How Much Does Damp Devalue A House?

How Much Does Damp Devalue A House 2024?

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Impact of Moisture on Property Value: Moisture issues, such as dampness, can affect a property’s market value, with specialists suggesting a potential depreciation of around 10%. In extreme cases of unaddressed damp leading to significant structural damage.
  2. Identifying Signs of Damp: Recognizing and addressing damp issues promptly is crucial for preventing property damage and ensuring the well-being of occupants. Signs of damp include water stains, flaking paint or wallpaper, warped skirting boards, and musty odours.
  3. Serious Consequences of Damp in a House: Damp in a house can lead to severe consequences, both structurally and in terms of health. Structurally, damp can result in weakened foundations, crumbling brickwork, and rotting wooden timbers, compromising the overall stability of the building.

Many things, from structural to aesthetic problems, might affect the value of a property when selling or buying it. There is one problem that, depending on its severity, can substantially impact a property’s value: moisture. 

how much does damp devalue hous

How Much Does Damp Devalue a property?

It’s challenging to ascertain with precision, as each instance varies, but damp specialists indicate that moisture issues can depreciate a home’s market value by approximately 10%. When contemplating a sale, it’s crucial to weigh whether this 10% reduction in your property’s worth exceeds the expense of remedying the moisture issue.

In extreme instances of dampness, the property’s value could plummet by as much as 50%. This scenario typically arises when pervasive, unaddressed damp leads to significant structural damage. In such situations, a critical assessment is required to compare the property’s worth against the land’s value. Occasionally, it might prove more financially advantageous to demolish the building and market the land with approved planning permissions, rather than attempting to sell the compromised property as is.

See related: Damp Survey London

How To Spot Damp?

To stop further property damage and safeguard your health, it’s critical to identify any signs of moisture in your house. Here are some pointers to help you spot damp:

  1. Look for indications of water damage, such as water stains on walls or ceilings, paint or wallpaper flaking off, and warped skirting boards or floors.
  2. Since mould prefers wet conditions, seeing black, green, or white patches of mould growing on walls or ceilings is a sure sign of a moisture issue.
  3. Check for musty odours by sniffing the air. Damp frequently produces a distinct musty stench that might fill the entire space. It’s worthwhile to look into anything strange-smelling further.
  4. Moisture is probably present if a wall or ceiling feels chilly to the touch or damp to the touch.
  5. When moist air meets a cold surface, such as a window or an inadequately insulated wall, condensation results, to find potential moist locations, look for condensation indicators like water drops on windows.
How to spot damp?

How Bad Is Damp In A House?

Damp in a house can be a serious problem, and it’s essential to take action to prevent further damage to your property and protect your health. Here’s why:

Structural Damage

Damp can cause significant damage to a building’s structure, leading to weakened foundations, crumbling brickwork, and rotten wooden timbers. If left untreated, it can compromise the stability of the entire building.

structural damage

Health Problems

Damp can lead to various health issues, such as respiratory problems, allergies, and skin irritation. Mould growth in damp environments can also release spores into the air, triggering asthma attacks and other respiratory problems.

respiratory health problems due to damp

Decreased Property Value

Damp is a significant issue that can affect the value of a property. Damp may put prospective buyers off, and it can be a costly issue to rectify.

Unsightly Appearance

Damp patches, peeling wallpaper, and mould growth can make a property look unsightly and unattractive. This can be off-putting to visitors, and it can make it harder to sell or rent out a property.

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Different Types And Top Causes Of Damp

Damp is a common problem that can occur in any type of building, causing damage to the property and potentially harmful health effects. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of damp and the top causes of damp in buildings.

How To Spot Damp?

Types of Damp:

  1. Condensation: This occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface such as windows or walls. Condensation can lead to mould growth and damp patches.
  2. Penetrating Damp: This is caused by water entering the building from outside, often due to leaks in the roof or walls.
  3. Rising Damp: This occurs when moisture from the ground rises through the walls, often due to a lack of a damp-proof course or damaged existing damp-proofing.
  4. Hygroscopic Salts: These salts can build up on walls, especially in older buildings. They can absorb moisture from the air, leading to damp and salt deposits.

Top Causes of Damp:

  1. Lack of ventilation can cause damp, an unpleasant musty smell and mould growth, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.
  2. Leaking pipes, damaged roofs, and faulty gutters allow water to enter the building, leading to damp and mould growth.
  3. As mentioned above, condensation can cause damp and mould growth, especially in poorly ventilated buildings.
  4. Structural defects in the building, such as cracks in the walls, can allow water to enter and cause damp.
  5. Floods can cause significant damage to buildings, leading to damp and mould growth.

Selling A House With Damp – How Does Damp Devalue A House?

