Across the UK 4% of all homes are affected by damp*, that is about a million homes, so chances are you are not alone in your damp problem.
That being said, as it is so common it is also a problem that with the right experts can be easily remedied. But before we get to fixing the issue let’s have a quick look at what damp is and how it’s caused, then some tips on how to avoid it.
What is damp?
There a 3 common types of damp that can affect your home, rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation. But out of these 3 the one that affects most properties is condensation, causing issues for a whopping 586,000 (2%) homes in the UK, so lets focus on condensation and mould.
How is condensation and mould caused?
You will be surprised how much water vapour is created inside your home by everyday activities such as cooking, showering and even breathing. All this hot air, I mean, warm water vapour settles on mostly cold walls, creating condensation which then creates the perfect environment for mould to form.
Why should I care if my property suffers from condensation?
Condensation problems, although common, if left untreated can eventually cause serious issues not only for the property but also the health of the inhabitants, so it is important to get it checked by a qualified specialist asap.
Your property will probably start to show signs of a condensation issue with the most noticeable being mould formation, which can then spoil paint and plasterwork, this can then lead to more serious structural issues including wet rot and dry rot. Occasionally you may not be able to see issues until it’s too late as condensation can form in hidden areas within your property.
How do I prevent a condensation damp problem?
Oh dear, from what I have just read I’m pretty sure I have condensation damp, but what can I do now?
Open a window or use an extractor fan
Firstly, make sure you have an extractor fan in your bathroom and yes turn it on when showering and ideally have the window open after to let out all the excess steam. Also it’s a good idea to have an extractor fan in your kitchen and if you don’t then open the door or window when cooking, even in winter when it’s cold, just wear a jumper, to give the steam somewhere to go that is not your walls. Just don’t forget to close them again when you’ve finished.
Avoid drying your washing indoors
So I know we all like to save money in the winter when drying the washing and avoid using the tumble dryer but in the long run drying your washing indoors without proper mechanical moisture extractor devices (such as a dehumidifier),will cause condensation damp. If you have to dry your washing indoors then remember to open a window giving the moisture somewhere to go…otherwise it will end up on your walls and cause condensation and mould. Yes, students I am looking at you!
Heating is not just for evenings but daytime too
As well as ventilating your home it is equally important to heat it, to help prevent damp. Try not to let your home get too cold then rapidly heat it. During winter it is best to keep your home at a constant warm temperature rather than let it get really cold when you are out at the office or at lectures, followed by cranking up the heat in the evening while watching Netflix. If you can set your heating to continually heat at a nice moderate temperature throughout the day, for example, between 18-21 degrees it will help prevent condensation and mould.
Ok, I am going to sneak in a 4th tip for free…your welcome! Finally try to keep your furniture from sitting directly next to walls, just leave a little gap for air to circulate around it, this will help condensation from settling on your walls.
What if it’s too late and I need to get in damp experts?
Don’t panic the majority of damp issues, especially condensation and mould, can by quickly resolved with the correct remedial treatment through the services which Prokil Damp and Timber Specialists provide.
For a free survey on your property and information on all our services, please contact us.
If you are a student or in rented accomodation please report any condensation and damp issues to your letting agent or landlord who will be able to arrange a free damp survey with expert damp surveyors from Prokil.