Damp is a result of excess moisture within the fabric of a building, from either internal condensation or from outside. The longer dampness is left untreated, the greater the chance of other problems, such as wet or dry rot and hygroscopic salt damage to decor developing and subsequent structural damage.
Hygroscopic salt contamination is very common on chimney breasts as a result of not only ground water and other penetrating dampness but these salts can also be introduced through the combustion of fossil fuels,resulting in the deposit of Chlorides and Nitrates (salts) into the building fabric . As the water evaporates these salts are left in the building and become concentrated on the wall surface. During periods of high humidity ( periods of prolonged rain), moisture vapour condensation is attracted to the salts, causing them to become soluble and therefore damp.
Eradication of Hygroscopic dampness is a combination of ensuring that the path of water is prevented,preferably with a membrane and/or the salt affected plaster is removed and reinstated with a plaster containing a salt inhibitor and water proofer,or lined with insulated plasterboard to eradicate risk of condensation and reduce heating bills at the same time. click on link below to view installation video.
Risks to Health
Some people are more sensitive to mould (Mold) than others, ie People with allergies ,asthma or other respiratory problems, people with compromised immune systems,Pregnant women,Children and the elderly the elderly.
Causes of Damp Problems
Problems with damp in a building may be caused by a variety of reasons,including poor build quality, lack of building maintenance or the deterioration of building fabric.
The three main issues of damp are:
Ground water (moisture) that is drawn upwards through porous building materials such as bricks, mortar through capillary action. In most cases rising damp is a slow process and may be present in a building for years before any signs of a problem manifest.
Penetrating Damp is also known as “rain penetration” and can occur through walls, roofs, window or door surrounds. Defects in roof tiles, cracked pointing, blocked weep holes or defective seals allow water to penetrate and enter the property.
It is usually caused by water moving through walls from the outside of the building.
How to Identify Penetrating Damp
There are a number of signs to help determine if your property has penetrating damp, which include:
- Damaged internal decoration ,damp, discoloured tide marks in line with external ground level on internal surfaces.
- Damaged Plaster blistering, hygroscopic salting
- Rotting skirting boards, floor timbers
- Localised dampness , Random damp patches at high and low level that do not dry out and satin through decor.
- Mould Growth and a musty smell
Condensation occurs when high levels of humid air are trapped within a building, where poor ventilation does not allow it to escape. This moisture then condenses when it touches cold surfaces which may not be correctly insulated, such as, walls or ceilings; eventually leading to mould growth.
Improving insulation, double glazing and draught proofing can reduce the natural ventilation in properties.
What is Condensation?
Air can only hold a certain amount of moisture ‘water vapour’ – the warmer the air the more it can hold. If this air is then cooled by contact with a cold surface. The air temperature is then lowered and the vapour becomes water droplets ,condensation. The point at which the air cools enough for the water to form is known as the ‘dewpoint’.
Everyday activity like cooking, washing, bathing or even just simply breathing releases moisture into the air. An average family of 4 can generate approximately 24 pints of water a day.
Although There are sometimes other causes of dampness in properties, such as leaking pipes or damaged drainage – these should not be over looked.
Signs of Condensation
Condensation is usually a seasonal problem, most noticeable during the colder winter months. Obvious places condensation can appear,apart from windows, are cold walls often ceiling corners. Sometimes it can occur in hidden areas such as roof voids or suspended floors where the lack of under-floor ventilation (Air Bricks) are absent. Timbers in these areas may become susceptible to rot problems.
Most properties will suffer from a degree of condensation over time. However it becomes an issue if it leads to signs such as:
- Damp walls and ceilings
- Damaged and peeling wallpaper and paper
- ‘Musty’, damp odour and Black Mould which can occur along the edges of windows, skirting boards and wall/floor/ceiling junctions
Signs of Damp
Damp is not always obvious to spot and in many cases it can take several years before a problem is visible. However, there are a number of signs to look for which may indicate there is a damp problem within your property:
- Musty smell.
- Forming of mould or mildew on walls,often in corners.
- Staining of wall coverings, peeling wallpaper & blistering paint.
- Discolouration on walls Hygroscopic Salt damage to plasterwork and decor.
- Rising damp may also be visible on skirting boards, where nails or screws show signs of rust. Rusting can also develop on angle beads within damp plaster work.
On the outside of the property, damp can be identified from the appearance of salt stains that can appear on walls and if mortar begins to crumble away.
Damp comes in a few different forms, which means it is not as obvious to spot as you might think. In many cases it can take several years before a problem becomes visible and structural damage results.
Signs of Damp what to do next.
We offer a “Free” professional survey and provide a variety of effective damp treatments . A detailed assessment is carried out and any recommendation for specific treatment is and supplied for your consideration.
We have a solution for every Damp Problem!
Newton Membrane installed against damp wall,creating an impenetrable barrier which is then finish plastered.
(image courtesy www.newtonwaterproofing.co.uk )
Contact us on 0758 143 5189 or use online enquiry form for your free survey
All our treatments are fully guaranteed!