Damp infests the building’s foundation and could even start breaking it up, encouraged the growth of molds or ravaging mites which could result in different diseases.
Luckily, numerous options exist for helping homeowners cope with the damp, which is particularly common in older buildings that have not undergone damp-proofing or new homes which have not undertaken upgrades or quality tests for many years.
What is Damp Proofing?
Damp proofing is a term used to describe processes and interventions used to prevent moisture from entering the interior of a property through walls or floors. It is more widely regarded as waterproofing for build-up walls, by which a damp proofing shield is put well into the walls as well as on the floors.
Just about every property can be vulnerable to damp issues, particularly older buildings which may be designed without the use of a damp-proof membrane.
The majority of new build and modern houses come with damp proofing already in place because it has become an essential part of building regulations. However, older homes, usually stone-built buildings will not be readily equipped with this protection.
Living in a house without damp proofing is always risky as you could end up infested with rising damp within a few months or years.
This will eventually contribute to mold, moist patches on the walls, cracks, damp rot, flaking wallpaper as well as moldy smells, all of which we would want to eliminate.
Why is it Important?
Damp proofing acts as long-term moisture prevention. It prohibits heat and water from flowing through enclosed environments concerning the building’s walls and foundation.
A damp proofing course helps reduce timber degradation and structural failure by preventing moisture from penetrating the timber, thereby eliminating dry and wet rot outbreaks.
Anywhere you live, damp proofing would be something to consider for your house. This is highly relevant in terraced houses, particularly in the rental sector where damp problems are very frequent.
1. Keeps your house safe from mildew and mold
Fungus, mold, and bacterial development in wet, damp floors, ceilings, or walls are major causes of developing asthma, pneumonia, and other lung and respiratory problems.
Damp proofing helps make your walls suppress this dampness danger to keep your family healthy and safe. Once condensation builds up within your walls, or if water remains without proper drainage, mold, as well as bacteria, begin to spread. It will help to alleviate this dilemma.
2. Keeps your home dry for protection
Damp proofing not just prevents dampness and humidity from leaking into the walls, it also helps to dispose of excess moisture from the structure. This could also preserve your paint, cement, flooring, roof, and furniture, most importantly, this also keeps the foundation of your home strong.
3. Safeguards your possessions and your living spaces
Moisture and mold not only pop up in the corner of the wardrobes or toilets, wherein the air is constantly humidified, however, the primary point of dampness is in the basement. You can not properly use this room for storage or perhaps an additional living space once you have moist walls or damp cellars.
Damp proofing any floor surface or object that is often wet like the toilets, the shower, and the bath areas is an ideal way to optimize usage of all spaces in your home without the risk of being damaged caused by water and mildew.
Is my property damp-proof?
Once a structure is built, a precautionary damp proof course is usually mounted in the foundation of the walls using a plastic shield or a slate obstacle. This is to keep moisture from rising through the surface of the fabric wall.
If you find moisture creeping up the walls or damp problems occurring within the house, it is, therefore, an indication about something not being correct inside the house.
When you believe that your home is subject to rising damp, you must call a damp proofing specialist. Many firms will visit your premises and then advise you on the right way to get your house back into its original condition.
Most businesses can also include a quote so that you can evaluate it well enough before deciding to hire.
– What does mold look like?
Mold usually appears as small black spots, and when there’s water damage due to leakage and lack of maintenance, it will most certainly leave a ring-like mark on the wall. And once the mold is present, it is important to first treat and to remove the mold spores by cleaning the area with a disinfectant or an anti-fungal product.
It is also sensible to repair any obvious leaks that caused the water to come in. This may emerge from a hose, a wall, or a leaky gutter.
Why Does Damp Occur?
It is not surprising to find some damp problems given the amount of rain we get in this country yearly. But what are the key drivers of damp in our homes?
You need to come to terms with the underlying cause of the damp, or you might find that it’ll keep on coming back. You then have to recognize what kind of damp is damaging your property to get it fixed.
The most prevalent cause of damp is condensation.
Condensation happens when massive quantities of water vapor from everyday life become trapped within the house.
If the hot humid air comes into contact with the cold air, or if the atmosphere is at a lower temperature, the outcome is condensation. Excess water vapor in the home collects on cool surfaces and ultimately leads to steamed-up windows, wet walls, including mold.
It appears to be suitable for the germination of the black mold. Poor ventilation is a common cause of this.
– Penetrating Damp
Penetrating Damp also referred to as “rain penetration” is the effect of excess water trying to infiltrate through the outer wall into the house. This may occur due to several structural flaws, including roofing, brickwork and joint failures, the collapse of the external frame and improper alignment; and broken or obstructed gutters and downpipes.
