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What kind of damp do you have and how to treat it?

Damp in your home is a serious issue and should be addressed immediately - if you leave it to escalate, mould can form, which poses a serious health risk.

Damp can also cause damage to the structure of your home, resulting in large and costly repairs.

Book a boiler service

Types of damp

If you notice damp forming, it’s important to understand its cause in order to get rid of it. There are three types of damp, and you can find out how to identify the kind of damp forming in your home, and what to do to combat it, below.

Condensation damp

Condensation damp is the most common form of damp found in homes. It's caused by hot air hitting cold walls and surfaces. It can easily be avoided by making sure moisture build-up doesn’t occur.

How to treat condensation damp

  • Keep your house warm and set your heating to come on periodically throughout the day
  • When you’re creating steam or moisture, such as when showering, bathing, cooking or drying clothes, keep the door closed in that room and open windows to let moisture escape
  • Ventilate your home when you’re not creating moisture - keep doors open to allow circulation and open bedroom windows for 15 minutes every morning
  • Use a dehumidifier in affected rooms
  • Use moisture-resistant or anti-mould paint
  • Have your boiler serviced to make sure it isn’t contributing to the problem

After completing these steps, try and dry out damp areas as much as possible by using dry cloths and dehumidifiers.  Wipe away any mould with mould cleaner or warm, soapy water, and be sure to use cloths and not brushes in order to prevent more mould spores from being released into the room.

Following this, dry the area as thoroughly as possible with towels or cloths, throw all of the materials used to clean mould away and leave the dehumidifier running for as long as possible. Wash any fabric furnishings, blankets or clothes from the room on a high-heat setting, and continue to follow the above steps to prevent condensation damp from returning.

Stay safe with an Annual Boiler Service

One of the best ways to combat damp and condensation is through a properly working heating system. By heating up your home, you can stop fluctuating temperatures that can cause condensation and ultimately cause damp problems.

The best way to make sure your heating is working at its optimum performance when you need it most is through a Boiler Plan Service Plan. Our expert Gas Safe Engineers will give your system a thorough inspection so that it can be relied upon in the fight against damp and condensation.

You’ll also get annual reminders when your service is due so that you never miss it.

Our annual service includes:

  • Checking for dangerous carbon monoxide leaks
  • Checking controls are working
  • Gas rate and pressure tests
  • Inspection of internal components
  • Combustion test using a flue analyser
  • Checking safety devices
  • Inspection of water and gas pipework
  • Inspection of electrical connections and seals
  • Identifying any corrosion or leaks
  • Cleaning boiler parts

 By taking out our Boiler Service Plan you’ll get extra peace of mind, with annual reminders sent to you so you’ll never forget.

Take our a service plan today

Rising damp

Rising damp is caused by groundwater moving up through your wall. Most walls have what’s called a ‘damp-proof course’ built into them, which blocks water from moving upwards through them, but rising damp can happen if it’s ineffective, or if the course was never fitted to begin with.

Signs of rising damp

  • A line of white salts on your walls
  • Damp only on the lower half of your walls with a ‘tide-line’ above it
  • Fluffy white salt on your walls
  • Peeling paint and wallpaper
  • Brown, crumbling plaster
  • Skirting board damage

To get rid of rising damp, a new damp-proof course must be installed in your walls. This can either be done with chemicals or with a physical barrier and a professional damp specialist can help with this.

Penetrating damp

Penetrating damp occurs when water leaks through from outside. This happens for a number of reasons, such as poorly-installed windows and doors, bad joinery, leaking downpipes, roofing issues, blocked guttering or almost any building defect that allows or causes water to be absorbed into the building substrate.

To stop penetrating damp, check for any cracks, faults or defects on the following, and have them fixed:

  • Flashing - this is where your roof meets your chimney
  • Outer walls
  • Your loft
  • Roof
  • Windows and doors - especially their frames
  • Gutters, pipes and general drainage system

Penetrating damp usually damages the structure of your house more quickly than other forms of damp, so it's important to spot and deal with it quickly.

You may have penetrating damp if you notice blotchy or wet plastering, wet patches and damp during or straight after heavy rainfall or snow, and/or cracks in masonry surfaces, renders or mortar joints. It’s important that you seek out professional help if you notice penetrating damp to avoid serious damage to the structure of your house.

As previously mentioned, condensation is the most common cause of damp and is easily avoided - and fairly simple to get rid of. However, if you’ve taken adequate steps to get rid of condensation damp, or think your home may have rising or penetrating damp, it's important to contact a professional for more advice.

How to get rid of damp

Here are a number of preventable tips on how to avoid getting damp and how to fight back.

  • Ventilate your home and let any moisture escape via a window or extractor fan
  • Keep your house warm and use your central heating to reduce condensation
  • Use a dehumidifier in affected rooms
  • Any cracks or defects need to be fixed immediately
  • Damp-proof course installed in your walls - either a chemical or physical barrier
  • Use moisture-resistant or anti-mould paint

If you've been affected by damp in your home, please address the issue immediately or it could pose a serious health risk and cause damage to the structure of your home.