There are a number of things that may cause damp issues in your home. From the age of a building through to damage to the outside, this blog will help you work out why your house may be getting damp, and how you can fix it.
According to the English Housing Survey, there are almost 1 million dwellings in England that are currently suffering from damp issues. The NHS cites that a damp home can lead to respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies, or asthma and can also affect the immune system. Getting on top of your damp can have a crucial impact on your and your family’s health.
However, that’s not all. If left untreated or unchecked for long enough, the structure of your property could become compromised.
What Type of Damp do I Have, and What Causes Damp?
- Rising Damp
If you have damp patches towards the bottom of your wall, crusty or bubbly areas, even mould growth or powdery salt deposit, it’s highly likely that you have a case of rising damp. Rising damp is caused by groundwater rising through walls, floors and masonry usually on the ground level, and is caused by not having a damp proof course in the building. Modern houses are built with these damp proof courses installed but often older buildings will not.
Condensation is usually caused by poor ventilation or draft proofing which is too good, leading to moisture-laden air building up inside your home. Moisture builds up naturally over time, through cooking, washing, showering etc. An easy way to spot condensation is through walls that are wet to touch and areas of mould, and you are able to test for this by fan drying a wall, taping some foil to it, and coming back in 24 hours to check if it is wet.
- Penetrating Damp
If you have damp patches on your walls at random heights, especially straight after raining then its likely that penetrating damp is the culprit. Penetrating damp is, quite literally, when rain and water can penetrate through your walls and into your house. There are a few causes from issues with your cavity wall, through to cracks leading to water coming through, but a common cause is through having inadequately protected brickwork. Of the 7 million solid wall properties in the UK, many of them have porous brick, and in the UK where it rains on 156 days a year, the brick can get overwhelmed.
How to Fix Damp
- Rising Damp
As mentioned above, the main cause of this is not having a damp proof course installed at your property. However, a number of additional considerations should be taken into account. For example, underfloor ventilation in old suspended floor properties is designed to allow airflow. Improving drainage around the property too can reduce build-up of groundwater.
The easiest thing one can do is improve ventilation. Cracking windows, installing extractor fans in laundry rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and ensure moist air is expelled outside. A second consideration is to avoid gas heaters as they create a moist form of heat.
- Penetrating Damp
Stage 1 of dealing with your penetrating damp is to survey the scene and work out the exact cause. Have a look and see if any visual defects can be found like cracks, mortar issues or broken gutters. You might have to use a professional to see up high. If you see no defects in this way, you should move to protect your brickwork to give better waterproofing. A telltale sign if this is needed is if your damp shows up in heavy rain due to saturation. Exterior protective paints for residential, such as Stormdry, provide great waterproof protection of the brickwork, whilst allowing the wall to breathe from the inside.
Stormdry coating is a clear, breathable, water-repellent treatment for brick, concrete and stone walls. It is supplied in the form of a deeply penetrating cream that is applied to the wall surface. Once Stormdry has been applied to the wall surface in a single coat, wait 24 hours and it will permeate deeply before curing to form a water-repellent barrier for a BBA approved 25 years.
At HausBots, we use technology to protect and maintain the built environment.
Another solution that you may wish to consider in a waterproofing brick project is novel wall climbing robot technologies.
HausBots have developed a series of attachments for the patent-pending system.
The use cases we specialise in are:
- Exterior protective paints for residential, such as Stormdry
- Commercial and warehouse painting
- Commercial exterior painting
- External building works
- Inspection of buildings
- Inspection of industrial assets, silos, power plants
- Cleaning (solar panels, windows)
- Monitoring large structures (bridges,
We service all clients including:
- Housing association and councils
- Block managers and property managers
- Subcontract to professional painting contractors
- Infrastructure owners
- Engineering surveyors and consultants
- Insurance surveys
To conclude, when assessing your options for waterproofing brick project, consider involving a professional firm who can risk assess the situation properly and offer solutions.
Please do get in touch with photos of your project to see if HausBots can use robotics in your next work at height project to firstname.lastname@example.org