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Penetrating damp is a problem that can affect any type of building, residential or commercial. It is also known as horizontal moisture ingress and might seem harmless at first glance but can cause serious damage to a property, even without penetrating all the way through a wall. It often leads to other damp conditions such as wet rot as well as damp issues such as damp plasterwork, heat loss, musty smells and unsightly water damage. It can also allow frost damage to masonry so affects both the exterior and interior of the property.
How is penetrating damp caused?
Penetrating damp commonly comes when a problem with the building has allowed water to enter. This might be through issues such as:
Downpipes not working properly
Inadequate drop grooves
Defective joints around windows and doors
It can also happen due to the increase in the ground levels around the property, for example after the installation of a flower bed or other change to the surrounding ground.
Normally, when it rains, moisture soaks into brick or stone walls but doesn’t reach the inner surface due to natural evaporation. However, if there is an abnormal amount of moisture due to one of the examples listed above, then the natural evaporation won’t be able to clear the water quickly enough and this leads to penetrating dampness.
Symptoms to identify penetrating damp include:
Watermarks on masonry that continue to grow
Damp patches that appear at random and stay wet
Growth of black mould
Timber showing signs of being damaged by saturation and possible wet or dry rot symptoms
Fix a penetrating damp problem
To fix a penetrating damp problem, the first step is to identify the cause and deal with this. Once the source of the moisture has been identified and steps are taken to stop it allow the water into the property, then repairs can be undertaken to any plaster or timbers. It may be necessary to install a membrane to make certain the area remains dry going forward.
Our surveyors would look at what corrective treatment would be best to deal with the damage to plaster and timbers. We can also check for signs of wet or dry rot.
Our process would involve identifying any timbers that might need replacing and proposing specifications for those repairs. Next, we can install a membrane if needed within the affected area to prevent the damp affecting the repaired area.
We can replace plaster with special, damp resistant plaster where needed and also use fungicidal treatments to the replaced timber and masonry to be certain no fungi has infected the area. If there are any other steps we would recommend, we would also detail them for and advise why they are required.
Our work comes with a special guarantee that means you can be reassured that the work we do is of the top quality and will last into the future to protect your property from penetrating damp.
Request a Survey
If you have issues with damp, get in touch to seek advice, by calling us free, or request a survey by using our online form.
Tapco HomeDry based in Surrey, is one of London and the Home Counties most established and reputable damp-proofing, wood-rot and property preservation companies. We are long term members of the Property Care Association (PCA), Trust Mark (Government Endorsed Standards), the Guarantee Protection Insurance (GPI), and an accredited Which? Trusted trader, providing thorough, professional surveys for both commercial and domestic properties. For pre-purchase surveys we are the all-inclusive property preservation experts, providing solutions for damp, from the roof to the drains.