Is my home damp? Ways to spot damp and protect your family

Home & garden

From the gorgeous thick pile carpet and your beautiful new kitchen to some lovely Victorian architrave from skirtings R us. You’re proud of your home and the way you’ve filled it with memories, love and laughter.

But, if your clothes won’t dry properly, there’s a constant musty smell and your breathing isn’t as easy as usual, then your home could have damp problems. A property with damp is not only difficult to sell, but can lead to serious health problems for you and your family, and if there are young children in the house – or older relatives, then it’s important to get any damp problems fixed.

So, what is damp?

Damp is essentially moisture and water being present where it shouldn’t be – usually inside walls or rising from the floor.

Causes often include porous brick and stonework, leaking pipes, rising moisture from soil, and broken roof tiles. If left, it can become much worse and cost thousands to correct!

Types of damp that are common in the home

This type of damp is probably the most common and you’ll find it in most homes – especially those that are quite old!  Rising damp is the common term used to describe the slow upward motion of moisture within the lower part of buildings, rising damp will only reach a height of 1.5 metres due to this upward action, a common sign is a “tide mark” on the wall of a building.

Penetrating damp

These types of damp are also very common. Penetrating damp refers to moisture that penetrates through the fabric of a structure from the outside. This can be caused by faulty rendering and overflowing guttering. So it’s important to regularly clear the gutters that run around your house.

Descending damp

Descending damp is moisture entering a building through something that is faulty. This is often associated with roof line problems such as faulty flashings, broken or missing tiles, or faulty rain water goods – again, it’s important to keep the external parts of your home in check.

The effects damp can have on your health

It’s important to remember that damp can have more serious effects on older people and very young children. However, age is not the only factor.

If you or someone in your home suffers from asthma or respiratory problems, skin issues such as eczema or if they have a weak immune system, then damp and mould could pose a real risk.

Act now

If you’re concerned about the state of your property, or perhaps there is one wall giving you cause for concern, then it’s important to get in touch with a professional as soon as possible. If you’re living in rented accommodation, then speak to your landlord – today. It’s their responsibility to ensure that the property is in good condition and habitable!

If you’re a homeowner, then begin with a full inspection of your property, whether that’s the roof,  the pointing or even the guttering!


This is a collaborative post.

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