With the weather becoming more and more erratic and unpredictable thanks to global warming homeowners are having to become more and more proactive when it comes to measures to protect their homes from risks of flooding or storm damage.
But one by product of lots of rain falling in short periods of time, coupled with the general gloomy weather that characterises much of the year in the UK is damp.
Damp is a nasty thing as once it gets into the home it can lead to damage to your property, possessions and most importantly of all it can be detrimental to your health, especially if it leads to the spread of black mould, which is a common by-product of damp.
So, all the more reason to get your house in order, if you’ll pardon the analogy and ensure that damp has no place in your home before winter gets into full flow.
Dealing with damp the easy way is similar to dealing with a medical condition. Find it early at the first signs of symptoms and treat it before it becomes chronic. So, give your home a check-up by following some of these preliminary investigation tips:
– Look for any cracks on the external walls that could lead to penetrating damp.
– Look at the corresponding points indoors to see if has already led to any bloating of the walls or mould.
– Go around your windows and check that they are well sealed and there is no black mould, mildew or excessive dew on them.
– Check internal walls for any water marks. Such marks are clear indications of penetrating damp and signal a strong need for further investigation.
– Should you have any Velux windows see if you get any issues after heavy rain around them as poorly fitted Velux windows are a very common cause of penetrating damp.
– Tiles, gutters and pipework (including hoppers) must be checked. One of the biggest culprits of damp revolves around issues with tiles, gutters, pipes and hoppers on the outside of your home. In springtime, before the sporadic, but notoriously heavy summer showers, get out and look around. You will probably need a tall ladder. Look for plant growth and get rid of it as it can lead to pooling of water in a concentrated spot which leads to leaks and damp. Remove all blockages from your pipes and check for cracks or damage. If there is a substantial amount of moss and your roof tiles are old it is definitely worth consulting an expert before removing the moss, as you can do more damage than good!
One of the best ways to prevent damp in the home, other than keeping it out, which we’ve dealt with above, is not creating it inside your house. There are so many ways in which we create damp inside the home and some of these tips will help you to minimise them.
When moist air touches a cold surface like windows or walls then you get condensation. This is more easily prevented if the air inside the house is kept at a consistent, ambient temperature. Proper insulation and double glazing are vital, but one important tool in your armoury is using a thermostat to maintain a consistently quite warm temperature, rather than putting up with cold and then relenting with a sudden blast of hot air. This is the absolute worst thing you can do when it comes to condensation and consequent damp. Set your thermostat lower, but have the heating on over a longer spell during the day.
Especially in older houses, you may need the help of a dehumidifier in certain corners of the house, especially if the pointing outside could do with a revamp. Even after repointing some old houses will just get a little damp. A dehumidifier is a great way to solve this issue in the house and an electric one or one that uses tablets will do the trick.
When cooking, keep your pans covered and open windows (weather permitting) to avoid steam settling as moisture on walls. Use the extractor fan to clear any steam that is escaping. In addition, whenever you do the laundry, try to coincide with hanging up the clothes to dry and having the heating on, so that clothes dry quicker and are not left lying around the home in a damp state.
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