The arrival of soggy wallpaper or spotty mildew signals panic for us all. Left untreated, damp can cause mould, rotting window frames and miserable living conditions. In severe cases it can even lead to serious health cases and respiratory illnesses.
With this in mind, we’ve put together some damp prevention tips and a few ideas on how to deal with this silent menace to stop it wreaking havoc in your home.
Identify what type of damp you have
There are three different types of damp that may affect your home which all need to be tackled differently.
This is the most common type of damp and is usually easy to treat without the need to call in the professionals. The best ways to prevent it include:
- Ventilating your home. Rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom need special attention, especially when cooking, washing up and bathing. Put lids on pans, open the windows and use a dehumidifier to remove excess water from the air.
- Make sure your washing machine and tumble dyer are vented properly. Up to two litres of water can be emitted from just one load of washing.
- Dry clothes outside if possible to prevent excess moisture escaping into your property. If you do have to dry clothes inside, open your doors or windows.
This type of damp isn’t as common and usually occurs in old houses that haven’t been treated with a damp course. Left untreated it can cause serious damage to internal walls, structural damage and mould.
The main give-away signs include yellow or brown staining in the lower part of your wall, while crumbling plaster or peeling paper up to one metre above the skirting board are a further sign. You might also have damp or rotting flooring.
Rising damp can be expensive to fix and it’s likely you will have to call in a professional to deal with the problem, which may include putting in a damp course. It’s essential you deal with the problem sooner rather than later – leaving it will only make the problem worse.
This type of damp is caused by water that finds its way into your property from the outside. It is often found higher up on and on south west facing walls, however it can appear at all levels of the property.
It can find its way in through a variety of means including leaky pipes, badly fitting windows or doors and damaged cladding or render. Overflowing gutters and missing roof tiles can also be sources.
Symptoms of this kind of damp include blotchy patches on walls, wet and crumbling plaster, signs of spores or mildew, drips and puddles and growing circles of damp on walls or ceiling. The most tricky thing is locating its point of entry.
You will need to assess the problem and extent of the damage and whether or not you need to call in the professionals will depend on the severity of the problem. Possible D.I.Y options include resealing window and exterior door frames and repointing crumbling or missing mortar between bricks. Large scale repointing is a job for the pros, as is checking cavity walls which is done with a special camera.
Are you a tenant living with damp?
If you are in rental accommodation, it is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure any problems with damp are resolved. As a tenant, it is your right to live in a safe and comfortable home.
If your landlord is refusing to fix the problem and you are living in a council or housing association property, we may be able to help. Here at Emerald Law, we can ensure the repairs are completed at no cost to you, and recover any compensation you are owed.
Fill in the enquiry form or call us today to speak to one of our friendly advisors who will be able to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process of making a claim.