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npt quick house sale dampWith over 25 thousand gallons of rainwater falling upon the UK within a single year, it’s not surprising that many homes suffer from damp problems. Recent figures from Oxford University also suggest that this winter has been the wettest in over 250 years, causing enormous flooding in many areas of the UK, particularly around the South West of England. This flooding has caused severe damage to thousands of properties, and now many people are looking at ways to detect damp, get rid of it or even prevent the risk of damp from things such as flooding.

Damp is not just a nuisance problem for many homes, but can also be very problematic for people’s health too. Excess moisture in the air, causes an increase in humidity which can encourage mites and mould to grow. Many people then suffer with respiratory problems as a result of this.

Damp can usually be identified from patches within the inside of the home, that may appear damp and discoloured and also wallpaper may appear to peel away from the wall. This is usually the first indicator that you have a damp problem, which could be anything from leaky roofs and pipes to floors, doors and windows.

There are many types of damp, and it’s important to diagnose it correctly so it can be treated effectively. For example rising damp occurs when the damp proof course is not present between the cavity wall, it then allows moisture to move through the building from the ground and in most cases containing salts from groundwater which can also cause decay, however once identified it can be treated successfully.

Another common form of damp is condensation, which forms due to excess water in the air. When this excess moisture comes into contact with cold surfaces such as doors, walls and windows it condenses leaving beads of water. This can then lead to decay of door and window frames, skirting boards and even plaster board.  Condensation can occur in poorly ventilated buildings, and rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms where humidity is at its highest.

Good ventilation is essential, as is temperature control. If the temperature is uncontrolled and fluctuates on a regular basis then this can cause further problems with condensation. A hygrometer can help to determine the humidity levels in your home, and if necessary a dehumidifier can then help to regulate high humidity levels within a property but can be costly to run.

Any damp problems identified within a property need to be treated as soon as possible, as if they are left to develop, they can cause a multitude of more problematic and costly problems. If left untreated damp can lead to things such as wet rot, and timber decay. Simple procedures such as damp proof coursing or regulating ventilation can prevent the need for major structural repairs in the future. So if you suspect any kind of damp, be sure to get a professional to take a look and advise you on the best course of action.

by Cormac Henderson

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