Don’t Treat Damp The Wrong Way

Jonny has a damp patch and Roger has a theory about the cause.

Diagnosing damp problems in a building without jumping to conclusions involves a systematic approach to identifying the symptoms, understanding the possible causes, and then taking appropriate action. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you go about it:

Step 1: Initial Observation

Signs: Look for common signs of dampness, such as dark patches on walls, peeling paint, musty smells, or visible mould.
Location: Take note of where the damp seems to be concentrated.

Step 2: Identify the Type of Damp

Condensation: Usually occurs on windows and walls. You may see water droplets, and it often happens during cold weather.
Penetrating Damp: Occurs when water penetrates through the walls. Look for localized damp patches that worsen when it rains.
Rising Damp: Affects the lower areas of walls and floors. Look for a “tide mark” above which the wall is dry.

Step 3: Check External Factors

Roof: Damaged or missing tiles can let in water.
Gutters and Downpipes: Ensure they are not blocked or damaged.
Walls: Look for cracks or damaged masonry.
Windows and Doors: Make sure they are sealed properly.

Step 4: Check Internal Factors

Ventilation: Poorly ventilated homes are more likely to have damp issues.
Leaks: Check pipes, radiators, and appliances for leaks.
Humidity: High indoor humidity can contribute to damp. This can be measured with a hygrometer.

Step 5: Professional Diagnosis

If you’re unable to identify the cause or if the problem is severe, consider hiring professionals like surveyors or damp proofing experts for a more thorough diagnosis.

Step 6: Action Plan

Condensation: Improve ventilation, use dehumidifiers, or consider anti-condensation paint.
Penetrating Damp: Repair external faults and consider water-repellent treatments.
Rising Damp: This usually requires professional treatment, such as the installation of a damp-proof course.

Step 7: Monitor

After implementing fixes, continuously monitor the situation to make sure the problem doesn’t reoccur or shift to a different area.

By taking a systematic approach, you reduce the likelihood of misdiagnosis, which can lead to incorrect and potentially costly solutions.

About Dylan Garton

Dylan Garton is a co-founder, video producer and editor for the Skill Builder social media platforms.

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