Building pathology has established that damp, if not treated, can damage the structural integrity of your home. Damp has two main forms:penetrating damp, where the water leaks, or seeps through the walls, and where the water in the ground passes through the damp proof course of your house and enters the lower parts of the walls.
There are some things you can do as a home owner to get rid of damp and mould, but in the most serious cases, work may need to be done by professional builders to rectify the problem.In this article, we share some tips for ing your home.
This picture is taken by Tim Gillin, dated 29 August, 2007
If the damp or wet patches on the walls are higher than 5 feet, then your outside walls have lost their weatherproofing qualities. Inside, the room probably has a stale, .
Your outside walls will probably be cracked, the render may have come away from the walls and the paint will be flaking. This is the reason why you have damp inside. Damp patches can often be found behind furniture, at the back of wardrobes, and where the paintwork is flaking away or has become powdery.
The best way to cure penetrating damp is to apply a damp-proof exterior wall coating.
Rising damp normally happens if the damp proof course is not doing its job or there isn’t one. It can also be caused by air bricks that are blocked so that air cannot pass through, or if muddy water has collected up against the walls of the house and breached the damp proof course. Using a shovel, move the mud away from the walls and make sure it does not build up again.
Builders can fix by injecting a special chemical compound into the low sections of the walls. They inject into drilled holes along the wall that are around 5 inches apart.The chemical dissipates around the damp proof course level, settles inside and becomes a barrier that prevents moisture from penetrating the walls.
Ventilation is crucial
Mould spores don’t like fresh air, so even if it’s cold outside, start by getting some fresh air into your house.If your bathroom has mould, this means the ventilation is poor so you should open the windows after having a bath or a shower. This allows the wet, damp air to dissipate in the air rather than condense on the colder wall tiles and the ceiling.If your bathroom windows have trickle vents, then make sure they’re open.
This picture is taken by Bryn Pinzgaue. This plasterboard got a lot of damp and mould problems.
Buy the very best mould cleaning liquids that are available on the market and clean the areas of mould thoroughly. Many people think that using a mixture of bleach and water is a good idea. This is fine for bathroom or kitchen tiles but using bleach on a porous surface like a brick or a drywall only removes the discoloration and not the mould itself – instead, use a mould cleaner.
Buy or rent a dehumidifier
Using a humidifier is a short-term solution for getting rid of moisture and damp in the air, inside your house. Only use it when you’ve had work done to stop the cause of existing damp. Humidifiers can be rented at reasonable prices or you can buy your own.
New fabrics and clothes
If your home has suffered from penetrating damp or rising damp, then it’s very likely that your carpets, soft furnishings and bedding will have a dreadful musty smell and feel cold and damp to the touch.Damp and moisture eat away at the fibres in fabric and cause the awful smell that’s practically impossible to get rid of, so it’s probably best to replace these items with new ones.
Seal tiles and regrout
Mould growing in bathrooms, wet rooms, utility rooms and kitchens is a very common problem in homes in the UK. Mould spores are dangerous and can cause illness if they’re inhaled. Bathing and showering produces a combination of humidity and moisture which normally if there’s good air circulation in the room. But if there’s no air because the windows are closed, then water will settle on the cold wall tiles, walls and ceilings and mould will start to grow … and once started, mould and mildew can grow at a very rapid rate.
To prevent this happening you should spray the walls with a dedicated antimicrobial solution, then seal the grout lines of the tiles with two coats of grout sealer. Thereafter, make sure the bathroom has a good flow of air, in and out.
Written by Dakota Murphey, a freelance writer working alongside Hutton and Rostron for information for this article.