Dampness causes millions of pounds of damage to buildings every year. It’s something that nearly everyone has to deal with at some point in their lives, and it can affect buildings of all sorts, even the more luxurious ones.
All it takes is a single leaky pipe or a poorly sealed foundation to allow humidity to creep into a space. Once it’s there, it can wreak all sorts of havoc.
Fortunately, there is a rising damp treatment and you can help prevent some of the issues caused by ongoing humidity. The earlier you catch the problem, the better.
Causes of Dampness
There are a number of reasons you might have excess moisture in your home. Understanding where it’s coming from will help with treating it and providing you with a damp cure.
This type of dampness comes from moisture moving up from the ground into the walls. It does this by getting sucked into the porous materials used to build the walls. Ideally, homes should be built with a damp proof barrier at the bottom of the wall, but some aren’t built with this in mind and liquid can move up the walls.
Rising damp usually leaves tide marks on the walls, up to a metre up the wall. You’ll notice the marks and they may be damp still when you touch them. Plaster may crumble from these areas and turn to paste, while skirting boards will start to rot away.
You’ll also notice fluffy salts growing on the walls, which come from the water, not from mould.
You get condensation when cold surfaces meet warm air and when there’s a high humidity level in your home. Everything that releases vapour in your home can cause condensation. This includes taking a shower, cooking, or drying clothes. This warm vapour then touches a colder surface, such as a window, and turns back into liquid.
Condensation tends to be a much bigger issue during the winter. That’s mainly because the humidity is higher in the home, doors and windows are shut against the cold, and the window glass is cold. This liquid can then condense and cause water damage as it runs off the windows and ruins the walls.
This type of damp comes from water going through the walls. It can get in through cracks or by seeping in from poorly designed gutters. This also refers to the damp that comes from a pipe bursting in the wall or an overflowing sink or tub from a flat above yours. Just because the water is from inside the same building doesn’t mean you won’t have to deal with it.
Since penetrating damp refers to any kind of moisture coming through walls, windows and similar, it’s important that you deal with the entry point first. Then you can start working on the actual damage that is left behind.
Chances are, if you’re dealing with moisture in the home, one of these three damp problems is the culprit. Now that you know what you’re dealing with, you can start looking for a damp cure.
Common Damp Problems
In the beginning, excess moisture in your home is just an annoyance. It may cause extra cleanup, but it doesn’t seem to be a big problem. However, any time you have liquid in a home where it shouldn’t be, you will find problems later. If the dampness isn’t treated quickly, you’ll end up with any of the following problems:
Black mould: One of the most worrisome issues that arises when a space is too damp is black mould. There are many types of mould that can grow in your home, but the dreaded black mould is particularly dangerous. It can cause respiratory issues and asthma flare ups. For those living in a house with black mould, there may be other symptoms as well, such as flu-like symptoms.
Wood rot: Moisture can destroy your home from the inside out. Wood rot occurs when wood is wet for too long. While the wood used to build most homes is treated to prevent this, it may still be affected if the dampness is ongoing. As the wood begins to rot, it becomes more brittle and will eventually give away, ruining the home.
Mildew: This fungus springs up pretty quickly whenever there is dampness in an area. It grows faster in warmth and dark spaces, but you’ll see it growing just about anywhere if your home is too damp. It’s commonly an issue in bathrooms, but you’ll also see it on other surfaces if there’s too much moisture in your home. It looks gray or white and may be fuzzy.
Water Damage: If there’s enough moisture, it can actually stain your walls, ceiling or floors. These unsightly spots don’t just go away when everything is dried up, either, they’ll stick around for good. In addition to looking terrible, you’ll find that water damage usually indicates actual damage under the stain. If there was enough liquid to cause marks, then there was enough to cause problems to the structure.
It’s not uncommon to have plaster that is turned to paste or badly damaged when you go to fix the problem with dampness in the home. You may need to replace a section of the wall completely, if the damage is bad enough. In the meantime, eliminating the moisture will help.
There are many ways that moisture in the home will manifest itself, but you’ll become aware of it rather quickly. There are usually small spots of mould and mildew long before it becomes a full display.
Rising Damp Treatment
What do you do to stop the damp from taking over your home and ruining everything? There are a lot of DIY ideas out there, but none of them are quite as effective as actually solving the original problem. For example, damp proofing your home is the best way to make sure that none of this happens again.
You will also need to address any areas that have mould or mildew, since this can spread fairly easily. The mould will need to be effectively killed off or it will just come back. You’ll also need to make sure that the damaged areas are repaired. Depending on how deep the damage is, you may end up replacing structures or just re-plastering the spot.
Eliminating the moisture in the air is a big problem and one that some companies attempt to handle by using a substance that absorbs liquids. However, this is useless if the underlying cause is not handled and addressed.
You’ll just end up with more and more moisture in your home if that’s the case. You have to treat the root cause and eliminate the problem, so you’ll have to get in an expert to see just what you’re up against.
Hiring a Damp Specialist
The best thing you can do for your home is call in a specialist in dealing with indoor moisture. The specialist can look at the amount of damage done and tell you how much work is required to repair the damage and to prevent future issues. They will also let you know just how the moisture is getting in, so you can deal with the base cause.
A specialist is necessary for a few reasons. First, they have years of experience in dealing with this sort of thing and are able to identify the cause of the moisture very quickly. Second, if these issues are not taken care of properly, they will return, which is something you really don’t want.
It’s dangerous to handle certain types of mould and you will want to leave this in the hands of a professional. Black mould can cause all kinds of health problems, so it’s best to have an expert to eliminate it and make sure the mould is dead before you are in the same room again. While there are articles on how to handle this yourself, it’s a very bad idea to do so. There’s a good reason there are experts in managing the damp.
A company that specialises in dealing with the wet that has caused so many problems in your home will be able to take care of the whole issue for you. It’s best to let them evaluate the situation and then manage it for you. In some cases, the house will need to be damp proofed, or a gutter replaced, etc. It’s important to take care of the issue before it gets worse.
Are you dealing with moisture in your home? Call North Yorkshire Remedials today to find out how we can help you eliminate the damp.