Damp is probably the most common and annoying problem in any house, particularly period or older properties; however, this is an issue that we tend to ignore until it is too late; and the true is that we don’t give a lot of importance to moisture as we consider it normal without realizing the possible negative impact in the structure and value of your home. Although there are many temporary solutions to deal with condensation and moisture, the only way to deal with it completely is to attack the problem from its source. It is important to identify what is causing the problem and start from there.
What Causes Damp and How to Deal with It
There are many possible causes of damp and it depends on the type of property you own, as well as when it was built; however, there is one common thing among all of them; once you have identified this problem, corrective measures should be taken straight away, this is one home improvement that will add value to your property and will avoid make matter worse with time.
1. Humidity and Condensation in Homes
This is the most common type of damp in any property and it is probably the one that affects the house as a whole; it is caused when moist comes into contact with air; however this is intensified when the humidity is excessive; causing the vapour to condense on a cold surface which in the majority on the cases go unnoticed as it happens in internal surfaces; however, people only notice there is problem when the windows, tiles and walls start to show the typical signs of condensation: rotting material and mould growth.
There are simple and cost-effective things you can do to solve this problem; opening the windows on a regular basis will allow the correct ventilation in the any room; if you problem is in a particular area such as the bathroom or kitchen, try to open all windows and close the door; if the problem persist you might consider the installation of an extractor fan. If your house is not insulated then you should consider this as an option but in the meantime you might want to remove mildew and mould from your tiles, windows and other surfaces.
2. Rising Damp
This type of damp normally starts to form in the ground floor and it is called rising damp for a reason; with time it normally rises up walls and windows. It is normally caused by very wet conditions such as a leaking pipe; however, if you leave in an apartment, your downstairs neighbours might be the first ones to notice there is a problem – older bricks and stones are more disposed to to rising damp.
Rising Damp Treatment
It is simple to suggest a solution but not simple to fix: if there is a leaked pipe, this has to be fixed straight away; the problem is that once you have found a leaked pipe, this might be the indication that a bigger problem is on the way; in some cases just repairing the pipe is only a temporary solution and a possible replacement should be considered. If this is not the problem, then a heavy plastic sheet, normally known as damp proof course can be installed; but this is something normally done when the house is being constructed, this is something you should consider if you are planning to extend your house and build an extra bedroom; in the meantime, drainage or digging out will help to control the issue – this is not an easy DIY fix so you might need to call a professional.
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