cash. When the job in question is damp proofing your home, there are a number of substantial benefits that mean it is definitely worth adding to the top of your to-do list.
What is damp?
Damp is a bit of a general term used for several conditions and situations where water gets into your home in higher amounts that is ideal and causes several problems. These can include the growth of mould or fungus and the deterioration of building materials such as timber.
Top of the list of damp causing situations is condensation. This is where the warm air in the house, filled with water, hits colder surfaces and everything ends up with a fine, wet covering. A little, short term condensation isn’t a big problem – say after cooking a Sunday roast with all the pans boiling. But regular or heavy condensation can lead to damp as the overall moisture levels in the house rise and create the perfect conditions with these nasty substances to grow.
Rising damp is next on the list of common damp conditions and is based on the damp proof course of your home. This is a discreet little black line in the bricks around 15cm above ground level that you can usually see from outside your home. It stops water being absorbed from the ground and access the inside of the house. If the damp proof course isn’t working properly, then this water gets inside and causes everything from tide marks and peeling wallpaper to black mould.
Finally, there’s penetrating damp. This happens when water gets into the property through a weakness such as a window seal that has decayed or a broken roof tile. Once the water gets in, dark marks form and the problems of mould or fungus like dry rot can begin.
Is damp proofing worth it?
A few black spots on the walls or some weird looking mushrooms growing in the loft might not seem like a major problem that you should spend your cash on but if you talk to damp specialists, you can soon realise how major these issues can be.
For example, dry rot is a type of fungus and it spreads like wildfire. It can attack the timbers in the loft then move through plaster and metal and cause serious structural damage to the home. So the cost of upgrading the damp proofing around the home is almost nothing compared to the cost of this kind of damage.
Black mould might look unpleasant but it is also a health risk, especially if you have allergies, asthma or respiratory problems. This stuff is nasty and can cause all number of conditions as well as ruin wallpaper and plaster on walls. It also has a particularly unpleasant smell – we often refer to it as a damp, musty smell.
On top of all of this, you can also be helping protect the value of your home. If you want to sell your house and there are any signs of damp or the damp proof course isn’t visible, then this can devalue your home. Surveyors will pick up on the problem and either you will then have to rush to have the work done or accept a lower valuation for the property due to it.
So in the end, having those damp specialists visit can save you money, avoid ill health and improve the value of your property.