Damp is a problem that strikes fear into the most clued up homeowner, however, with the right know-how you can treat damp effectively and return your home to its former glory. Take a look at our top five tips and become one step closer to dealing with damp for good!
1. Diagnose your damp problem accurately
How you treat each individual damp problem depends entirely on the type of damp your property is affected by. There are three main forms of damp – condensation, penetrating and rising – and each has its own remedy.
Condensation is perhaps the most common form of damp, especially within homes that experience high humidity levels and have poor ventilation. Condensation forms on windows, doors and other glass or metal surfaces and is caused by excess moisture within your home. Penetrating damp occurs when water enters through your walls or roof and moves throughout the property leaving a path of defects, water staining and damp patches behind. Rising damp on the other hand rises from the ground upwards causing similar effects.
It is recommended that you enlist a professional to identify your damp problem accurately, they can also help you find a cost-effective and efficient solution.
2. Improve your ventilation
Whatever the cause of your problem, properties without adequate ventilation tend to be more susceptible to damp problems, especially rooms that are exposed to a high level of humidity such as the kitchen, bathroom or utility area. Improving your ventilation and boosting air circulation is a quick and easy way to ease the nasty effects of excess moisture and prevent damp problems from reoccurring once more. Install vents and extractor fans in moisture-prone areas, and utilize these to enhance your wider property’s ventilation.
3. Invest in a dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers offer an excellent quick fix for properties that are been destroyed by damp, this handy home appliance takes in moisture from the air and expels dry air to return humidity back to its recommended levels. There are a range of dehumidifiers on the market, and leading specialists like the Air and Water Centre can provide a solution that suits your home and your budget.
The use of a dehumidifier also improves air quality, which provides great health benefits for your family as excess humidity, dust and airborne mold can cause and worsen a range of health concerns.
4. Change your home habits
You have more influence over the excessive humidity levels that cause damp than you think. Humidity is caused by a variety of everyday home activities such as washing dishes, drying laundry and bathing, and ensuring you take precautions can prevent moisture from causing long term damage to your home.
Try drying laundry outdoors if the weather is nice, open a window when washing the dishes, turn on your extractor hood when cooking food and open vents when taking a bath or shower to minimize moisture damage.
5. Look for long term solutions
Whilst many methods may ease the side effects of condensation, penetrating damp and rising damp, long term solutions must be sought to prevent damp problems returning and causing more mayhem. Repairing the damp proof course of your basement is one of the more expensive options when treating rising damp, but this ensures your property is protected for years to come.
Penetrating damp can be resolved with repairs or replacement of faulty pointing, downpipes, guttering, render and flashings, whilst windows and doors will have to be fully insulated and sealed to prevent long term condensation problems.
This post comes to you from Martin Davies from the Air and Water Centre.