Smell a musty odour in your home? Or perhaps you’ve spotted some brownish spots on your windowsill? If you suspect damp in your home, take immediate action!
Whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant, if you spot damp in your home, it’s important to take immediate action. Failure to do so could result in a number of nightmare situations within your home, ranging from unappealing patches of mould forming on your walls, to severe structural issues that threaten the stability of your property. Read on to find out how to recognise the signs of damp within your home and the next steps to eradicate the problem.
If you suspect damp within your home, then it’s likely already taken hold in at least one area. You might come across the following:
- Unsightly patches of black, green or grey mould. These are commonly found on cold exterior walls, on the grouting of tiles or uPVC windows.
- Fungal growth on the backs of wooden furniture or the inside of curtains or sofa cushions.
- Ceilings that are brown in the corners can be a sign of damp seeping through
- A damp odour in the air that smells musty – this may often be one of the first signs
- Walls that are particularly cold to the touch
All of the above are usually caused by rising or penetrating damp, or a lack of ventilation.
Dealing With Penetrating And Rising Damp
Both of these types of damp are related to water from the outside of the property, finding a path into your home. Penetrating damp is largely caused by leaks such as gutters, cracks in window frames, or loose roof tiles. Following a downpour of rain, the water penetrates the exterior walls and causes damp inside the property. Similarly, rising damp refers to moisture that is absorbed from the ground below. It’s common in older properties where the foundations haven’t been built with the most modern damp-proofing courses.
If your home is hit by rising damp, then it’s possible to incorporate such a preventative solution to stop the problem from spreading any further – however, this can be quite an expensive project and it would be advisable to consult a damp specialist. Penetrative damp is usually much easier to fix and relies on you taking steps to repair the cracks through which the water is seeping in.
Ensuring Adequate Ventilation
Not all causes of damp are down to water from outside of your property. Many of our daily household activities also produce plenty of moisture within the home. Cooking and washing in the kitchen, taking a shower in the bathroom, drying our laundry and even breathing can all be responsible for a build-up of condensation within the home. Without adequate ventilation, such as extractor fans, or opening a window regularly, the air can become trapped. When it becomes stagnant, the moisture can settle on cold walls or behind furniture or curtains for example, where it turns into mould.
As soon as you identify that damp has taken hold within your home, it’s important to take action. Locate the source of the damp, fix any damage to your property and call in the experts to determine whether you need structural solutions to eradicate the issue completely.