Any of these normal problems lead to moisture entering your house.
– Rising Damp
Many properties already have a damp proof course, that creates a shield to damp at the lower level of the property thus avoiding the incidence of rising damp.
If this is nonexistent or unsuccessful, you could suffer from rising damp. When the outside ground floor has gone up past the damp proof course, this could also lead to damp problems.
You can fix your rising damp problem by lowering the ground level or eliminating all of these contributing features as well as allowing the outer area to dry.
Where can dampness be found?
Dampness and moldy smell may generate anywhere in a structure and also can damage all forms of property, both old and new. It is vital that when dampness is detected, an appropriate evaluation is made to ascertain the form of damp and the root of the problem.
Damp influences the insulation of the property and may also impair the atmosphere throughout, causing high air temperature, which can further contribute to condensation and mold growth on the surface.
Another indication that there is severe dampness is that mortar, plaster, and bricks crumble in the infected area. In serious circumstances, the painting or the plaster wither away from the damaged wall.
Adverse Health Effects Caused by Damp
Damp is not just an ugly stain on your house or a disgusting smell, it’s a very serious health danger to you, your family members including your employees.
The biggest health concern involving damp is the respiratory system that may be impaired by the moisture in the atmosphere as well as the airborne bacteria that flourish in a damp environment. Individuals living in damp environments are considerably more likely to suffer from asthma as compared to those living in houses with no damp issues. Certain common respiratory conditions associated with household damp include pneumonia, breathing problems, and chest pain.
Eczema is another health issue that is triggered by damp. Several studies have shown a correlation between damp problems and the incidence of this unpleasant skin disorder. Moreover, those who are already dealing with skin problems are at a significantly higher risk, particularly young ones.
Prevent Damp Problems
– Methods of keeping your home dry
The best way to damp proof is to make sure that your home is fully enclosed with water tanking from the very outset of the renovation effort. Not every house, though, has been constructed with such care, particularly if you reside in an older building.
Even though proper maintenance procedures are followed to guarantee that water does not reach the house, damp is still prevalent to some houses built near the rivers or are submerged due to a plumbing accident, a breakdown of the sump pump, damaged sewer drainage facilities, or excessive rainfall that causes flooding.
– Waterproofing during new construction
Waterproofing is a must-have for new buildings. Nevertheless, although it is essential, the moisture often remains underneath the ground but is also absorbed into the base materials.
In construction, a preventative damp proof course is typically set up where a plastic damp-resistant layer or slate membrane is mounted at the base of the walls. When this mechanism is not carried out properly, or if it is inadvertently breached and fails, water will start to infiltrate itself into the wall, even through the bricks.
– Chemical damp proofing walls
Chemical damp proofing removes the old paint, and afterward, holes are drilled at the bottom of each layer until the specialized waterproof chemical injection seals the gaps with waterproof material.
The holes will then be patched with a specific salt retardant until the next sheet of plaster is applied to the wall. It’s the most cost-efficient, quickest, and easiest way of getting rid of moisture in your house.
Also, it is completely odor-free and enables you to color or polish the walls as desired until it is completed.
– Preventing and tackling inside dampness caused by condensation
To eliminate dampness and condensation from generating inside, make sure that the spaces in your household that are exposed to water, from baths, showers, toilets, washing, or cooking area are well ventilated.
Always leave enough space between walls and furniture or clothes kept in closets.
– Preventing and tackling rising damp issues
Damp may not always originate from an outside source. As this water is spontaneously drawn from the soil to the floors and walls, it is labeled as rising damp.
It is frequently surrounded by a salty white layer. Rising damp is preferably eliminated during the building process by installing a horizontal moisture-proof DPC/damp proof course into the walls at the base of the walls, then, adding a vertical DPC across the walls as a buffer.
Chemical damp proofing is certainly the way to go for existing structures.
When rising damp is left to thrive in your house, the cost is much more than monetary. Rising damp could cause serious medical problems, specifically when you already have issues with your lungs, like those of asthma.
In terms of money, allowing damp to accumulate can be incredibly expensive. Instead of just simply having a basic damp proof course, you might end up in most need of modifications to the house’s interior framework, which includes the removal of pillars.
Undoubtedly, this kind of job can be incredibly costly, but staying in this sort of atmosphere is almost always highly risky and disturbing. If you figure out that your home has damp issues due to improper proofing, you may probably be spending thousands of pounds to mend it.
It’s still better to avoid damp than to strip it and deal with it at its worst stage. This is one of the reasons that damp proofing has been so necessary.