Diagnosing damp / Condensation

If your property is suffering from damp or condensation it is very important to diagnose which it is to ensure the correct treatment, which will save you a huge headache and lots of money in the long run. Rising damp is one of the most common problems to be mistaken for penetrating dampness or condensation.

What are the problems in the affected area?

* If you have misted windows, walls that are wet to touch and black mould growth, this will be down to condensation. Condensation can commonly be attributed to lack of balance between heating and ventilation, resulting in a rise of relative humidity. An average family of 4 to 5 can produce upto 17 litres of water vapor a day. This can be from drying wet clothes on radiators, using a tumble dryer, having a hot bath or shower or cooking. It is important to have good ventilation e.g. extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom, Trickle vents on windows, air vents in some cases a dehumidifier.

* If the skirting boards are decayed, plaster and paint peeling off the walls around the lower areas of the walls, this could be down to rising damp. Rising damp is caused when water from the ground spreads into the brickwork by means of capillary action, rising through fine cracks in the masonry. Since rising damp is often misdiagnosed, even by members of the building trade, it is worth calling in an expert for specialist advice.

* If you are suffering from damp patches on the floor, ceiling or walls then this may be subject to penetrating damp. A blocked gutter or a broken down pipe soon allows moisture into the building, which will spread throughout the structure, resulting in timber decay to built-in timbers and damp plaster work. Also caused by faulty window joints, or cracked render.