Lateral damp penetration is a cause of penetrating damp; when the external ground level is higher than the building so moisture is able to penetrate the walls. Penetrating damp is usually classed as any kind of water that makes it’s way in from the outside, and can also be caused by missing roof tiles, overflowing gutters, leaking pipes, and other structural problems with the building.
The Symptoms of Penetrating Damp and Lateral Damp Penetration
It can take a number of weeks or months before problems actually appear, so you must be vigilant when searching for signs and symptoms of penetrating damp and lateral damp penetration. You might notice:
- Circles of damp on walls and ceilings that seem to get bigger.
- Patches on the walls.
- Crumbly, wet plaster.
- Spores or mildew present.
- Drips and puddles.
How Penetrating Damp Can Be Treated
The way penetrating damp is treated is by getting rid of moisture at the source. However, this can sometimes be very difficult, especially if lateral damp penetration is the cause of the damp. A leaky gutter is fairly simple to repair, while a cellar covered in damp due to wet, high external ground will be much harder to remedy. You may need to get a professional to remedy lateral damp penetration for you if that is causing your penetrating damp!
- Reseal doors and windows – if your door and window frames are looking a little worse for wear, strip out all of the old sealant and replace it with a high quality silicone sealant. This is much better than it’s cheap alternatives!
- Replace crumbling/missing mortar – this is quite easy to do yourself, however, new mortar will be very noticeable against old mortar so you might want to replace a whole wall or section.
- Use a water sealer to seal the wall – seal the wall with 3 spray coats of water sealer, which will soak into the first few millimeters of brick, sealing up the tiny holes. Use a vapour permeable sealer so that water from the inside can escape though!
- Take a look at cavity walls – it’s possible there’s some kind of obstruction in your wall, but get professionals to do this for you as they will be able to have a look with a suitable camera!
Preventing Penetrating Damp in The Future
To prevent penetrating damp returning in the future you’ll need to make sure you keep on top of seals, connections and waste pipes; checking them regularly. Always look out for problems, as damp can be very sneaky. Check your loft for signs of water entering through the roof, and look at your walls for anything that doesn’t look right – such as crumbling plaster and cracks.
Preventing penetrating damp should be a priority for you, especially if you live in a top floor flat/apartment (consider the poor family/couple underneath you), with children, or with more mature adults, as it can come with a whole host of health issues; including respiratory problems. Combat damp before it can even start to appear by remaining clued up and vigilant!