What Causes Damp in Properties?

Damp is one of the most common problems found in homes and other buildings in the UK, with around 2.5 million people potentially affected by it. It is also often associated with mould growth, which can be very difficult to remove once it takes hold.

Seeing damp or mould in your property can be worrying, as this may be indicative of a more serious problem. But what causes damp to appear, and how can you treat it once it has been found? Let’s take a look at the most common causes of damp and look at ways can prevent it from occurring.

What Causes Damp?

The most common cause of damp is condensation, which occurs when warm air inside the home meets cold surfaces such as walls or windows. This causes water droplets to form on these surfaces, leading to mould growth over time. Other factors that contribute to condensation are poor levels of insulation and a lack of adequate ventilation.

Two forms of damp you may have heard about include:

  • Rising damp – This is caused by water travelling upwards through the walls due to a lack of a damp-proof course (a form of moisture control for walls).
  • Penetrating damp – Resulting from water entering the property through wall cracks or damaged roof tiles. 

A recent study has found that sleeping in homes with a damp or mould issue can significantly affect the quality of your sleep, with potential symptoms including insomnia and tiredness.

What Can You Do?

Once you have identified damp within your home, the most important thing to do is to identify and tackle the source of the issue. This may be a leaking pipe or some small cracks in the walls of your home.

Damp can damage the aesthetics of your home, causing dark and unsightly patches on your walls. Following the resolution of the underlying issue, your local Kent plasterers can help give your surfaces a brand-new look.

Mould growth is also highly likely in areas that are affected by damp. Jo Powell, a mould expert from AirFresh Mould Removal London, says that “The effects of mould exposure can vary depending on the severity of the mould growth. Common side effects include nausea, wheezing and itchy eyes. However, mould exposure has been known to cause lung damage and permanent health issues.”

Can You Prevent Damp and Mould?

The best way to prevent damp is to ensure good levels of ventilation in your home, such as opening windows regularly or installing extractor fans in bathrooms or kitchens. You should also make sure that internal surfaces are kept as dry as possible by wiping down bathroom walls after taking showers, for example.

Additionally, you should check for any potential sources of water entering your property from outside (such as leaks) and fix them promptly if necessary. Lastly, making sure that your home has adequate insulation will reduce condensation and therefore the chances of damp taking hold.

If you have already spotted dark patches of mould on the surfaces of your home, don’t panic. We recommend speaking to your local team of professional mould specialists, who can provide tailored advice and assistance.

Summing up: Damp and mould can be unsightly and damaging for properties, but luckily there are steps that you can take to prevent them from occurring in the first place. By ensuring adequate levels of ventilation, keeping internal surfaces dry and regularly checking for water entering your property from outside, you can reduce the chances of damp appearing in your home.


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