Damp is a significant issue that can devalue your property, and it’s essential to take action to rectify the problem before it leads to more significant damage. Here’s how much damp can devalue your house:

Reduced Market Value

Damp can lead to a reduction in the market value of your property. Damp may put prospective buyers off, and it can be a costly issue to rectify. This can result in a lower sale price, reducing the overall value of your property.

Difficulty Selling

Damp can make it harder to sell your property, as it can be an off-putting factor for potential buyers. Properties with dampness may stay on the market for longer, leading to a decreased value due to the extended time on the market.

Expensive Repairs

Damp can damage a property’s structure, such as weakened foundations, crumbling brickwork, and rotten wooden timbers. Repairing these structural issues can be costly, further reducing the overall value of your property.

Affects Mortgage Lending

Damp issues can also affect mortgage lending. Mortgage lenders may be hesitant to provide loans for properties with damp or may require repairs to be completed before lending money.

How Much Does Rising Damp Treatment Cost?

Rising damp is a common issue that can cause significant damage to a property, and it’s essential to take action to treat the problem before it leads to further damage. Here’s how much rising damp treatment can cost:

The cost of rising damp treatment can vary depending on the issue’s severity and the affected area’s size. The cost of treating rising damp can range from £2,000 to £6,000.

Some of the factors that can affect the cost of rising damp treatment include:

  1. Size of the affected area – Larger areas will require more materials and labour, increasing the overall cost of treatment.
  2. The severity of the problem – If the issue is extensive, it may require more intensive treatment, such as re-plastering and re-rendering, which can be more expensive.
  3. Type of treatment – Different types of rising damp treatment are available, and the cost of damp proofing can vary depending on the method used.

Some of the common rising damp treatments include:

Installing a new damp-proof course (DPC) involves injecting a new one into the walls, which can be a cost-effective way to treat rising damp.

  1. Re-plastering and re-rendering – This involves removing and replacing the plaster and render on the affected walls to treat damp, which can be more expensive but provide a more permanent solution.
  2. Electro-osmotic damp proofing – This involves using a low-level electrical charge to prevent moisture from rising on the walls, which can be an effective and long-lasting solution for the damp issue, but it is also the most expensive option.

demonstrating the Types of Damp

Is It Illegal To Sell A House With Damp?

In the United Kingdom, it is not illegal to sell a house with damp. The seller’s legal responsibility is to disclose any issues related to damp or other property defects to potential buyers. Failure to disclose such issues could result in legal action being taken against the seller for misrepresentation.

According to the UK Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, sellers must disclose all material information about a property that may affect a buyer’s decision to purchase. This includes any damp-related issues, such as rising damp, penetrating damp, or condensation. The seller’s property information questionnaire (PIQ) will also ask if there are any damp-related problems with the property. Any environmental protection agency report should also be included with the PIQ, but this is not a legal requirement.

Sellers need to address any issues related to damp before putting their property on the market. This may involve repairs to fix the source of the damp, improving ventilation and insulation, or installing a damp-proof course. Failure to address these issues could result in a lower sale price or difficulty finding a cash buyer.

Why Do British Homes Get Damp?

Damp is a common issue in British homes due to the country’s wet and humid climate, as well as the age and construction of many properties.

The UK experiences a high level of rainfall throughout the year, particularly in the autumn and winter months. This can lead to excess moisture in the air and water seeping into homes through cracks in walls and roofs, causing damp and mould to form. In the UK, the damp membrane in houses is often not enough to protect walls from moisture. But a new damp membrane can help keep moisture out of your home.

According to a survey conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, damp is one of the most common issues reported by homeowners, with around 20% of UK homes affected by rising damp and 70% affected by condensation. Damp affects both the structure of a property and its occupants’ health, presenting risks to both.

Many older British homes were constructed without proper damp-proofing measures, such as damp-proof courses and cavity wall insulation. This means that moisture can penetrate the walls and floors, leading to rising and penetrating damp.

In addition, many homes in the UK are poorly ventilated, which can exacerbate issues with condensation. When warm, moist air comes into contact with cold surfaces, such as windows and walls, it can form condensation, encouraging mould growth.

Picture of Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Surveyor of Timber & Dampness in Buildings (CSTDB) & ( MRICS ) Chartered Quantity Surveyor

Jake is a qualified chartered quantity surveyor and experienced damp specialist with a unique skill set in thermal imaging. With a focus on effective solutions, Jake combines his expertise in quantity surveying and thermal imaging to accurately assess and address damp-related issues. He utilises advanced technology to identify hidden moisture sources and develop targeted strategies, ensuring comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for his clients. With a commitment to open communication and client satisfaction, Jake delivers cutting-edge solutions that tackle damp challenges head-on.

Connect with him on Linkedin...

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