How To Detect And Treat The Effects Of Damp In Your Home
Are you suffering from allergies such as itchy eyes or wheezing more than usual? Learn why you need to detect condensation in your home and how you can get rid of it.
The average UK property has to deal with 25 gallons of rainwater per year, so there’s no wonder that water can creep in causing structural or rising damp in our homes. Yet, it’s not only water leaking in from outside that creates issues. Homeowners also need to be aware of the challenge of tackling condensation damp from within.
The Effects Of Condensation Damp
When there is too much moisture in the air in your home, it needs somewhere to go. If you have cold walls, either in rooms you don’t use regularly or surfaces that are trapped behind large wardrobes where the air doesn’t circulate effectively, then they will attract the moisture, causing droplets of water to form on them.
If the condensation isn’t dealt with, then the damp will turn into black mould which can negatively affect the health of everyone in the home. The mould reproduces, causing a large quantity of tiny spores to become airborne, which will be breathed in by whoever is living at home. The spores given off by the mould cause respiratory symptoms such as sinus conditions, sneezing, coughing and can even be the cause of an asthma attack. Mould can also trigger allergy symptoms in the skin, such as eczema, rashes and watery or itchy eyes.
How To Detect Condensation Damp
If you suspect damp is present in your home, then it’s important to work out if the cause is condensation or something external, as knowing the source is essential in working out how best to treat it.
Take a look at the affected area. If the damp is at the bottom of your walls and leaves a tide mark about a metre high, then this is likely to be rising damp which is caused by having an inadequate damp course. The moisture in your foundations has nowhere to go so it literally rises up your walls.
Another option is penetration damp, which is caused by cracks around windows or defective roofing or guttering which allows the water to leak in and become visible within the interior.
Finally, condensation damp can be detected by using a moisture metre to check for the presence of water in the walls. If you discover that you have condensation damp, then fortunately it is the easiest type of damp to treat within the home as it responds well to efforts to ventilate the home, as well as maintaining a warm temperature in colder rooms.
Treating Condensation Damp
Begin by ventilating rooms where excess moisture is present. Kitchens and bathrooms usually have extractor fans fitted to help you with this task, but you should also try to open the windows in these rooms as much as possible when cooking, or after showering. A dehumidifier is also an effective way to remove excess moisture from the room.
Once you have improved the ventilation in your home, you need to ensure that cold walls are kept warm to prevent the moisture from settling on them. Tube heaters are an efficient way to provide background heat to rooms that you don’t use very often. You can either use them in conjunction with your central heating, or just to keep a constant temperature in cold extensions, loft conversions or utility rooms that are not occupied regularly.
If you suspect that you have damp in your home, then begin by identifying the cause of it, and then take steps to eradicate the issue. Don’t be tempted to leave it; once damp takes hold, it becomes harder to deal with, so it’s important to get in there early for the good of your health.