Learn how to treat rising and penetrating damp to prevent it from causing damage to your property.
If damp is allowed to persist, it could become a condition that could be hazardous.
This tutorial will assist you in getting rid of damp before it becomes a significant issue, saving you the expense of dealing with the problem and your frustration from growing as large as the damp patches on the wall. Along with general damp-related tips, you’ll also find particular rising damp and penetrating damp treatments.
The rising damp section addresses typical queries and concerns regarding the procedure and describes how to examine, repair, and insert a damp-proof course and membrane.
The penetrating damp section provides instructions for locating and resolving the issue, including the six important symptoms to watch for. Check out our article on how to stop condensation if your home has a condensation problem to prevent a wet issue.
How to remove damp
It will be simpler to get rid of dampness the earlier you can identify its indicators. Look for obvious signs on your walls, such as damp or wet patches, wallpaper that is peeling, and plaster that is flaking.
Mold and mildew growth on walls, floors, or ceilings, damp and musty odours throughout the property, or rotting wood, such as skirting boards, are other warning signals. Continue reading to learn how to solve these issues.
Purchase a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air, making them especially helpful if you frequently dry your clothing inside, which is another typical cause of excess humidity. If you detect moisture in the air from routine activities like taking a shower and cooking, all of which can result in high levels of humidity, dehumidifiers can also be of use. It can be worthwhile to invest in a dehumidifier if you see water stains on your walls or ceiling, condensation on your windows, mould spores in your shower, or a general musty odour. To select the best dehumidifier for you out of the many types and brands available, read up on how to make the best purchase. Make sure you take into account the variations between desiccant and refrigerant humidifiers.
air out your house.
The most typical and straightforward sort of dampness is condensation. It can frequently be resolved quickly, cheaply, and in some cases without the use of a specialist. Enhancing the airflow in your home might aid in clearing condensation and preventing its recurrence.
The majority of the moisture in your home comes from the kitchen and bathrooms. In order to lessen condensation, you should think about adding extractor fans in your kitchen and bathroom. Always make an effort to reduce the amount of condensation that forms in your home:
Condensation should be regularly removed from windows to prevent damage or the growth of mould. Using a towel, tissues, or a squeegee for windows that open makes this task simple.
Regularly open the windows, especially when cooking, cleaning, or taking a shower.
On sunny days, try drying your clothing outside rather than inside on a clothes rail.
Tops of window frames should have window vents added.
Create air bricks in the exterior walls. Install sealed chimneys and air vents on internal walls. Install ventilation tiles on the roof to let air into the loft.
Examine your gutters.
Water leaking through walls is what causes penetrating damp. It frequently occurs as a result of structural issues, such as damaged gutters, roofs, or exterior wall fissures. You may easily and affordably fix penetrating damp on your own. Prior to determining whether you require expert assistance, you must first identify the problem. Wet or leaking walls are frequently the initial indication of profound damp. Watch out for: interior wall discoloration Plaster that is blistered, mouldy, and moist with water drops. Water leaking from gutters and downpipes outside of your property might result in penetrating wet, so check them for cracks. The issue might be resolved by fixing these.
Test out damp-proof paint.
The porousness of old bricks might cause water to enter your property. You might need to have them replaced if this is taking place. Painting the brickwork with limewash or an external silicone water-repellent solution is an easier alternative to attempt first. This will reseal your walls while preserving their ability to breathe. However, before making any decisions about what will work best for your home’s age and construction materials, get professional guidance. Damp-proof exterior paint can also be a smart preventative precaution.
Keep an eye out for rot.
Your home may sustain significant structural damage from rot in the wood, which is typically brought on by moisture or inadequate ventilation. If you feel you have rot, you should get professional assistance right once because it can be quite serious. On really damp wood where there is a persistent source of moisture, wet rot is more likely to develop. When the moisture source dries up, it stops developing since it cannot penetrate brickwork. Wet rot can be identified by a black fungus, soft, spongy wood, and possibly discoloured wood. There might also be a musty, damp odour. Dry rot can spread to non-timber materials like plaster and bricks and requires less moisture to do so. White or orange growths, rotting wood, deep fissures, and a mushroom-like odour are all indicators of dry rot.
Avoid free damp surveys at all costs.
Get at least three companies to visit your property and provide quotes for the work if you’re thinking about having a “free survey,” then choose the best deal. Consider having an independent damp specialist inspect your house if there are discrepancies in the sort of work suggested or if you have concerns that the businesses may be advising unneeded treatment. The report could cost between £100 and £750, but an independent damp specialist won’t have a financial incentive to advise unneeded work and will be able to give you an unbiased assessment on the type of remedial treatment required.
Fixing rising damp can be expensive. Before you bring in a specialist, find out what your alternatives are for therapy.
Verify your damp-proofing.
Finding out whether you have a damp-proof course (DPC) and damp-proof membrane (DPM), which should prevent water from the ground from penetrating ground-level walls or floors, is the first step to take if you have rising damp (see image below).
Houses constructed before 1875 are likely to lack one because regulations requiring them in new construction didn’t go into effect until then. By keeping an eye out for a thin strip close to the bottom of the exterior wall, you might be able to identify a damp-proof course.
You’ll need to see an expert to confirm this and determine whether a damp-proof membrane is present as well. If your property has a damp-proof course or membrane but you are still experiencing dampness, it’s possible that they have deteriorated or lost their effectiveness over time. You’ll need to get them fixed or replaced if they aren’t functioning properly.
Fix the problem or add a damp-proof course.
