How to prevent damp
Built to last, modern homes keep water and moisture out, using the latest in breathable materials, ventilation and insulation. Older properties that have not had moisture control built into their design, or by virtue of ageing and material degradation, have more moisture problems than most. However, new build houses are not entirely immune to damp. Condensation can occur in a new build home because of the amount of moisture that is used in the build process. Here we will take you through the best ways to prevent damp.
What exactly is damp?
Damp is a catch-all term for the build-up of unwanted moisture in the home. Typically, there are three common types of damp found in older British properties. Rising damp (floor level), penetrating damp (wall level) and condensation (walls and windows).
What causes damp?
The build-up of moisture in rooms – particularly kitchens and bathrooms – and the lack of ventilation to let the moist air outside is the main cause of damp problems. As we shift into autumn and winter and the air around us cools, combined with the increased use of heating, damp may be more prevalent.
How to spot damp
Here are some tell-tale signs that you may have damp:
- An unusually musty smell in your home
- Visible mould on the walls, floor or ceiling
- Dark wet patches on walls, floor or ceiling
- Peeling wallpaper
- Condensation on windows
How to prevent damp in your home
With taps running and the hobs cooking away, the kitchen is a place where moisture readily builds-up. Opening windows and using extractor fans when cooking can go a long way toward preventing damp building in the heart of your home. For an extra layer of protection, try moisture resistant flooring or paints.
The wettest room of the house, your bathroom, will need the most attention. Keeping the trickle vents in the windows open will allow you to ventilate the room 24/7. In addition, using a squeegee on wet surfaces is a simple and effective way of preventing mould from growing. Leave an extractor fan running that little bit longer or open windows in fair weather to help the air flow.
Heating your home adequately can stop condensation from occurring. Insulation in the loft and walls will help maintain warmth in your home without racking up a sky-high heating bill. Weather permitting, airing rooms from time to time encourages moisture from evaporating and stops damp from forming.
Each room in your home is different and may require a different moisture plan, but taking these simple steps can help to damp proof your home for years to come.