Damp is a common problem in many UK homes. Not only can it look and smell unpleasant, but left untreated it can start to impact your health. Continued exposure to damp could result in allergies, asthma, and respiratory problems.
But what causes damp? Damp and mould are essentially caused by excess moisture. You might think it’s unavoidable given we live in a relatively wet country however, there are many steps you can take to help tackle damp, and stop it from coming back.
Tips for tackling damp head on
1. Good ventilation is key
If you don’t have an extractor fan fitted in your kitchen and bathroom, now is the time to consider getting one fitted. This will massively help to reduce the humidity in your home, keeping condensation at bay.
2. Open the windows!
It might seem obvious but opening your windows and allowing fresh air to circulate can be hugely beneficial.
3. Wipe water away
Regularly wipe down areas where water gathers, such as windowsills and surfaces in bathrooms. Fungicidal washes are good for wiping down mouldy walls and windows.
4. Does your home have the right number of ‘air bricks’?
‘Air bricks’ allow walls to breathe and air to pass under floors – not all homes have enough. A local builder should be able to advise if you need more.
5. Close the door and open the window
Close the bathroom door and open the window when showering and bathing. This helps to stop humid air from travelling to other rooms.
6. Keep your home at a steady temperature
Having the thermostat at a more constant temperature helps prevent condensation from forming as the home experiences fewer hot or cold extremes.
7. Insulation is important
Good loft and cavity wall insulation can help prevent damp problems. And if you have older, more draughty windows, it might be time to consider replacing them.
Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture and humidity from the air, which creates a more comfortable environment. They can also help reduce odours and get rid of the “musty” smell which damp can leave. As much as these devices are useful, they are not a permanent fix.
9. Drying clothes
If possible, even during winter we recommend hanging clothes outside to dry. Condensation from wet clothes can build up throughout the house. If you have space, it might be worth considering purchasing a tumble drier.
Rising damp can be commonly misdiagnosed. Before undertaking any treatment, we recommend speaking to an independent surveyor who can properly assess the affected area and advise how to resolve your damp problems correctly. It’s always worth getting a few quotes to compare prices and speak to previous customers to make sure you are using a reliable and trusted company.