Damp can creep its way into any home, no matter what time of the year.
But the problem can become increasingly worse in the colder months, as the wet weather forces us to hang our clothes inside to dry.
When paired with the steam from showering or cooking, and leaks from gutters, pipes, and roofs, the amount of moisture increases which causes damp – but the longer you leave it, the worse it’s likely to get, and the more costly it will be.
Experts at Boiler Plan have revealed what signs you should look out for, what you can do to prevent it and how to get rid of each type.
Cost to repair: £280 – £2,000
This is the most common form of damp found in homes, and occurs when hot air hits cold surfaces.
To avoid it try to keep your house warm – perhaps put your heating onto a timer setting so it comes on periodically throughout the day.
Also make sure to close the door when you’re showering or cooking as this will avoid the moisture spreading to other rooms.
You could also use moisture-resistant or anti-mould paint on areas that are likely to see high levels of moisture.
If you are experiencing condensation damp, try to dry the areas as much as possible before wiping any mould with mould cleaner or with soapy water and a cloth not a brush.
Then dry the area once again and leave a humidifier running for as long as possible.
Cost to repair: £2,000 – £6,000
Rising damp is caused by groundwater that moves 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.
If you see any of the following signs, a new damp-proof course must be installed in your walls.
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
Cost to repair: £370 – £500 per room
This occurs when leaks come in from the outside, like from poorly installed windows and doors, roofing issues, blocked gutters and leaking downpipes.
To stop penetrating damp, check the following for any cracks, faults or defects and have them fixed:
Flashing – this is where your roof meets your chimney
Windows and doors – especially their frames
Gutters, pipes and general drainage system
You may also have penetrating damp if you notice any bubbled or wet plaster, which can occur straight after heavy rain or snow, and/or cracks in masonry surfaces, renders or mortar joints.
How to prevent damp in the bathroom
The bathroom is one of the most common places to experience damp, especially if the ventilation is poor.
Boiler Plan has a few tips to keep damp at bay, including:
Open a window
Turn on an extractor fan
Keep surfaces dry
Fit air bricks – they have tiny holes in them, and can be fitted to exterior walls to allow air to pass through
Use a humidifier
Use moisture-resistant or anti-mould paint