Dealing With Damp - Rising damp? Condensation? or Penetrating damp?
Rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation are the three most common types of damp that can affect your building. Each of them needs to be treated in different ways
Rising damp is caused by ground water moving up through a wall. Most walls allow some water in, but it’s usually stopped from causing damage by a barrier called a damp-proof course. This is usually a horizontal plastic or slate strip in the wall.
If this is missing or ineffectual, your wall may suffer from rising damp. This type of damp can also happen when the level of the ground outside your home is higher than your damp-proof course, allowing water to get above it.
Symptoms of rising damp
If you have rising damp you may notice damaged skirting boards and floorboards, crumbling or salt stained plaster and peeling paint and wallpaper. There may also be a tide mark along the wall.
Condensation is the most common kind of damp and is caused by moist air condensing on walls. It’s mainly a winter problem, as at this time of year walls are much colder than the air inside. Condensation can be exacerbated by poor ventilation and heating that comes on and off, as this allows warm, damp air to condense. The removal of existing chimneys and fitting air-tight double glazing can reduce ventilation..
Symptoms of condensation
You may notice water droplets on windows or walls, see dark mould appearing and/or notice an unpleasant smell. If left untreated, condensation can damage paint and plaster and cause window frames to decay.
Penetrating damp is caused by water leaking through walls. This type of damp may move around within a building, but this is through horizontal movement rather than by travelling up walls (as is the case with rising damp). Penetrating damp is usually caused by structural problems in a building, such as faulty guttering or roofing.
Symptoms of penetrating damp
Penetrating damp often shows up through damp patches on walls, ceilings or floors, which may darken when it rains. You’re more likely to get penetrating damp if you live in an older building with solid walls, as cavity walls provide some protection.
Independent Damp Surveyors
We are fully independent damp surveyors, with over 20 years experience of building surveying and damp consultancy. We are fully impartial, and therefore not trying to sell you a product or a solution. You can be safe in the knowledge that our unbiased damp, timber and mould report findings and recommended remedial work options will give the best solution for your property’s problems.
As independent damp surveyors we’ve carried out damp, timber and mould surveys in a vast array of properties for prospective purchasers, landlords, tenants, agents, housing associations, local authorities, universities, solicitors, home-owners, architects and builders.