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Damp Proofing Newcastle

How to identify the most common damp problems affecting your home.

There are 3 main types of dampness effecting properties;

1. Rising Damp

2. Penetrating Damp

3. Condensation Damp

Rising Damp

Rising damp effects walls on the ground floor of a property, typically the damp will not rise any higher than 1metre, sometime with other factors affecting it, damp can rise higher than 1metre but its very rare. Tide marks above skirting board level and salts appearing on the wall surface are symptoms of rising damp, in advanced cases, plaster can shell off the surface of the brickwork due to the high levels of moisture. Any wall built onto a foundation can suffer with rising damp, its a common misconsception that dampness only forms on external walls. 

Damp proof courses have been installed in houses for longer than most people think, different types of material have been used over the years including, slate, bitchumen, felt and plastic, modern damp proof courses installed when a property is built are far more robust than they used to be. Damp proof courses fail usualy due to age, they can also be damaged or bridged when other building works have taken place.

Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp is a secondary problem associated with a seperate building issue, the most common cause of penetrating damp is leaking guttering and down pipes as well as roof leaks. Poor brickwork pointing and seals around doors and windows can also lead to penetrating dampness. Penetrating dampness is one of the most easiest of damp problems to treat, if you fix the problem that caused it, for example gutters leaking, roof leaks etc, the internal walls should dry down by themselves without having to carry out damp proofing works internally. This drying process can be hurried along with the use of dehumidfiers and air movers if need be.

Condensation Dampness

Condensation dampness is the most common form of dampness found in houses, it is also the most misunderstood. Condensation affects properties due to the build up of mositure in the air, this is caused by daily living activites including, cooking, bathing, drying clothes etc. Modern building techniques, double glazing, blocking fireplaces, loft & wall insulation etc, have sealed houses up like tupperware boxes and they cannot ‘breathe’. 

During the colder winter months of October through to March when outside temperatures drop, external walls fall below ‘dew point’ and condensation forms on the surface. One of the first signs of condensation on wall surfaces is when black mould starts to form, black mould spores are ‘omnipresent’ meaning they are everywhere in the enviroment, the damp surfaces along with high humidity levels are the perfect conditions for mould spores to germinate. Its commonly thought that condensation only forms on windows, this is not true, people see water droplets on window panes as the water cannot soak into the glass, however, condensation forms on any surface that is cold ‘below dew point’, however, on porus surfaces like plaster, paint and wall paper, the condensation soaks into the surface and this leads to black mould taking hold. To eradicate condensation black mould you need to ventilate the property sufficiently so that moisture levels are kept at a minimum so that condensation cannot exist. Similar to plants, mould needs water to survive, If you take away the water source the mould will die.

Call us on 0191 4159471 if you need damp proofing in Newcastle

The property care association also has some good info if you click here