Damp is simply the presence of excess moisture within a building. Damp problems in your building can easily occur without any major warning signs and can lead to serious damages if not addressed properly and immediately. So what leads to damp problems in buildings? Keep reading to find out.
Causes of damp problems
Before jumping into the causes of damp, it is important to know the three major types of damp that can occur in your building. Knowing how to spot the different damp issues can help you better identify and prevent their causes. The different types of damp are; rising damp, penetrating damp, and condensation.
Rising damp is usually the result of the capillary movement of ground moisture through the walls and floors of a building. Some of the signs include; tide marks on the walls, crumbling plaster, decaying skirting boards, crumbling mortar and white/yellow salt stains.
Causes of rising damp problems in buildings
Absence of a Damp Proof Course (DPC) – One of the most common causes of rising damp is the absence of or a failing damp proof course (DPC). When a DPC isn’t installed in a building or the existing one has been compromised as a result of certain installations to the outer walls, moisture from the ground can move up through your building via capillary action and cause serious damage.
Addition of a pathway or driveway- the addition of a pathway or driveway can compromise your damp proof course by causing the ground level around your building to be raised above your DPC. Outside structures like steps may also bridge your DPC, which gives water the opportunity to travel upwards and affect the walls above your DPC.
This occurs when water infiltrates the external walls and enters a building. Common signs of penetrating damp include; damp patches on ceilings and walls, damp stains on external walls, drips and puddles, wet and crumbling plaster and isolated areas of spores and black mould.
Causes of penetrating damp problems in buildings
Porous walls- older/aged bricks may not be very effective in keeping out rain penetration. Also, cracks in the external rendering of the building can allow for problematic water ingress.
Building defects- building defects like missing roof tiles, damaged pipes, overflowing gutters, poor window installations, damaged pointing and flashing can also cause penetrating damp.
Damaged bricks and degraded mortar- penetrating damp can also be caused by damage to brick walls.
Condensation damp occurs when excess moisture in the air reacts with a cold surface such as the walls. Common signs include; discolouration of window panes, décor deterioration, growth of black mould, and streaming windows and walls.
Causes of condensation damp problems in buildings
Household activities- day to day household activities like showering, bathing, cooking and indoor drying of wet clothes can lead to increased moisture in the air, which causes condensation.
Double glazing and cavity wall insulation – this is a common cause of condensation in modern homes. When warm moisture-laden air reacts with a cold surface, it cools down quickly and forms water droplets on the surface.
Damp problems on your property are serious and should be treated as such in order to avoid structural damage and health issues. Consider hiring a professional London damp proofing company to ensure the best results. The best way to avoid the problems relating to damp is to be able to identify the different types of damp, their various causes and how they can be rectified.