Can Leaking Gutters Cause Damp?
26 October 2021
Here at Timberwise, we discuss many topics related to damp, but we have not discussed the topic of “Can leaking gutters cause damp?”. The simple answer is ‘Yes’ – poor guttering can be a cause of damp. One of the main reasons that your gutters may not be working properly is that they have become blocked by debris or a buildup of dirt and grime. Obviously, there are other causes too, but we will cover these later in the article.
There are many different causes of damp but there are only three main types of damp (penetrating damp, rising damp and condensation). One of the main signs that your property has fallen victim to damp as a result of a leaking gutter is that there will be a damp patch visible on the brickwork directly below the guttering.
While it might not be something you would ordinarily be aware of, it is worth keeping keep an eye on once you know it’s there. When moisture overflows from a gutter and seeps into the ground surrounding the property it can, over a period of time, cause damage to the foundations of the building, leading to further problems with damp.
If damage to gutters is not fixed in a timely fashion then serious damp problems can occur and can be costly to repair depending on the severity of the problem.
How Do Defective Gutters Cause Damp?
As we explained earlier, damaged or broken gutters can lead to damp problems but exactly what type of damage to gutters should you be looking out for? We have listed below, the main reasons for guttering to become defective:
- If the gutters or downpipes are cracked, then this can lead to water leaking and eventually dampness.
- Clogged gutters
- Broken gutters
- Sagging gutters
If any of these issues with gutters occur, then the resulting problems can be:
- Black mould on walls
- Damp on the internal and external walls
- Damage to foundations of the building
Having mould and mildew is a problem that is not just unsightly but also potentially harmful to your health as well. Mould and mildew problems tend to be more of a problem in areas of the property which are most commonly associated with steam and hot water such as the kitchen or bedroom.
Some people tend to think that simply wiping it away it will get rid of the problem but this is not in fact true. The only way to treat a damp problem, that has been caused by gutters, is to have inspections of the guttering at least once a year and have them cleaned as well.
Having damaged rainwater goods is one of the main causes of penetrating damp, which is the process of the water penetrating its way through into the property which then causes damage to the walls of the building.
Having damp on the internal walls can eventually lead to serious issues such as wood rotting fungi, which puts the structural integrity of the house at risk. If you cannot see any damp patches on the interior walls but there is a musty smell, then it is worth checking the gutters just in case to see if they are the cause of the problem.
Poor maintenance of the property is the main reason for having clogged or damaged guttering and a small problem can if left lead to water causing damage and lead to costly repairs. If you can see that the gutters are old and look like they are in need of repair, then it might be best to consider getting a new guttering system installed.
What Are the Other Causes of Damp?
While having damaged or defective guttering is a common cause for damp problems for properties across the UK, there are a number of reasons for damp to occur. What are the causes of the dampness within your property? We have provided a list below of some reasons why damp can occur at your property:
- Poor ventilation- having poor ventilation leaves your property vulnerable to the possibility of warm humid becoming trapped and if the air can’t escape then this warm air will condense onto a cold surface. When condensed onto a cold surface this is where condensation starts to build up.
- Failed damp proof course – If your damp proof course has failed or you don’t have one in place at your property then this is where rising damp can become a problem.
- Other external defects – if there are cracks in walls, damaged roofing etc. then any of these property maintenance issues can cause damp problems over a period of time.
The most important way of treating damp is to first diagnose the type of damp involved and then determine the cause of the damp problem. This is why we would recommend booking a survey with one of our qualified damp specialists to provide an in-depth inspection at your property. To contact us you can simply call us on 0800 288 8660 or request a survey online.
How Are Gutters Repaired to Prevent Dampness?
If the gutters have been clogged by dirt and debris, then this will need to be removed. It is best to start with large pieces of debris which are usually moss. Once the cleaning has finished then run some water through the guttering with a hosepipe to make sure the system is working properly.
If the guttering is cracked, broken or even leaking then these should either be repaired or replaced depending on the amount of damage. If you are capable then these tasks can be carried out by yourself but if not, then we recommend that you should contact your local guttering specialist.
Resolve the Issue Before It Becomes A Problem
With any property care problem, it is always best to prevent the issue rather than cure it. Carrying out regular maintenance of your gutters is important to ensure that your house is not susceptible to damp problems.
Following this advice will ensure that you don’t have to worry about the extra cost of repairs. Damaged or defective gutters is one of the main causes of penetrating damp, so if there are damp patches on the external walls then this will penetrate its way through into the inner walls.
Rising damp will only rise up to 1 metre in height and is not caused as a result of defective gutters. To resolve a rising damp issue you will need to contact a damp specialist.
For expert diagnosis of your damp issue and what steps are needed to rectify the problem, you can contact our team at Timberwise by contacting us by calling 0800 288 8660 or requesting a survey online.