This is part of a series of articles by the Plumber Chelmsford blog highlighting problems you may encounter at your home and tips on dealing with them. This one covers damp.
Because of the wet climate in the UK it is inevitable that many homes, especially older ones, will suffer with damp problems. That said, any home that is not cared for to a certain degree, could face problems caused by damp and if not addressed the consequences could be dire ranging from damage to furniture and interiors to major structural repairs.
Walls, in older houses in particular, are solid and this can encourage damp although poor maintenance is the ultimate cause. The warning signs are usually obvious with a damp patch appearing inside the home. Some of the most common places are a damp patch at the top of a chimney breast which is likely to mean a leak through the chimney stack. Damp near windows and doors are also common as well as at the top of a wall when there is a leak in the guttering.
Bear in mind though that damp patches can sometimes be deceiving and do not necessarily mean that the leak is near by. Water could be finding its way inside the home from a distance, for example, by finding its way along a joist in the loft.
One of the most straight forward cures for damp and one that is often overlooked is ventilation. Keeping your home well ventilated will go a long way in preventing damp. You will also need to keep check on some of the more obvious places where damp occurs.
Go into the loft and check the roof for leaks. Missing or damaged tiles will need replacing immediately. Check any chimney stack for cracked mortar. This will need repair with mortar or a sealant. Guttering should be kept clear from blockages and any cracked or damaged joints should be replaced. External and interior paintwork at your home should be monitored and maintained. Apply more than one coat of paint and where necessary use a damp proof paint. A damp proof paint applied to a patch found on an interior wall is often enough to stop the damp from spreading.
If you live in a modern home, one built in the past 50 years, damp is likely to be less of a problem. Your home will probably have cavity walls i.e. a space between two layers of bricks - to help prevent damp.
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