How to Combat Damp at Home?

Dampness at home is a problem for many, especially during the cold and wet months of the year. It’s not just an unpleasant view; it’s also a health hazard and a potential structural problem for your house.

Needless to say, it’s vital to take fast action whenever this issue arises so it doesn’t become an even bigger problem. This guide will help you understand damp, how to check for dampness and what you can do about it.

Why Does Dampness Happen?

Technically speaking, damp happens when there’s excess moisture in the air, and it can’t escape. There are multiple reasons for it, and one of the biggest culprits is steam. This can happen when you’re cooking, showering or bathing. If your house isn’t properly ventilated, moisture can and will build up.

Additionally, structural problems such as leaks on pipes, walls or roofs can allow damp to appear. In this case, water seeps into the structure and mould growth appears.

Damp Proofing

The first thing you should do when suspecting dampness at home is to assess it carefully. It’ll require the use of your senses more than most home inspection tasks. For example, one of the most obvious signs of problems is a musty smell. If you smell that, mould is very likely growing in the room.

Visual cues are plenty, too. You can check for damp patches on walls, floors and ceilings, but sometimes it’s not that obvious. A peeling wallpaper or paint can hide damp behind, so check carefully those as well.

If you find damp, it’s useful to check how bad it is. The easiest method is using the back of your hand, pressing it against the suspected area and then a dry area. This can help you gauge how serious the dampness is.

There are also damp measurement devices that generally consist of two prongs and an indicator. You need to stick the prongs into the wall, and the indicator will display the percentage of damp.

If you consider the problem serious, the best idea is to arrange a home survey with a professional. We can hook you up with the best ones in your area to inspect your property and offer solutions for your particular case.

Get Rid of Damp in the House

There are two issues at play when getting rid of this nuisance. First, you need to deal with the current issue. Second, you need to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Both are intertwined sometimes. This is because if you just try to get rid of damp by, for instance, removing mould, you’ll have the problem back in no time if no preventive measures are taken.

Specific types of damp, such as rising dampness on the walls, are expensive and difficult to solve, so we’ll leave those special cases aside since the best course of action is to call a pro for such instances.

That said, if the affected area is small, you can use a mildew remover or a solution with water and bleach. You’ll need to clean the surface first, preferably with detergent and water, then rinse it thoroughly. Afterwards, apply the product or solution with a sponge and let it sit for some time. Finally, scrub it gently and rinse once more.

Now, on to the preventive measures. One of the first considerations is buying a dehumidifier. It can help you in poorly-ventilated rooms such as bathrooms. Also, install extractor fans or air vents to improve airflow, and don’t forget to open your windows every day, even in winter, to let moisture out of your house.

You can also use damp-proof paint, which helps to combat mould buildup but it won’t be a replacement for a properly ventilated home.

Unfortunately, damp can happen because of structural issues such as timber rotting, water leaking because of obstructions in gutters, moisture coming from the soil or any other issues. In those cases, ventilation and cleaning won’t be enough.

When to Get Help

Even though there’s a lot you can do to prevent and solve damp at home, it can be a battle uphill, especially if the issue comes back. In that case, the best course of action is to have an assessment by professionals.

This is extremely important for checking whether there are structural damages that might be caused by excessive moisture. Fortunately, we offer you the chance to get in touch with the best professionals in your area. If you have damp issues, contact us today!

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