Damp problems can be a serious concern in any home, whether you are a home-owner or renter, or living in any style of property. At best it can be a nuisance and make a room feel cold, unwelcoming and unhealthy, and at worst it can indicate structural or weatherproofing issues.
Fortunately, damp can often be treated and prevented without calling in the professionals. There are also easy signs to keep an eye out for that might indicate a problem, and simple strategies you can employ to reduce symptoms in your home.
Damp problems are usually most apparent during the winter months, but you can look for warning signs at any time of year. The following checks should help you to identify the location of the problem;
- Walls– Hold your hand against the wall, does it feel very cold or damp? Look for signs of mould or fungal growth which will appear as black speckled marks or grey growths on painted walls, woodwork and wallpaper. Flaking paint or curling wallpaper can also be an indicator.
- Ceilings– As well as looking for signs of mould, pay close attention to the colour of the ceiling. Is it discoloured or stained in areas? Brown patches in the external corners and near chimney breasts can indicate damp.
- Windows– Condensation on windows in the morning, along with small puddles of water along window sills, can indicate high moisture levels within your house. This can be both a cause, or symptom, of damp. Black mould may also develop on wooden and PVC window frames, and silicon sealant used around the edge of frames.
- Bathrooms and kitchens– Inspect the grouting and sealant for signs of black mould. Check around window frames and on ceilings for similar damage. Look inside cabinets and cupboards to identify any areas of staining and mould growth, and pay attention to musty smells.
- Furniture and soft furnishings– Black mould can grow on the inside of curtains, blinds and on upholstered surfaces such as sofas. Check the back of furniture for specks of mould and also for cloudy condensation on wooden and plastic surfaces.
- Basements and unheated storage spaces– A musty, damp smell is likely to be first indicator of a problem here. In addition, check for staining and mould on painted walls and woodwork.
In the majority of homes, damp is caused by one of four following issues;
- Insufficient ventilation
- Penetrating damp
- Leaking plumbing
- Rising damp
You can prevent damp by:
- Keep on top of outdoor home maintenance
- Keep the home warm
- Ensure the home is well-ventilated
- Avoid producing lots of moisture
- Take care when cooking
- Remove excess moisture
- Choose moisture-resistant décor finishes
- Leave room to breathe
Damp can be a big job to get rid of but we are here to help take preventative measures as well as dealing any damp issues you may already have. Get in touch for a chat and to find out more.