What To Do If Your Home Is Damp

Damp can happen in any home, but it can be a real issue if you’re renovating an older property. Damp often occurs when a house hasn’t been well maintained. It can damage clothes and furniture, and set off health issues like asthma and allergies. If you see signs of damp in your home, you need to solve the problem as soon as possible. 

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Signs You Have Damp

  • A musty smell. Damp has a noticeable, musty smell. It’s unmistakable.
  • Marks on walls. Dark marks on the wall can be a sign of damp. Damp can also discolour plaster, due to the moisture in the wall.  
  • Wallpaper lifting or peeling. If wallpaper starts to curl away from the wall, this is a sign of moisture in the wall, caused by damp. 
  • Cold walls. Internal walls that are cold to the touch can be a sign of damp. The walls inside should feel warm and dry if there isn’t any moisture in them. 
  • Excessive condensation on the windows. Condensation around the windows is normal in the winter. However, an excessive amount that doesn’t clear can be a sign of damp. 

One of the most common types of damp is caused by inadequate heating and bad ventilation. This happens when things like cooking bring up the amount of humidity in your home. This makes the air condense on cold surfaces, like walls and windows. 

Running water on windows is the most obvious sign of condensation, and can stain your curtains, rot your window frames, or cause mould on paint and wallpaper. 

How To Get Rid Of Condensation

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to damp proofing solutions. Once damp starts, it can be very difficult to get rid of, and the issues it causes, like mould and structural damage, are even more challenging. 

Here are a few quick and easy solutions to prevent and get rid of damp caused by condensation. 

Wipe down windows and window sills every morning

As soon as you notice condensation forming, get rid of it. This stops any mould from being able to build up. Use some kitchen roll, a window vac, a squeegee, or a cloth, and wipe away the condensation from your windows and window sills. It can also help to give your window frames and walls occasionally with a fungicidal wash.  

If you need to shift mould caused by condensation, wipe it away with a cloth that has been dunked in soapy water. When you’ve wiped it away, use a dry cloth to remove any moisture, and then throw away both clothes. Don’t brush the mould, as this can release mould spores into the air. 

Deal with steam from cooking

When you cook, make sure you keep any pots and pans covered up. This stops steam from escaping and also helps to save energy. You can also help by keeping the kitchen door closed while you’re cooking to stop steam from escaping into other parts of the house. 

Condensation issues can also be helped a lot by having better heating and ventilation systems. Make sure your kitchen has a good extractor fan to reduce moisture. You could use a more powerful cooker hood, which can be bought at a reasonable price, for an effective long-term solution without blowing the budget. 

Get rid of moisture in the bathroom

Showering or taking a bath can produce a lot of steam and moisture. To stop the steam from causing condensation in the rest of the house, make sure you always keep the bathroom door closed when you shower. Open the bathroom window when you’re done to let the steam out. 

Make sure your bathroom has a decent extractor fan fitted to help clear out any excess moisture in the room. This is even more important if you don’t have a window in your bathroom. 

Ventilation

Ventilating your home can be as simple as opening a window for at least fifteen minutes every day. If you have windows that can be secured slightly open, this is ideal. 

If you have problems with condensation in a particular room, you can help the problem by fitting air bricks. Air bricks have lots of small holes in them. They can put into exterior walls to allow air to pass through under a suspended timber floor. These bricks used to be made from clay, but now they are usually made from plastic. Plastic bricks allow for better airflow and are less easily damaged. In the long-term, air bricks can prevent damp and moisture from damaging your floorboards. 

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