Drilling holes into your wall and injecting damp-proof cream to serve as a new course is the most typical solution for a missing or damaged damp-proof course. However, there are other options available, such as incorporating damp-proof course in place of a chemical one and chopping grooves into the brickwork. Compared to simply drilling holes, this might be harder to conceal. Prices for each of these methods are often displayed on our damp costs page.
A damp-proof membrane should be fixed or replaced.
If your floor has a small area of dampness, you might be able to fix it by painting over the area to prevent further water damage.
Under the floor covering, you must apply two coats of bituminous latex waterproof emulsion, which is available at many home improvement stores. Some experts advise applying reflective foil construction paper (foil side up) before the paint has dried for added protection.
However, this is only appropriate in small circumstances. You might need to completely replace the moisture-proof membrane if the wet is severe. This will probably be expensive, but it might be required if the damp is widespread or other options have failed.
Verify the outside ground level.
If your damp-proof course is in fine condition, the source of your damp issue may be that the earth outside has been raised above it, which should be 15 cm above ground level.
By removing extra soil from the damp wall’s exterior side down to the level of the damp-proof course, the issue can be fixed. You have the option of doing this yourself or hiring a professional.
Tank flooring and walls using moisture-proof materials A construction phrase known as “tanking” refers to sealing a wall or floor to prevent moisture damage. The asphalt (a thick liquid) or membrane may be applied to the surface in order to do this, which is typically done to already moist locations. This would be located beneath the plaster on walls and beneath the concrete on floors. It’s a significant job because the areas must first be tanked, then they must be decorated.
You can find recommended tradespeople who have passed our stringent checks on our Trusted Traders website if you’re looking for a damp specialist. To discover a trustworthy damp-proofing expert in your region, use the search tool below from Trusted Trader.
damp treatment that penetrates
You may easily and affordably fix penetrating damp on your own. However, you must first recognise the problem before you can fix it or determine whether to consult a specialist. The primary causes of penetrating damp are discussed in the gallery below, along with solutions.
Identifying and addressing penetrating damp
Six indicators of permeating damp
1. Walls that leak
Wet or leaking walls are frequently the initial indication of profound damp. Watch out for indicators of penetrating moisture, such as discoloured interior walls, damp patches, mould, cracked plaster, water droplets, and wet surfaces. To uncover and fix any long-term structural problems, you’ll likely require the services of an expert builder. You can use our Trusted Traders search tool to find a reputable trader in your neighbourhood.
2. Gaps in the air
Penetrating moisture can result from in (or damage to) window frames and doors. Make sure your home is airtight and get any damage quickly repaired.
3. pipes and gutters with leaks
Examine your home’s gutters and downpipes for cracks because they can be leaking water that is causing your penetrating damp. The issue might be resolved if they are fixed.
4. Bricks with pores
It’s also possible that the porousness of old bricks has caused water to seep into your house. You might need to have them replaced if this is the situation.
Painting the bricks with an external silicone water-repellent solution or limewash, which will protect your walls while still allowing them to breathe, is an easier alternative to attempt initially.
However, before making any decisions about what will work best for your home’s age and construction materials, get professional guidance. Damp-proof exterior paint can also be a smart preventative precaution.
5. Wall-cavity issues
Occasionally, issues with cavity walls might contribute to penetrating wetness. Modern homes (particularly many built after 1920) typically have two layers of walls, separated by a hole, to allow moisture infiltrating from the outside to dissipate before it reaches the inner wall.
If a window or pipes “interrupts” the wall, you might have or need a cavity tray (see image below). These come in a variety of shapes, but they always function to divert water away from the inside wall and toward the exterior through weep holes (holes in a part of the outer wall).
You could experience penetrating damp if a cavity tray is broken or not present. You’ll need to have the tray fixed or added in this situation.
If the cavity has filled up with material like broken mortar or brick fragments, which absorb moisture from the exterior wall and transmit it to the inner wall, this can also result in dampness.
To solve the issue in these situations, the debris will need to be removed. Visit our damp costs page to learn how much these kinds of repairs might cost.
6. Insufficient cavity insulation
Last but not least, cavity wall insulation occasionally contributes to damp issues. This is typically only the case if your home is subjected to high amounts of wind-driven rain or if your walls were built improperly or are in very poor condition.
How to prevent further issues brought on by moisture
To prevent musty odours, wait until clothing or bedding is completely dry before placing it in storage.
To aid in ventilation and prevent moisture, open and clean storage spaces that don’t get direct sunlight, such as cabinets, wardrobes, and drawers.
Try boiling some lemons or lemon peel in a pan of water for a do-it-yourself method to get rid of musty smells. Place the pan in a wet room when the fresh lemon smell starts to come through, but don’t leave it there unsupervised.
Pour the liquid into a spray bottle once it has cooled to add fragrance to your entire house.
cleanup following a hurricane
Undoubtedly, a moisture absorber won’t help you much if you have major storm damage after a storm. In the wake of a flood, the Met Office advises that you:
If you had to leave your home, check with the emergency services to see if it is safe to come back. Call your insurance provider and heed their recommendations.
Before beginning any property repairs, consult experts because your insurers will likely designate specialists to do the majority of the job.
If you don’t have insurance, get in touch with the National Flood Forum by calling 01299 403055 or through its website.
After coming into contact with floodwater, which may contain sewage, chemicals, and animal faeces, wash your hands thoroughly. When cleaning your house, put on a face mask, a pair of sturdy shoes, and gloves.