The main types of damp found affecting properties are condensation, rising damp, penetrating dampness and internal and external flooding.
Condensation – This is caused when moisture in the air cannot escape the property. The water is held as vapour, suspended and invisible in the air. Upon coming into contact with a cold surface such as a corner of a room, ceiling, mirror or window. The water vapour condenses and settles upon the surface as minute water droplets. These droplets then dampen the material, encouraging conditions for mould spores to develop and multiply. Black mould is often a sign of condensation having occurred.
Rising Damp – This occurs when moisture rises up through the walls of the property due to capillary action; within microscopic pores in the building materials allowing water to be drawn upwards. Rising damp can be caused by a variety of defects, such as materials bridging the damp proof course (DPC) due to high external ground levels, missing DPC’s or damaged and defective DPC’s. Over time, continual ground water drawn upwards, transports ground salts, such as chlorides and nitrates, which work their way through the masonry, plasterwork and wallpaper, causing a tide mark. Any timber such as floor joists, skirting boards and floorboards in contact with the damp walls is at risk of rot.
Penetrating Damp – This is when water from outside finds its way into the fabric of the building, generally, but not always the water source is rainwater. The point of entry could be due to a multitude of defects, such as soft pointing, defective and spalled brick or stonework, damaged windowsills, poor flashing around the chimneystack or missing roof tiles.
Internal Flooding – Flooding can cause damp to structural components of the property, finishes and fittings and furnishings. This can be due to internal flooding, such as plumbing leaks to the radiators or a wash hand basin, sink or bath, waste water leaks and from boilers, dishwashers and washing machines. Often where the water damage manifests, is not where the source of the water leaks from.
External Flooding – This is where floodwater has entered the house. It could be due to a burst rising main, leak from neighbouring premises or due to torrential downpours, with water flooding off the road, farmland or across impermeable surfaces. Our survey will advise on the levels of moisture retained within the fabric of the building, as well as confirming when it has dried out suitably.
It is important to make sure you can firstly identify the type of dampness affecting your home, before identifying the source of the problem and the most suitable remedial treatment required. Our comprehensive survey and reports do all that work for you, identifying defects, severity of damage and suggesting the most appropriate remedial treatments. As an additional service, we can even price up works, so that you have a clearer idea on what the remedial treatment works will cost.
If you need help recognising the type of damp in your property and knowledge on how to treat it, call Healthy Abode now on 01245 206 250 to discuss our services in greater detail.