What is Damp Proofing?
Damp proofing is a general term that covers methods and treatments used to prevent damp from being absorbed through walls or floors into the interior of a property.
The method of damp treatment you require varies depending on the underlying cause of your issues, whether that is rising damp, penetrating damp, condensation, or even water ingress in a basement or cellar.
What are the Signs of Damp?
Damp problems can vary in apperance and serverity so it is difficult to be be sure if damp proofing is required in your property. We would reccomend getting any signs of damp checked out by our professional, particularly if you notice any of the following:
- Damp and damaged plaster
- Wallpaper peeling from the wall
- Musty/mouldy odours
- Black mould on the walls and windowsills.
- Damp stains rising from the ground floor to about one metre in height.
- Walls that feel damp to touch.
Any of the above would indicate a problem that would require some kind of remedial damp proofing, so we would recommend that you contact the experienced and qualified damp proofing specialists at SAH Industrial Services, Inc to evaluate the situation and provide a treatment reccomendation.
What Causes Damp Walls
The damp problems and signs listed above are caused by either water ingress from an external source, groundwater rising into the wall through capillary action, or inadequate ventilation.
Our guide will go on to look at those different types of damp to help you identify the cause of damp walls in your home and what form of damp treatment you need to solve it.
Rising Damp Problems
Rising damp will only occur when an existing damp proof course (DPC) has been bridged or damaged in some way. This allows rainwater in the ground to seep into the building through bricks and mortar by a process called capillary action.
It is important to note that it will only ever affects the ground floor, and symptoms on internal walls include:
- Damp walls and a ‘tide stain’ above the skirting board
- Evidence of salt deposits left on the wall
- Damaged or rotting skirting boards, plaster and wallpaper
Water leaking in from outside the property is the main cause of penetrating damp. This will usually manifest as localised damp patches on a wall or ceiling.
Broken downpipes and gutters, cracks, faulty joints and corroded seals are all contributing factors. Leaks from inside can cause problems too, and wet rot can often accompany damp from faulty plumbing or leaking washing machines and showers.
The signs of penetrating damp are:
- Visible damp or even moss growth on external walls
- Walls and ceilings with damp above the first floor
- Wet plaster (if over 1m high)
Condensation on Internal Walls
Condensation is caused by excess humidity and poor ventilation. It also creates ideal conditions for black mould to grow.
Look out for excessive moisture or water droplets and black spot mould around:
- Walls, ceilings and attics
- On furniture, curtains and other soft furnishings
- ‘Hotpoints’ like bathrooms and on or around windows
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