How To Damp Proof Your Home
Damp in your home is the last thing you want, it is unsightly, unwelcoming, unhealthy and potentially dangerous to the structure. The good news is dampness can be treated, and better yet, can be prevented without the need to call in the professionals.
Firstly it is important to understand what causes dampness in your home to occur. There are a few contributing factors to this. Commonly, damp is caused by poor ventilation. This is seen when the moisture generated in your home is unable to escape and it builds up and causes condensation. Another prime suspect is where the weatherproofing fails you and damp penetrates from the exterior, i.e. through a leaking roof. Leaking plumbing can also be guilty of causing damp, there could be a leaky pipe from behind your washing machine or from your central heating systems. Leaking plumbing is surprisingly easy to go unnoticed as it could be a slow trickling drip that mounts up over time. Finally, one of the less common causes of dampness in the home is from rising damp. This is usually found in older homes and is where the damp is rising from the ground below. Newer houses are better built to protect against this problem.
Now that you know the causes of damp it is easy to see how it can be prevented from occurring. Here are some ways in which you can prevent dampness in your home.
Weatherproof your house
Protecting your home from the elements is the first step you can take. Old bricks can become porous and allow water in over time. If this is the case, you can help to protect the bricks by painting them with damp proof paint. Buy bitumen paint and apply this to the exterior of your property and it will provide a damp proof and weather-resistant shield to your property.
When weatherproofing take a walk around your property and check the exteriors for damage. Are the windows in working order? Is the roof intact? Keep gutters clear and fix any cracks or faults you see straight away.
Keep your home well-ventilated
Make sure there is a means for any moisture in your house to escape as this will reduce the build-up of condensation. Condensation is one of the most common types of damp but luckily, one of the easiest to fix. One of the biggest culprits when it comes to condensation is the kitchen and bathroom. Extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms are one of the best ways of reducing condensation. If you don’t have one already then it is worth having one installed. If you do have one, make sure you use it, and where possible open windows. It is imperative that you use the extractor fan in the kitchen while cooking and while showering when in the bathroom – and remember to regularly replace the filter.
Drying your washing inside can create a lot of moisture. Where possible always try to dry your clothes outside or use a tumble dryer. If that cannot be done try and keep as much fresh air circulating as possible.
Sometimes however it is simply not possible to keep fresh air circulating and where this is the case you can use a dehumidifier to help remove excess moisture or moisture absorbers for smaller spaces, such as cupboards. If you notice stains on the walls, condensation on your windows or mould spores appearing in the shower then it might be time to invest in a dehumidifier. Also, be sure to always wipe away any build-up of condensation in windows to avoid sitting water and enable the room to dry quicker.
Photo credit, Mae Gregorio from Pexels
Another great tip to keep the air circulating in your home is to position furniture a few centimetres from external walls. This will allow air to flow freely and avoid the build-up of damp. Try and keep windows as free as possible with curtains that can be easily pulled back and away from the windows.
Keep your home warm
Despite the aforementioned need for good ventilation and fresh air, maintaining a constant warm temperature in your home is equally important as this will avoid fluctuating temperatures. Dips and rises in temperature will aid the development of condensation. Investing in programmable room thermostats or Smart Home Systems such as Hive is a great way of monitoring and regulating the temperature in your home.
Consider the type of paint you use
When it comes to your kitchen or bathroom if your home is prone to damp or condensation it might be worth considering the paint you use. There are paints available that are specifically designed for kitchens and bathrooms as they resist moisture and steam. These paints will help to prevent the build-up of mould and will withstand wiping and cleaning should any condensation or mould spots occur. So, if you’re looking for an excuse for a bathroom makeover, there you have it.