If you live in a part of the country that sees quite a lot of rain, you might not be surprised to hear that it can affect homes in a number of ways. Damp is a common problem for some homes, but there are various reasons why internal or external walls might be affected.
It is important to be aware that while condensation is normal in houses, particularly on windows when the temperature inside is very different from the outside, or in the bathroom after a hot shower, water droplets should not remain on walls for any length of time. The heat from the home should mean the condensation evaporates quickly and there should not be any marks remaining afterwards. If you see damp patches on your walls, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
What Causes Walls to be Damp?
As mentioned, condensation on windows and walls is normal. If you feel that the condensation is becoming a problem, you can easily rectify it. Opening windows is the easiest way to tackle condensation, but in the colder monthsthis might not be something you are keen to do. The other solution is to use a dehumidifier or improve your ventilation system, particularly for parts of the home that have higher moisture levels (such as the bathrooms and kitchens).
Cracks in walls can allow moisture to get inside. If you notice spots on your internal walls after a particularly heavy downpour, it could be that there are cracks in the walls or a problem with the insulation. Look for cracks in the masonry around the doors or windows, which could be the culprit. Cracks in walls should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent damp from getting worse.
Another cause of damp on the walls is leaking pipes. Damp from leaking pipes is often seen on ceilings or underneath radiators or sinks. If you think leaking pipes are to blame, you will need to call a plumber to fix the issue.
You might notice that the damp patches are rising from the floor. This is known as rising damp and is usually caused by the absence of a damp-proof course (the waterproof layer that is designed to prevent water travelling up walls), or because it has failed. This is more common in older homes.
If damp patches are appearing on the exterior of your walls, it may be that there is a problem with the gutter system. According to the experts at Global Gutter Systems, improper rain gutter installation can lead to damp walls. This often occurs when the gutters are placed directly along the edge of the roofline, rather than a few inches below. If the gutters are positioned too high up, water can spill over onto the sidings, leaving damp patches.
What Should You Do About Damp Patches?
Damp patches on the internal or external walls of your home should be addressed as soon as possible. It is important to find the cause and deal with it immediately because if you allow it to continue it could result in the growth of mold.
If you can identify the cause of the damp yourself, you may be able to take steps to fix it. For example, condensation can be remedied by improving ventilation in the home or by using a dehumidifier. If the cause is not immediately apparent, you may need to call in a plumber who can check for leaking pipes.
Remember, damp external walls are often caused by the gutter system, so check that it has been installed properly and that there are no blockages causing water to pour over the sides.