Damp walls inside a property are not something to be taken lightly. If ignored for a long period – it could wreak havoc, cause structural damage, and produce bigger problems in the future.
Besides hiring a professional damp proofing survey expert, there are a few preventive measures you can take to deal with damping. Here they are –
Dealing with Damp
Ever notice those drops that form on window sills in the morning? That’s a classic example of what condensation looks like. If you notice peeling wallpaper, damp patches, and steaming windows, that’s a sign of condensation.
The best way to deal with damp walls is to ensure proper heating and ventilation throughout the house. It is best to avoid non-porous paint and wall coverings. You must also invest in a good dehumidifier as it will suck all the excess moisture out. Pay special attention to the ventilation fans and dryer vents in the bathroom and kitchen. Make sure all the ducts lead outside the house.
Classic symptoms of penetration damp are – water droplets on the wall surface, presence of fungus, blotchy patches, etc. Common causes behind penetrating damp are – leaky pipes, faulty fittings, a leaky roof, overflowing gutter, faulty plumbing, missing tiles on the roof, etc.
To best deal with this kind of damping issue, it’s important to ensure house maintenance throughout the year. Make sure to get the roof checked every once in a while. Areas inside and around the house should be well-ventilated. And, it goes without saying to always get a damp-proofing course (DPC) installed.
Here are some additional tips you can follow to eliminate excess moisture formation:
- Check for any holes around the windows and reseal them. Also, check the exterior door frames across the house. Invest in a quality sealant.
- If you notice a missing or broken piece of mortar around the house, you would need to re-appoint it. It’s commonly found between the bricks.
- Check the cavity wall and see if you notice any obstruction or debris. Ask for professional help to restore the problematic cavity walls as the process can be long and tricky.
The basement is one area in the house that’s most prone to damping. The commonest reason behind basement damp is leakage. Here’s how you can go about solving this issue –
- Stay vigilant and regularly check the water pipes and connections. Make sure the bath seals are proper. Contact a plumber if you notice any problematic pipe connection that you think might be causing the leak.
- Check to see where the leak source is. Most homeowners find the non-structural wall cracks to be the commonest source of leakage.
- If the crack is causing the leak and damping on the walls, the issue is minor. You won’t need to break down the wall. Hire a professional who will likely use sodium bentonite (a type of clay) to seal the cracks. It’s a rather inexpensive and effective method to deal with cracks and cavities.
- Other ways to deal with leakages are – waterproofing the exterior membrane using drain tiles and carrying out minor repair works throughout the house.
How to Prevent Mold and Dampness?
Ensure Proper Ventilation
The thing is, moisture needs to find a way out and escape from the house. That’s why ventilation is so important. It minimizes moisture build-up and condensation. Always double-check that the tumble dryer and washing machines are fully ventilated and plumbed in.
Go for additional extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom (if you don’t already have one). These places produce the maximum steam and moisture. Leave them on for adequate amounts of time to rid the area of excess moisture.
Whenever possible, open the window. Modern window frames can be opened ever so slightly and then locked in place. This function is important during the winter season.
Remove Excess Moisture
Installing a dehumidifier is one of the best things you can do to deal with excess moisture. It can make your house feel more comfortable and a lot warmer. Go for smart models that automatically switch on and off upon detecting rising humidity levels.
Get moisture absorbers installed in ducts, crawl spaces, tight areas, and cupboards; places where damping is common but there’s no other way to deal with it. Use chamois leather to wipe down the surface.
Go for Moisture-resistant Wallpaper and Paint
Certain wall finishes, paints, and wallpaper naturally resist water. Paint the surfaces in bathrooms and the kitchen. If possible, cover the walls in tiles. Painting with a moisture-resistant formula can keep dampness and mold at bay. If you like wallpaper over paint, then go for the vinyl ones as they are splash-proof and easy to wipe clean.
Minimize Activities that Produce too Much Moisture
Indoor dry washing produces a ton of moisture and condensation. So, go for outdoor dry laundry. Use a rotary drier or a tumble dryer instead.
It’s always better to dry clothes outside even in winters. If you have a vent inside the house, you could always go for vented tumble dryers. If not, a condenser dryer is another good option.
Damping can indeed be annoying and problematic to deal with. But, with regular maintenance, a vigilant eye, and timely inspection; you can keep things in check.
This article on how to Tips and Ideas to Fix Damp Walls should have taught you something new and beneficial.
For additional tips and advice, check out our post How to Fix Common Water Damage Issues? for more great tips!
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