It cannot be denied that the appearance of penetrating damp is anything but attractive, but this is not the only issue that it presents. When left untreated, penetrating damp can be damaging to both the structural integrity of your property as well as to your health. It can lead to the development of both dry and wet rot and, in order to resolve this, you need to find the source of the problem as quickly as possible.
Cracks In the Walls
The simple fact is that exterior cracks in walls can allow rainwater into buildings and, the quicker that the crack is identified and fixed, the better. Many cracks may initially appear harmless, yet the smallest hairline fractures can grow, widen, and become more of a serious worry. Usually, a crack will form as a result of door and window frames not being properly sealed or constantly moving. That being said, cracks can also be the aftermath of the vibrations from moving vehicles or even poor ground quality. If you do notice new cracks starting to form in your home, do not hesitate to investigate as they could indicate a more serious problem.
Leaking Roofs or Chimneys
Much like cracks in walls, missing tiles, damaged rafters, and inadequate drainage can let rainwater into properties. Though, the area where the damp is visible may not be the site of the leak, due to how water travels along structures. Often, the water will pool away from the original leak, on the edge of walls, and around light fittings. Like doors and windows, the meeting point between the roof and chimney breast can be poorly sealed, creating a gateway for water to enter the attic. Furthermore, the chimney pots may lack cowls, or its cowls could be damaged; this invites water to fall straight down the chimney.
Rainwater can also seep into a building when the house is subjected to decayed or poor-quality cement/mortar. Once water has entered the building in this manner, it can start to freeze or thaw which consequently creates cracks in the structure. Be sure to repoint your house if you find that you can remove chunks of cement with your fingers or scrape it away with a butter knife. When untreated your house will be more susceptible to both damp problems and chimney leaks.
Blocked or Cracked Gutters or Plumbing
If pipes and guttering are unable to divert water through or away from a structure, the property is at a greater risk of inviting damp. Gutters can simply be unblocked by removing the debris, whilst cracked gutters are quite easily replaced. However, plumbing can be a slightly more complicated issue as the source of blockage or breakage may be buried deep in the walls. In this case, intrusive building work would be required, costing a lot of money and time.
Penetrating Damp Treatments
To begin with, a professional would determine the source and extent of your damp problem and propose a course of damp treatment. Helpfully, they will consider aspects such as budgets and the property being treated. Secondly, they will perform a course of treatment to tackle the source of the problem. Next, they will treat any subsequent rot, in addition to offering guidance and support on an ongoing damp treatment programme. Lastly, they will complete the treatment and clean the property.
All in all, in the presence of damp, your home could be in serious danger, making the treatment of damp absolutely vital. The sooner the damp is identified, the easier that it can be treated, and the threat of health complications is reduced.