SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 201

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A damp proofing professional
should swiftly be able to identify
which one is causing your particular
problem and help you fix it.

PENETRATING DAMP

This type of damp affects a lot of
buildings and may look harmless, but
can lead to wet rot, damp plasterwork,
increased heat loss, musty smells, frost
damage in the masonry and unsightly
water damage on both the inside and
outside of a property.
It's caused by a problem with the
building or plumbing that has allowed
water to leak into the home. This
could be the result of cracked masonry,
defective pointing, damaged water
management systems, broken gutters,
defective plumbing or split pipes.
It could even be the result of an
increase in the ground level around
the outside walls of your property.
Bearing in mind that water works
its way to a weak point and then
emerges rapidly from there, the cause
of the problem could be several feet
away from the damp patch.
The solution could be as simple as
opening up an air brick that's been
covered up accidentally, restricting air
flow and causing moisture to become
trapped. But the problem could be
something else entirely.
To confirm the presence of
penetrating damp, you should get a
survey of your property to ensure the
correct identification.

Black mould growth
Unpleasant musty smells
Damaged timber as a result of
being saturated by damp - this
could possibly cause wet rot
if left untreated.

RISING DAMP

This is the most complex type of
damp to deal with. It can be caused
by a faulty, or non-existent, damp

WATER WORKS ITS WAY TO A WEAK POINT AND
THEN EMERGES RAPIDLY FROM THERE, SO THE
PROBLEM COULD BE SEVERAL FEET AWAY
proof course in your external walls,
or by leaking pipes at the base of the
wall. Even a previous damp problem
that has caused water to pool at the
bottom of the wall can cause it. If this
is the case, you'll definitely need your
damp proof course repaired.
HOW TO IDENTIFY IT
Rising damp is often misidentified,
so it's important to know the
common signs. These include:
Decayed skirting boards
Crumbling plasterwork
Discolouration on walls
Salt-stained plasterwork
Decayed timber floors
Peeling paint and wallpaper.

GET IT FIXED

HOW TO IDENTIFY IT
These are symptoms of
penetrating damp:
Watermarks that appear on the
masonry and then grow larger if
the water continues to enter
Damaged plaster
Random damp patches on
walls, which do not dry out and
move horizontally
Drips and puddles

The solution depends on how the
water is entering the building and
the options available for stopping it.
In some cases, you may need
damp proofing to stop it happening
again, particularly if the external
ground level is the cause or if you
have a basement.
In the case of the latter, your damp
proofing contractor may decide you
need a cementitious tanking, which

Finding the source of the problem
is the first thing to do. Start by
checking your gutters and downpipes
for leaks or cracks.
Examine the roof - including the
pointing (gaps between tiles) and
flashing (where a roof meets the wall
of a chimney). Look at window frames
and doors to see if there are any gaps
from not being fitted properly.
You may need to call in a surveyor,
with a certificated surveyor in remedial
treatment (CSRT) qualification, to
carry out the assessment and identify
the cause of the problem.
Once you've found the cause, you'll
probably need to contact a builder
or damp specialist to repair the fault.

is a system that seals the inside of the
basement with cement, preventing
damp from penetrating your walls
from the earth outside.

CONDENSATION
- time to get tough
This is one of the most common
causes of dampness in homes.
It is the process by which water
vapour in the air is changed
into liquid water.
The air in a house can have
a high level of water vapour, or
humidity, due to the activities
of the occupants, such as
cooking and drying clothes.
When this air comes into
contact with cold surfaces,
such as windows and walls,
it condenses, causing water
to be deposited. This can
lead to areas of damp and
promote the growth of mould.
Condensation can be
greatly reduced by keeping
the property well ventilated
- making sure kitchen and
bathroom windows are open
as often as possible helps.
Also, installing extractor
fans - one upstairs and one
downstairs - will help to rid
the air of excess humidity.

www.athomemagazine.co.uk MAY 2017 | 201


http://www.athomemagazine.co.uk

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