Dampness is one of the most common problems affecting homes in the UK. Unresolved damp can cause severe damage to your home and seriously compromise the structural integrity of the building.
It is imperative that you don’t ignore signs of damp, no matter how small they may be. Not every damp patch is a cause for concern, and when it comes to identifying what’s affecting your home it can be relatively straightforward to determine the cause.
It is important to determine the source of water ingress before taking any remedial damp proofing action.
Sources of Moisture
The main objective of any damp survey is to identify the lead source of moisture in order to recommend actions to terminate the source and to remedy the damp problem. Whilst there are many ways for moisture to enter a building, the tabs below shows the most common sources.
Moisture Source & Common Causes:
- Inadequate drying out after/during construction
- Rainwater, snow, sleet, hail
- Leaking or overflowing rainwater goods
- Surface water/flooding caused by blocked gullies, land drains, soakaways, etc.
- Entrapped moisture between coverings
- Elevated ground level
- Defective plumbing
- Accidental damage to pipework
- Leaks from utilities
- Burst pipes
- Underground plumbing leaks
- Leaking ponds
- High water table
- Rising river levels and water tables
- Constructing on flood plains
Effects of Dampness
Movement of moisture or the presence of excessive amounts of moisture in building materials can result in salt staining, plaster deterioration, or spoiling of decorations. Timbers that are subjected to continual dampnessÂ are at risk from wood destroying fungi (wet and dry rot).
Rising damp can usually be identified by low-level water marks, also referred to as tide marks. There will also be visible signs of deterioration to the wall surfaces such as flaky paint, peeling wall coverings and loose or brittle plaster.
Penetrating damp and its effects are usually more apparent after heavy rainfall. Noticeable damp patches will be visible around windows, doors and across ceilings. The prolonged ingress of water can lead to further deterioration, such as loose or brittle plaster, staining and the decay of timbers which remain in contact with affected areas.
Condensation is considered to be the most common cause of damp in the home, usually found within the corners of rooms and areas which have little or no air circulation. The effects of condensation may be visible; for example, water droplets accumulating on gloss painted surfaces; however, identifying condensation early on is not always possible as moisture tends to soak into the affected surfaces and will go undiagnosed until black mould begins to appear.
At times, our inspections have ruled out all the above and the cause of the problem has been a result of defective plumbing and/or rainwater goods. Nevertheless, no matter how minor the problem may seem, we recommend that you seek professional advice.
The specialist damp survey should identify the possible source(s) and recommend corrective action, such as repairing external/internal defects, reducing external ground levels to below the level of the damp proof course, installing French drains, improving heating and ventilation or the installation of a chemical damp proof course.
Specialist damp surveys should be carried out by a qualified damp proofing surveyor with a minimum of a CSRT (Certificated Surveyor in Remedial Treatments) qualification as required by the Property Care Association (PCA). All Biocraft South West surveyors have achieved the CSRT & CSSW qualification to carry out damp surveys.
To arrange a survey of your property or for further information regarding damp proofing control contact us today. We cover Andover, Bath, Bristol, Chippenham, Devizes, Marlborough, Oxford, Salisbury, Swindon, Trowbridge and Warminster.