Dampness is a common problem encountered by all property owners or residences. No house is immune to dampness. Dampness can cause unprotected wood to wot in a matter of weeks or make your brand new appliances rust in a week and the worst problem dampness can cause indoors is mold and mildew growth on every surface of the home and its items.
Dampness will make your home or any other space feel cold with stuffy unhealthy air and if it is not addressed over time it can cause thousands of dollars worth of structural damage to your home. Luckily dampness can be identified and treated using simple strategies to mitigate its symptoms. However, it is important to deal with the source of the dampness first to have long-term control over it.
How to identify a damp problem.
During the winter period, it is much easier to spot dampness symptoms, however, you can check for this problem at any time of the year. Here is a list of the surface to check and what to look out for:
1. On the walls – Touch the surface of the walls in rooms in your house. Feel if the walls feel cold, damp, or have condensed water on them. Look out for mold or fungi growth, they will appear as grey growth or black spots on the wood, painted wall, and wallpaper. Paint and wallpaper peeling off the walls is usually a clear indication of dampness.
2. Ceiling – Look out for mold growth, also pay close attention to the color of the ceiling – water stains or brown patches are usually a sign of fluid damage.
3. Windows – Check of condensation on the windows, or glass doors. Check for puddles of water on the windows sills, especially in the morning. These are signs of high humidity levels in the house, which might be the reason for increased dampness indoors. Also, check for mold growth on the wooden window frames and the silicone sealant used to seal the space between the window frame and walls.
4. Kitchen and bathrooms – Check the cupboard and cabinets for any water damage stain and mold growth, while paying close attention to any musty smell in there. Inspect for the same on the windows and ceiling in these spaces. In the bathroom check for mold under the sink, in the drains, under the tab, and on all surfaces.
5. The attic, basement, or the crawlspaces – For most people, these either totally don’t use this space or use them as excess storage spaces. Because not much care is taken to the humidity levels of humidity in these spaces then they become excessively damp. Check for condensed water or a musty smell.
Causes of damp.
Here is a list of some of the major causes of damp in homes:
Causes - Occurs when water seeps through a crack or opening on the exterior surface of the house. Rainwater can penetrate through damaged chimneys or roofs. Common causes include leaking roofs caused by loose or broken tiles or damaged flashing, leaking gutters caused by loose hanging gutters or blocked gutters with debris or dead leaves, leaks from parapet can cause damage to the walls and the roof.
Signs of penetrating dampness – brown stains on the ceilings, in the chimney, and walls as a result of water damage.
Repairs – Identify the leak and have it seal or the roof tile replaced to avoid easy rainwater ingress.
Causes – Modern lifestyles and household activities like hot showers, cooking, and washing, have been proven capable of generating over 15 liters of water vapor. The ineffective ventilation systems in your home will cause an accumulation of humidity indoors. Concrete from the newly constructed house will gradually let the water used in building out into the indoor air increasing the indoor humidity levels.
Signs – condensation on windows, cold uninsulated pipes, or cold walls especially in the mornings. Your home feels cool and damp.
Repairs – clean out the vents in the house and reduce the number of activities that generate moisture indoors.
Cause – Leaking water, it doesn’t matter whether it’s slow trickling drops or water gushing out in a large amount or whether it’s warm or cold water. Leaking water from taps or pipes or appliances like washing machines is one of the major causes of increased dampness indoors.
Signs – lookout for mold growth paces or brown water stains on the walls. Check for mold growth under the sink and under any appliance using water.
Repairs – check all the pipes and ensure they are well connected to the taps and other appliance without leaks., no burst pipes, no breakdown on the pipe joints and ensure baths don’t overflow.
Cause – common in older homes, today the modern house is built with a damp-proof course on its foundation. In older houses on the damp-proof course, the concrete in the foundation will absorb groundwater, especially in the rainy seasons when the soil is highly saturated. This will allow dampness to raise.
Signs – damp surface and mold growth on the ground floor rooms. In extreme cases of rising damp, you can see puddles of water on the floor.
Repairs - you can install the modern damp-proof course. This can be expensive but it is the only one. Better rainwater collection systems will allow most of the water to be deposited away from the home’s foundation.
How do you prevent dampness in your home?
It is important to note that any preventive measure taken like insulation or modern plaster should never decrease the house’s ability to breathe. Trapping the moisture in between insulation materials and the walls can cause health and structural problems.
Here are some of the measures you should take to prevent dampness indoors:
1. Choose the right sealant and paint – Use a water-based paint system indoor to improve the home’s breathability and also guarantee vapor pressure build-up. Use a flexible silicone sealant to seal the window frames and glass joints.
2. Frequent outdoor home maintenance :
- Ensure you regularly check the roof for any damages.
- Keep the gutter clean and repair them in case of any damage.
- You can also install gutter guards to keep debris and leaves from the gutters.
- Inspect the exterior surface for crack or any damage.
4. Keep the house warm – to reduce the level of indoor condensation you can keep the indoor air warm, which will warm up most of the surfaces in the house hence decrease dampness.
5. Avoid activities that generate a lot of moisture - While some household activities can’t be avoided – as we will never recommend you skip showering, but you can recommend you avoid drying your wet clothes indoors.
6. Have a great ventilation system – Have an effective ventilation system that will allow free air circulation throughout the entire house. This ensures the water vapor does not accumulate in one single room making it damp. You can also install an extractor fan in the kitchen or bathrooms, which should be used when cooking or showering to help clear the moisture in the room.
7. Invest in Baseaire dehumidifiers – we save the best products to the end. Buying a Baseaire AirWerx55 dehumidifier or a Baseaire AirWerx 90X dehumidifier is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to protect your house from moisture. The Baseaire dehumidifier will remove excess moisture from the air, filter out mold spores and other air impurities, thereby improving indoor air quality. The Baseaire dehumidifier will also help heat the indoor air. Once the dehumidifier controls the indoor humidity below 50%, you will feel warmer and more comfortable. Besides, we also have a Baseaire AirWerx 140X dehumidifier for dehumidification in large spaces, which will provide the best dehumidification effect.
Invest in a Baseaire dehumidifier today to save you the cost of repairing your house in the future-shop here!