Damp can cause many problems, both in your home and with your health. Those who have lived in homes where dampness is a big problem report a myriad of health issues. You need to be sure that you protect yourself and your family, but that can be difficult when you have humidity issues.
Household Issues with Damp
You’ll likely notice that your home has dampness problems not because of the humidity, but because of the damage that it has done. It’s important to repair the damage and address the cause as soon as possible, to avoid having more issues later on.
Some signs that there are damp problems in your home include:
Musty smells: You may notice that it smells like mould or mildew in your home.
Mould/Mildew: Check areas where it smells strongly or where it’s dark and dank. You’ll likely find mould and mildew growing there, which indicates there are issues with dampness seeping in.
Condensation: This isn’t actually damage, but a sign that there’s something wrong. If you notice a lot of condensation on the windows, you should start looking into damp proofing.
Peeling wallpaper: Often, wallpaper will begin to peel because there is excessive humidity in the area. It may also be caused by damp seeping through the wall or dripping from a window.
Water stains: If the damage is coming from a pipe or rising damp, you will notice that there are dark stains on the walls or ceiling.
Cold floors and walls: If there is water coming up from the ground, your floors may feel damp or cold. This also happens with walls.
Flooring lifting: Vinyl and carpet are two flooring types that will tend to peel up if there is rising damp affecting the house.
Plaster salts: Fluffy white growths on the walls indicate damp is coming through the walls and bringing salts from the bricks with it.
If you notice any of these signs of damage, you need to move quickly. It’s best to eliminate the cause of the problem before it can get any worse. The longer you leave it, the more damage is done and the more costly it will be to fix it.
Health Issues From Damp
The main factor in damp health issues is mould. When the damp issues are not addressed in a home, mould tends to thrive. This sends off spores and microscopic fragments that you breathe in. Once in the body, these minute pieces can cause inflammation of the airways, which makes you feel like you are drowning. It causes coughing, nasal congestion, and can irritate the throat, as well.
Being exposed to damp over time can actually cause your lungs to stop working as efficiently. It may even result in asthma, particularly in young children. Anyone who already suffers from allergies or asthma will find that their symptoms worsen when they are exposed to indoor dampness.
In addition to all these health issues, damp and mould may actually be a risk for mental health, as well. Studies show that those who live in a home with mould are more likely to become depressed than those in dry spaces.
Types of Damp
You will need to know what type of damp you’re dealing with in order to effectively treat it. While you don’t need to identify it yourself, as the treatment company can do that, it’s helpful to know what is causing the issues.
Penetrating Damp: When liquid moves through the walls from outside, it’s considered penetrating damp. This may occur when a wall is improperly sealed and rain blows against it or it could be caused by a pipe bursting or leaking within the wall. Whatever the cause, the water comes through the wall or ceiling.
Of course, the first thing to do is to eliminate the leak and fix that, if it is indeed the problem. Otherwise, you will need to identify where the water is coming from and how it is penetrating.
In many cases, it’s a matter of sealing the outside wall against liquids. Often, it’s rain or snow that is moving through the walls, so a sealant can prevent that.
Condensation: You’ll notice ordinary condensation on the windows when it’s cold outside. The heat and humidity on the inside condenses on the cold window and forms droplets. Some condensation is fine and won’t cause any issues, but excessive condensation will drip down and ruin walls and flooring. It can also cause the growth of mould.
The simplest method of preventing condensation is to have excellent ventilation within the house. You should open windows and doors frequently to allow air flow, or install fans that can keep the air moving around.
It’s also helpful to opt for windows with a dead space between the two pieces of glass. This creates a vacuum where heat and cold doesn’t cross, so there will be little to no condensation formed.
Rising Damp: This is when water comes up from the ground below the home and filters through the walls and inherent materials. It usually occurs because the foundation or sub floor was not properly laid and is not sealed.
To resolve this problem, many companies will inject a sealant into the wall via tiny holes. This sealant creates a waterproof barrel that will stop the water from coming up from the cellar or foundation. In some cases, plaster may be removed from the wall’s interior to allow for better drying access.
The type of damp will determine what sort of solution you should look for. It’s quite common for all three types to show up, particularly since homes with one area lacking are generally not sealed anywhere else, either.
Finding a Damp Company to Fix the Problem
A specialty company with experts in dealing with damp problems is the best way to seal up your home and eliminate the excess humidity. The company will need to inspect your home first and determine what type of damp you’re dealing with and where it is coming in.
If there is a leaking pipe or poorly maintained gutters, these things will be fixed first. From there, you’ll need to look at properly sealing walls and floors to prevent more water from coming in. You should also consider replacing your windows.
Double glazed windows are designed to keep condensation at a minimum and can prevent the problem of water drops rolling down the window and the wall.
First, take a look at the companies nearest you. It’s best if you don’t have to wait a long time for someone to come out, so the closer, the better. Every hour you wait, there is more damage being wrought. You need a fast solution and the experts will provide just that.
Damp Proofing Costs
How much you’ll need to pay for damp proofing will depend entirely upon how large your home is and what type of damp you’re attempting to banish. It also depends on how much damage you have already sustained in your home. The repair costs can actually be considerably more than the damp proofing costs.
For rising damp, if you are trying to damp proof inside walls, you should expect to pay roughly £70 per metre of wall to inject a barrier. There are additional costs for replacing the plaster and eliminating any mould that has managed to grow over the course of the damage. It’s important to remove every last trace of it to prevent health problems such as asthma and the other problems previously mentioned.
Exterior walls require a bit more work, as the soil needs to be removed and gravel or concrete placed instead. It could be anywhere from £500-2,000 for the average size home.
When it comes to penetrating damp, you may need to replace windows, which can cost around £500 or so. If the problem is coming from the roof, you can expect to pay around £100-200 for roofing repairs.
As you can see, there is an entire range when it comes to budgeting for damp proofing. Keep in mind that once the home is damp proofed, you will still need to remove any damaged flooring or plaster and have it replaced. This can add to the overall cost, but if done correctly, the damp proofing should last a long time and keep your family safe.
Are you searching for a damp proofing company to help you out? Contact Archer Treatments to find out how we can help you prevent damp issues in your home.