Internal wall showing signs of dampness

How To Get Rid Of Damp And Mould?

14 April 2020

One of the most common questions asked by customers is “how do I get rid of damp and mould?” If you find damp or mould in your property, then the first step is to find the root cause of the problem. Damp and mould cannot only damage your property but can also affect your health, so it is essential to get rid of it as soon as possible.

This article will provide you with tips on spotting signs of damp and mould in your house but also ways of curing the problem to ensure that it doesn’t occur again in the future.

  1. The causes of the damp and mould issue
  2. Diagnosing the type of damp issue found in the property
  3. Possible solutions to treating damp in walls

What Type Of Damp I have In My Property?

The three types of damp that can cause problems in your property are penetrating damp, rising damp and condensation.

Initial signs of damp and mould can be easy to identify. However, knowing the difference between damp and condensation to allow remediation can prove difficult to the untrained eye. Having a professional damp survey carried out to the property is the best solution to finding out where the damp problem has originated from.

Condensation Problems

The most common damp issue found in homes across the UK is condensation which mainly occurs over the colder months of the year. This is because during periods of cold weather warm, moisture laden air travels to cooler parts of your house.

The air can only hold so much moisture until it gets to a point where excess water vapour is deposited on cooler surfaces such as windows and walls.

damp and mould on walls

The symptoms of identifying condensation in your home are:

  • Black spot mould which can be found on both walls and windows
  • A damp musty smell
  • Wallpaper peeling off
  • Walls will feel damp

How to Get Rid of Condensation?

Two effective ways of stopping condensation affecting your home are by making improvements to the ventilation of the house coupled with regulating the heating throughout your home

Wiping Your Windows and Windows Every Day

A simple task that can be undertaken by yourself is simply wiping down your windows every morning. By removing condensation on both your windows and windowsill you will reduce the chances of mould building up. You can use a kitchen towel, cloth or squeegee to do this.

sign of condensation

If you already have mould, then it is recommended that you use a mould kit and then use a dry cloth to get rid of the excess moisture.

Installing Bathroom and Kitchen Fans

Installing bathroom and kitchen fans to help increase the air flow in the property and remove the excess moisture in the air. Shutting doors will also help stop the moisture spreading to different rooms of your house. For example after showering.

Keep House at Regular Temperature

Regulate heating throughout your property to ensure that there is lower heat being established in and around the house. By reducing the amount of rapid changes in temperature level will help reduce the chances of condensation occurring.

Ventilation

Good ventilation is an essential component for air to be evenly circulated throughout the rooms of your home. By opening your windows for at least 15 minutes every morning will help. If you are having particular problems in a certain room of the house, then it is worthwhile considering adding air bricks to the wall.

These types of bricks which can be added to outer walls of the property, allow air to pass under the suspended timber floor. This is a longer-term solution that will prevent mould and damp causing damage to the floorboards.

Insulation

Having good insulation in the property is important for reducing dampness and mould in your house. Using cavity wall or loft insulation can help in the fight against damp, especially if there are walls where previously there has been a build up of condensation.

You should be aware that in some rare cases cavity wall insulation can cause damp, so it is always best to consult a professional before carrying this procedure out.

Do Not Dry Clothes Inside of Your House

Drying clothes inside your home does allow for the build up of moisture and is one of the main causes of condensation, so where possible hang your clothes outside. If there is room in your property then it might be worthwhile investing in a tumble dryer which contains the moisture of the clothes.

dry clothes on radiator

If drying your clothes inside is the only option, then placing a dehumidifier nearby will remove any excess moisture from the air as a result of the clothes drying.

Using a Dehumidifier

The longer the contents in your house are left absorbing moisture the more potential there is for damage to be caused by dampness. Using a dehumidifier will ensure a reduction in humidity levels throughout the property.

The dehumidifier works by ‘sucking’ in the moisture from one room then blowing the moisture free air back into the room again. This process provides a constant air flow. This however should not be considered to be a long term solution to solving a condensation problem.

According to Ruban Selvanayagam from fast house specialists Property Solvers: “Condensation is often a problem that looks worse than it actually is. In most cases, there are some fairly simple remediation steps you can take to resolve things.”

Rising Damp Problems

Rising damp occurs when there is a movement of groundwater through the wall or floor. This type of damp occurs as a result of water getting through the defective damp proof course. If there isn’t any damp proof course present, then your wall is susceptible to suffering from rising damp.

Tide Mark Rising Damp

To identify what rising damp looks like in your home, then there are the following symptoms that you can look out for:

  • The peeling of wallpaper
  • Horizontal tide marks on your walls
  • The crumbling of plaster on walls

Solutions to Stop Rising Damp

The most effective way for treating rising damp in your property is to install Damp Proof Course or a Damp Proof Membrane.

  • A damp proof course provides a horizontal layer of waterproof material that is put into the walls of the building acting as a barrier against moisture rising up through the walls. For example, DryTek damp proofing cream.
  • A damp proof membrane can also be added for protection against rising damp. It is a sheet of material that is impenetrable to water and is laid under a concrete floor. The membrane should be connected to the damp proof course so that the house can be effectively sealed from dampness.

Penetrating Damp Problems

This form of damp is caused by significant damage to areas such as roofs and chimneys. Compared with rising damp which tends to expand in a vertical movement on surfaces, penetrating damp expands in a horizontal movement.

To identify the signs of penetrating damp problems in your home you should look out for:

  • Damage to the internal walls e.g. skirting boards or external roofing
  • Patchy black mould appearing internally on walls
  • Watermarks appearing on the brickwork

If you cannot see the dampness on walls further investigation such as looking behind furniture or wardrobes and check to see if the walls feel damp or the paintwork starts to flake away.

How to get rid of Penetrating Damp?

For the treating penetrating damp, it is important to call in the damp proofing specialists. Steps that should be taken to treat your penetrating damp issue:

  1. Check all gutters, pipes and all exposed areas where they may be blocked.
  2. If the downpipes are obstructed then remove anything from these areas and consider replacing the gutters if problems persist.
  3. The rendering may have been cracked which may be letting water in, cracked gaps may have opened will need to be resealed.
  4. Check underneath the window for any moss or dirt. This could be causing water to seep into the property so this should be removed as soon as possible.

Contacting the Damp Proofing Specialists

To get rid of damp and mould from your home we always recommend you contact a damp proof specialist but if you would like more information on damp proofing and the treatments that Timberwise provides then visit our services page.

If you want one of our qualified damp specialists to inspect your property for damp, then book a survey online.

Request a survey

Worried about Damp? Call 0800 288 8660 or