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Damp is a general term that is used to describe the situation where unwanted moisture or water, including condensation, is present in a building, whether it be a domestic or a commercial property. There is little warning that damp is building up, but the results of it can be extremely damaging to buildings and harmful to health.
It is often detected by the musty smell it creates or by the appearance of mould, damage to wallpaper, decorations or by conditions such as wet or dry rot. The first signs of damp usually appear on walls and ceilings, skirting boards or floor timbers.
Many homeowners are quite rightly worried by the signs of damp, but you can be confident that Tapco have many years of experience dealing with damp and related timber decay and we can handle every aspect of your problem.
What causes damp?
Damp can affect any building and if ignored, lead to debilitating dry or wet rot problems as well as damaging mould. The most common reasons for damp include poor property maintenance, bad workmanship, poor quality materials or the failure or absence of an existing damp proof course.
There are three common types of damp that affect buildings in the UK: rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation. We have the skills and techniques to deal with any of these problems and can apply measures to prevent a reoccurrence.
What does damp look like?
It is easy to miss the signs of damp, especially in the early stages, but there are a number of signs to watch for that can indicate a problem. If you recognise any of these, you should call in an expert as soon as possible to further investigate. Signs include:
Damp marks appearing on walls
Marks appearing around chimney breasts
Stains from water and salt on walls
Stains on wall coverings
Nails or screws that are rusty
Mushroom type growth on walls or structural timbers
Fungal growth on visible surfaces
Discoloured areas known as ‘tide marks’ on walls
There are also some signs that appear on the outside of the property that might indicate a problem with damp inside. These include watermarks or moss on walls near rainwater goods or salt stains and crumbling mortar.
Will damp damage my home?
Over time damp can lead to structural problems to your property. If airborne spores were to settle on damp wood, for example, they could lead to wet and dry rot problems which can seriously weaken the structural strength of the wood. Such conditions are also prime breeding grounds for several types of woodworm as well as creating unsightly mould issues that can cause health problems for the people living in the property. The longer the problem is left, the worse the effects of the damp and more costly it will be. Find out more here.
Damp and health
As mentioned, untreated damp can lead to health issues, and these can be quite serious. Mould from high humidity and both wet and dry rot fungus, release spores into the atmosphere. These can be inhaled and lead to respiratory problems, especially for anyone suffering from asthma. Asthma can also be affected by the increased moisture levels within the room, another reason not to ignore it.
How to prevent damp
Damp occurs when water gains entry into a property through either leak in the roof, windows or doors (known as penetrating damp) or by rising up the walls by capillary action, known as rising damp.It can also penetrate laterally from high external ground levels, this is known as lateral damp penetration.
There are general steps that homeowners can take to reduce the risk of damp problem in their homes. These include:
Ensuring there are no leaks from roofs, windows or doors
Clear any obstructions in guttering and drains that can prevent them working properly
Ensure the house is kept warm and well ventilated, and any air bricks or trickle vents are clear
Ensure the house is kept at a constantly warm temperature in winter to reduce the risk of condensation
Check outside for any signs of wet walls or moss on walls
Make sure the external ground levels are at least 150mm below the damp proof course of the property
How to treat damp
If you think your home has a damp problem, then you should get in touch with Tapco HomeDry as soon as possible. Our process would then involve our qualified damp and timber surveyor visiting the property to test for signs of damp and locating the cause of the problem. Once we know what is causing the damp, we can advise you on what we will do to deal with it and stop it happening again. We have cost effective treatments with proven track records and any work is covered by our 20 year guarantee which can be protected by Guarantee Protection Insurance (GPI) to give you added peace of mind.
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.