This is a common problem for many homeowners. The cause of damp on walls can be due to groundwater entering the building via, water ingress from the outside to the inside of the property, or simply condensation.
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Causes of damp patches on walls
If you have noticed damp stains, peeling decorations, or black spot mould appearing on your walls then one of the three types outlined below is likely to be the cause. These include rising damp, damp that penetrates, and condensation.
Identifying and understanding the root cause will lead to a more accurate plan for treatment; continue reading to find out which type is affecting your home.
Rising damp can lead to damp walls
It will cause a damp wall that is only seen on the ground floor of buildings and leads to damp on internal walls. When identifying it the characteristic symptom to look for is a “tide mark” along internal walls just below your skirting on many cold surfaces.
Another giveaway sign on cold surfaces are white marks left by salts pulled out from inside your brickwork and deposited on the damp wall. This will commonly cause damage to paint or wallpaper as well as a musty, dank odour. To remedy it, a professional damp proof course is necessary and it’s advised to speak to a professional when identifying rising damp.
Damp walls can be caused by condensation
Damp on walls caused by condensation and damp air typically manifests as dark mould spots. Condensation problems are more likely to occur in the winter months and are most common in bathrooms where high humidity levels cause ceilings to drip onto materials such as paintwork or wallpaper below.
Damp proofing walls, increasing ventilation, and discussing a damp proof membrane with a professional are all suitable courses of action if you want to treat damp walls quickly. Increasing your central heating, assessing your skirting board, and checking window sills will also be worth it.
Damp on walls caused by penetrating damp
Penetrating damp is moisture that enters through a lateral wall onto your internal walls and can only be remedied by a professional damp proof course. It can penetrate walls at any level of your property, resulting in unsightly damp patches on your internal walls, a cold surface, and a growing damp problem. One possible remedy is cavity wall insulation but speak to a professional first about all types of damp treatment, as well as about your external wall.
If water management systems like gutters or downpipes on the outside of your property look damaged and/or blocked, then they are likely the source of a penetrating damp problem.
This issue is not limited to ground floor walls — any cold walls are at risk. Defective pointing or leaks in plumbing can cause problems with internal walls, which means treating penetrating damp is highly skilled work that can affect walls in any environment.
The patches will have left tide marks when the plaster has been affected, brown patches, and there is sometimes a musty smell where the humidity levels have increased substantially and over time it starts to take its toll by deteriorating the fabric behind drywall (e.g., wallpaper). A full damp survey will allow you to get the root of the problem without risking further deterioration.
Damp on walls: External
Stains are not just limited to the inner surface and will often be seen on the exterior walls of a home, even if you don’t have any in the interior. Like wet tidemarks are found inside your home, moist patches outside are an indication that there is water on or getting into your property. This makes dealing with damp at ground level, around the chimney breast, or at any other point on your building challenging.
When looking for damp stains in these cases, it’s important to look closely at joint lines and external soil lead penetrations because this can provide a visible source of moisture ingress. Look around every window frame for affected areas, assess building materials, and speak to a specialist to help prevent mould due to cold walls.
Damp on walls: Internally
Issues with walls can be caused by any number of factors such as groundwater, moisture from outside entering the house, or condensation. These three types share some similarities yet have specific indicators as well–stained paint or wallpaper for example that might tell you whether it is structural rather than fungus-based.
Inside walls suffering issues will also show peeling wallpaper and blistering paint on the affected wall. Excess moisture will also break any working damp seal, cause damp problems which lead to black mould growth, and partially negate the efficiency of cavity wall insulation.
From installing a damp course to using a dehumidifier, there are many options available for your walls. It’s also worth discussing a suitable render for the outside of the building with a professional. They can also tell you everything you need to know about hygroscopic salts and how they mix with your walls.
Damp patches often signal condensation; while rising damp is typically accompanied by a tide line that can reach up to 1 metre in height across the affected area of the wall. Meanwhile penetrating damp issues may appear at any level of the property but will have a corresponding defect on the outside of the property, allowing water ingress.
If in doubt, have your internal and external walls, window frames, and over aspects of your property treated to prevent rain penetration and rising damp problems. Failing to do so can damage everything from simple skirting boards to accelerating the rot of decaying timber.
How to fix damp walls
Damp is a common fixture in UK homes and can be caused by many things. Our experts offer the best damp proofing strategies for prevention and repair of your property, covering external walls and damp on internal walls:
- In order to fix the problem and repair your walls, it is essential that you select the right form of damp treatment to prevent mould growth. Treating damp in the home can come from a variety of sources. Fortunately, there are three common types that need different treatments to get rid of damp in your walls
- Rising Damp: Groundwater rising up inside – install a “remedial” process as part of the damp proofing process. Don not attempt to start identifying it without expert input
- Penetrating Damp: fix the leak that lets it into the property and wipe down siding if necessary, then do an interior response or treatment for any wet or dry rot. Brick waterproofing can be used for porous brickwork.
- Condensation: can be caused by a lack of ventilation, or from outside water seeping in and finding its way inside the home. To fix this problem, talk to our specialists today on 07562719091.
Our experts will look at your external walls, spot the signs of rising damp, surgery interior walls, and highlight any and all damp signs. From there, they can use specialist treatments like masonry protection cream and damp proofing cream for treating damp.
Need to speak to a damp wall specialist? Contact Advanced Damp LTD!
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