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Damp Walls - 23 Ways to Reduce Damp in Your Home

Damp Walls - 23 Ways to Reduce Damp in Your Home

Damp Walls _ How to reduce damp in your home

Damp homes are common in the UK. According to a Which report, 31 percent of people have suffered from condensation-related damp in their home. 8 percent have had issues with rising damp, and 18 percent have had problems with penetrating damp.

While structural and construction issues can lead to damp, in many cases, problems with damp can be solved with some basic home maintenance and a few simple lifestyle changes. Left to its own devices, damp can lead to rot, peeling paint and wallpaper, and even destruction of treasured possessions. However, a little home care can go a long way. While these tips won’t cure every case of damp, you may be surprised at how effective they can be at minimising damp.

  1. Air out your home regularly – particularly if you don’t have the heating on much. It may seem counter-intuitive but even if it’s cold, you still need to let damp air out. People are damp-producing machines. Open your windows to let damp out – and if your windows have trickle vents, use them.

  2. Heat every room of your home. Central heating is designed to be used as a system, and leaving some rooms unheated can lead to cold spots, which are then more susceptible to damp. You don’t need to have your heating on all the time, but if you have recurring damp problems, it’s worth considering your heating.

  3. Feel the walls. It may sound silly but many people don’t notice damp until it starts to smell and cause mould. A quick check of the walls while you’re cleaning will help you feel whether there’s any damp, and treat problems before they progress.

  4. Make sure air can circulate freely around your home. Avoid putting furniture directly against the wall – leave an air gap – and make sure your cupboards aren’t over-stuffed.

  5. Check pipes, drains and guttering to make sure that it isn’t blocked. Leaves and plants can lead to leaks if you let them build up in your rainwater goods.

  6. Make sure your washing machine and tumble drier are externally vented. Otherwise, you’ll introduce moisture to your home every time you wash and dry your clothes.

  7. Check your roof for missing roof tiles (use binoculars if you don’t fancy getting up on the roof). Look in your loft as well to double check you don’t have any leaks.

  8. While you’re in the roof, check your insulation is dry. If insulation is incorrectly installed, it can lead to damp.

  9. It’s worth lagging your pipes to prevent them from freezing in cold weather. Unlagged pipes are also more likely to attract condensation, which can lead to drips and damp.

  10. Check window frames for rot and peeling paint. Treat it as soon as you spot it to avoid more costly repairs.

  11. Check around your window frames as well, to see if there’s any damp. If there’s no rot but you’ve still got damp window surrounds, it could be because mortar has fallen down the gap between the window frame and wall.

  12. Don’t dry clothes on your radiators. Use an airer if you have to dry clothes indoors – and put it in a room with ventilation (open the window if you don’t have ventilation).

  13. Check your exterior masonry for peeling paint, cracked render and any other damage. If you spot any problems you may need to repoint using a suitable render. A masonry protection cream such as Stormdry can help prevent rain penetration.

  14. Check around fireplaces for damp. High levels of salts from burning fuel can make fireplaces particularly vulnerable to damp.

  15. Look outside as well as inside if you have issues with damp. If vegetation is growing around – or into – your brickwork, or the level of soil has become higher than the level of your damp proof course, it can cause bridging which can lead to damp. Dig away soil that butts up against your exterior walls.

  16. Close doors when having a bath or shower – and keep them closed afterwards, until you’ve removed the moisture in the air by opening the window or using an extractor fan. If you don’t have a window or ventilation from your bathroom, you’re asking for trouble. Ventilation is an essential part of dealing with damp.

  17. Check the ceiling area around your chimney breast. If there are signs of damp, it could indicate cracked or loose flashing between the chimney stack and the roof.

  18. Go outside when it’s raining and check whether any external walls are particularly vulnerable to driving rain. Then go inside, make a nice cup of tea, and check the internal walls to see whether the vulnerability is leading to water ingress. If you only get damp patches when the weather is bad, chances are you have a problem with rain penetration. This may be because you need to use a masonry protection paint, and can also be caused by mortar on your brick ties.

  19. Check your door for rot. If the bottom of the door is rotten, or you have damp patches just inside the door, you may want to consider fitting a weatherboard.

  20. Close kitchen doors when cooking and washing. The steam that comes from pots and pans can contribute to damp problems, so put lids on them while cooking. It’ll help you be more fuel efficient too. Again, consider fitting ventilation.

  21. Check any below-ground rooms for signs of damp, such as peeling paint or a musty smell. If you have damp issues, you may want to consider tanking out your basement with tanking mix or a membrane.

  22. Wipe condensation from windows as it appears. This will help minimise the risk of black mould.

  23. If your windows attract condensation even after installing ventilation, you may want to consider fitting double glazing. Cold surfaces attract condensation, and double glazing will help make your interior windows warmer.


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