How to Alleviate Coastal Damp?
6 July 2021
Damp is a problem that many properties suffer from. Generally, you will find that excess moisture means that you’re more likely to suffer from the effects of damp. With that in mind, properties that sit in coastal areas are much more susceptible to suffering from the dangers of penetrating damp than properties further away from large bodies of water.
So, what can you do to protect your property from damp if you live close to the sea, or other large bodies of water? Hopefully, this article will give you a few ideas, and set you on your way to better protecting your home against the dangers of damp setting within your coastal property whether it be in England, Scotland, or Wales.
What Makes Coastal Damp so Problematic?
At its very core, damp is the issue of having moisture makes its way into your properties structure, and causing havoc from its newfound position within your walls. There are two main forms of damp that allow this process to happen: rising damp, which allows moisture to travel upwards into your properties walls from the ground via capillary action, and penetrating damp.
Penetrating damp is the leading cause of damp in coastal areas. That is because penetrating damp is the process of moisture getting into your property via structural faults which are then vulnerable to heavy rainfall. You can expect the stronger, colder and heavier rain that comes in from the sea to have a stronger effect on your property than some other locations.
So, with heavy rainfall and continued exposure to moisture being two of the key factors behind the spread of damp in a coastal home, what steps can be taken to protect your property from damp setting in?
How to Protect Coastal Properties From Damp?
There is no one clear path to keeping damp out of your property if you live near a large body of water. Instead, a larger number of smaller and easily manageable tasks are going to be vital in making sure that your property remains damp free.
The true danger of penetrating damp is that it can make its way into your home via any kind of fault in your home. That means that the likes of a cracked windowsill, failing masonry, bad pointing or even a failed cavity wall tie can lead to a property becoming riddled with damp, black mould and walls in disrepair.
So, make it a point of order at least once a month to take some time to look over your property for possible faults. You might not be a trained surveyor, but it’s a safe bet to assume that you will be able to spot signs of damp and water ingress on the interior of your property – those tell tale patches are hard to miss.
By the same token, inspect the outside of your property as well. Sagging windowsills, broken or crumbling masonry – even efflorescence in your walls can be signs that you are susceptible to (or already have) penetrating damp.
So, what to do in these instances? The quickest way to deal with these issues and make sure that your property doesn’t get afflicted with damp is to have property care specialists come and inspect your property straight away.
This way, you are going to have any suspicions confirmed as quickly as possible, and have an expert on hand to not only suggest the best course of action to take, but also the right people to carry the work out.
In a similar role to maintenance is upkeep – though this differs slightly in once aspect: they are simple repairs and odd jobs that keep your property and it’s drainage and damp systems in working order.
Usually, when it comes to penetrating damp the cause can be tracked down to the likes of a leaking pipe, blocked gutters or even a backed up drain. If you take the time to clear your gutters of debris so that overspills can be avoided, you have a much lower chance of heavy rainfall spilling down the side of your property and seeping into your walls.
Clearing drains can mean that water doesn’t pool around the base of your property. This helps to alleviate the problem of rising damp developing under your property, with heavy rainfall not being allowed to build up around blocked drains, seep into the ground and travel into your buildings foundations and upwards.
General upkeep like this will help massively against heavy rainfall coming in off the sea and battering your property, keeping your building’s walls secure against faults within the plumbing. Checking windowsills, doorways and roofs for leaks can also be a good way to patch up and secure your home against penetrating damp.
Securing your home against water ingress can, and should, go further than simply maintaining your property and general upkeep. For example, the pointing that has been applied to your properties masonry: are you aware of the last time it was repointed, or if that pointing has failed?
If you are unsure, then it could be time to have your pointing re-applied. This is a process that professionals can accomplish quickly and easily, and even though you might think it’s a small job it can actually help your property stave off penetrating damp as the pointing protects your masonry from rain.
There is also the potential of using damp proof paint on the exterior of your property. Many properties along coastlines already use this tactic, as its an additional layer on your property that can effectively and passively protect your walls from heavy rainfalls. Coating your property in damp-proof paint could be a way to help give your property a little extra protection when it comes to staving off rainfall.
When it comes to damp proofing though, there can be no substitute for hearing the professional opinion of an accredited surveyor who has taken the time to inspect your home. You can take steps to patch any holes in your properties damp defences based on these findings, and even take recommended action with professional intervention if need be.
Solving Damp In a Coastal Property
If the worst does happen, and you find that living near the sea or a lake has caused damp to take hold in your property, then it is best that you contact the professionals immediately. Our team of surveyors will be able to identify the cause of your damp after inspecting your home.
They can pass along their recommended course of action to our technicians, who can then carry out any work quickly and precisely, giving you peace of mind and your property protection against coastal rainfall.
If you would like to arrange a survey with Timberwise, call 0800 288 8660 or fill in an online form today.