Damp is a common household ailment which can seriously damage the interior and exterior of your home as well making it wet, cold and uncomfortable to live in. So here’s some advice on damp proofing your home.
If left untreated, damp can cause serious harm to your home and even your health. According to the World Health Organisation’s latest research into the effects of dampness and mould, you are also at a 75% greater risk of developing respiratory symptoms and asthma if you occupy a damp or mouldy house.
The Property Care Association (previously known as the British Wood Preserving and Damp Proofing Association) recommends that you hire a damp specialist to diagnose and treat damp. Check that they have been awarded the certified surveyor in remedial treatment (CSRT) qualification. A damp proofing specialist will be able to carry out a damp survey on your home.
Check out the exterior of your home. Make sure your gutters and downward pipes are not obstructed and that water can flow freely. Look carefully to see whether there are any cracks in the rendering and check that the drip grooves underneath your windows aren’t blocked.
Make sure that your roof is in good repair and that there are no leaks or broken tiles.
Ensure that your home has a damp proof course installed at around 150mm above ground level.
To avoid damp caused by condensation, do not dry clothes on radiators and keep your home heated to a constant temperature when it’s cold to keep the walls warm.
Always use extractor fans if you have them, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom.
You can also buy a portable humidifier to suck up moisture from the air, keeping the relative humidity in your home at an ideal 65-70%.
To check for signs of damp in your home you could invest in a damp detector – there are many of these hand held devices available on the market.