Damp can come in multiple forms and is one of the most common problems to affect homes in Ireland – around 1 in 5 properties suffer from damp issues. Left untreated it can cause unsightly mold to grow that affects the health of residents, and it can also lead to damage to wooden fixtures such as doors and window frames as well as causing plaster on your walls to crack and flake.
If you have a damp problem in your home – even if it just a tiny lingering wet patch on a ceiling or window it is a good idea to get it checked out to prevent the problem getting worse. A small damp area can quickly develop into a large patch of mold and attract dust mites which in turn can trigger asthma and other allergies. Untreated, damp will be depressing to look at, but it can cause serious health issues.
There are three different causes of damp which need to be treated differently.
As its name suggests, penetrating damp is caused when water penetrates your home through walls, ceilings, or floors from outdoors. This may be caused by faulty joints in window frames, defective guttering, and broken roofing tiles,
Penetrating damp can develop quickly if a gutter or roof tile breaks, and you will often find it worse during wet weather. You will need usually need to speak to a specialist who can remedy the problem by repairing the issue in your home, but you will also need to take action to treat any effects of the damp such as mold.
Rising damp is caused by moisture rising through your walls due to capillary action in the bricks and cement that make up your external walls. It is often found in older homes where there is no damp course installed in the walls, but it can also occur in floors. You can usually identify rising damp due to it only appearing in the lower parts of your walls – gravity prevents it rising more than about 4 feet above ground level.
Walls affected by rising damp will often have problems with peeling wallpaper and crumbling plaster or rotting skirting boards. The areas of walls will usually have a clear tide mark at the height that the damp has affected and will often contain mold.
You will need to consult with an expert to deal with rising damp http://www.aaadamp.com/– it often requires specialist work to be carried out on your home to address the issues and apply preventative measures. It is not a DIY project.
Damp due by condensation is different to the other types as it is due to moisture from inside rather than outside your home.
Cooking, cleaning, and appliances such as kettles and washing machines all release moisture into the air and increase the humidity around your home. When warm, humid air encounters colder surfaces such as windows or exterior walls, the moisture is released and forms condensation patches.
If these are left to stand for long periods, the surface water can soak into the fabric of the wall or ceiling and create an environment that is attractive to mould and dust mites. You may find patches of black mould or mildew in areas of the home where there is poor airflow – such as behind wardrobes that are positioned against external walls.
Mould caused by condensation is a serious issue for your health and your home and needs to be addressed quickly. Improving airflow through the house by installing automatic humidity tracking unitsi n your kitchen and bathrooms draws moist air out of your property which prevents the condensation from forming.