Damp can be a big problem for UK homes – particularly as the colder weather sets in.
You might start to notice that your walls feel damp, or that there is condensation on your windows in the morning, and all these excess moisture can lead to a bigger problem.
It’s really important that you spot the signs of moisture and damp before it becomes a much bigger problem. Fixing damp at the later stages can be incredibly expensive – the last thing anyone needs during the cost of living crisis is an unexpected renovation project.
There are three types of damp to watch out for, what signs you should look for and what preventative measures you can take…
This is the most common type of damp that forms when hot air hits cold surfaces.
To avoid it, keep your house warm and turn on your heating periodically. This will also ensure your boiler is in working order before colder weather hits.
If you are showering or cooking and creating moisture in the room, keep the door closed to avoid it spreading further through the house.
Use moisture resistant or anti-mould paint for areas that see high levels of moisture, such as the bathroom.
This damp occurs when leaks come in from the outside due to poorly installed windows, bad joinery, roofing issues etc, that allow water to be absorbed.
If you spot damp patches on the wall and or cracks, you need to act quickly as this type of damp damages the structure of the house quicker than other forms of damp.
To stop penetrating damp, you will need to check for any issues with the walls, flashing, loft, roof, windows, doors, gutters, pipes and drainage systems.
This damp is caused by groundwater that moves up through your wall. A damp proof course is used to protect homes but rising damp can occur if the course is ineffective or was never fitted to begin with.
Signs to look out for include damp patches on the lower half of your wall, with a ‘tide line’ above it, fluffy white salt on your walls, peeling paint, crumbling plaster and damaged skirting boards.
The only way to avoid further damage is to have a new damp-proof course installed.
How to avoid damp in the bathroom
The bathroom is one of the more common areas to suffer from damp, particularly if the room is not properly ventilated.
Boiler Plan have shared their tips for ensuring your favourite room in the house is damp-free:
Open the window before you turn on the hot water. Do not open the bathroom door as that allows the heat to escape throughout the house.
Turn on your extractor fan and leave it on for 20 minutes after your shower. Always maintain your fan to make sure it doesn’t get blocked.
Dry your bathroom surfaces with a towel or cloth – particularly where condensation collects the most to stop mould building up.
Fit air bricks if condensation is becoming increasingly bad, as these bricks have air holes allowing hot air to pass through.
Use a dehumidifier to take the moisture from the air and collect it as water.
Paint your bathroom with anti-mould paint to prevent condensation and absorb moisture.
Do you have any household hacks to share? We want to hear from you.
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