What to do if you think you have damp
It is almost inevitable that you will find damp in an old house. The worst enemy of old houses is we humans. It’s generally what we do to them, or fail to understand about them, that causes most of the problems.
The Causes and Prevention of Damp
Rising damp is usually worse at the bottom of a wall than the top. It rarely rises more than one meter in height. Apart from blocked air bricks, the most common cause is when earth from the garden butts up directly on to the house wall, trapping moisture. It can be remedied by simply digging away all the soil to see if it makes a difference.
Penetrating damp forms when water gets in from the outside. Check gutters and downpipes to make sure they are unobstructed. Check the rendering to see if it’s cracked. Also check underneath window sills as there should be a drip groove to shed rainwater before it gets to the house wall. If this is blocked with moss, dirt or cement, clear it thoroughly.
Unlike the other types of damp, condensation is largely caused by the inhabitants of the property, rather than problems with the actual building. Condensation forms when warm air trapped inside the house meets cold walls and mould quickly spreads. The water comes from our breathing, bathing, cooking and other domestic activities, even if you cannot see it. To remove mould caused by condensation, scrub well with a mix of hot water and bleach. Leave it to work for several minutes and then clean off thoroughly.
Print off this fact sheet to learn more on how to prevent condensation.