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How to Stop Water Penetrating Walls

Rainwater Penetrates Wall and damp destroyed floor

Water penetration through walls, also known as water ingress, is an issue that lots of homeowner’s face. It can be caused by many factors which makes knowing how to stop water penetrating walls somewhat difficult. If you think your home is suffering from penetrating damp/water ingress, there are a range of things you can do to help prevent and/or solve the problem, but it all depends on the cause.

How does Moisture Penetrate into a Building?

As mentioned, there are a number of reasons why water might penetrate walls, but we’ve narrowed it down to the seven main causes, which are:

  • Damaged and/or leaking pipes
  • Rising damp
  • Damaged window seals
  • Damaged and/or cracked rendering or mortar
  • Damaged or blocked gutters
  • Damaged roof tiles or chimney flashing
  • High external ground water levels

If, when you assess what could be the cause of wet walls in your house, you aren’t able to identify one of the above issues as a potential cause, call our team on 0208 535 7536. We offer site surveys across London and will return a no-obligation quote to you for the treatment of the suspected issue.

Is Water Penetrating Walls a Serious Issue?

Any form of damp can be a serious issue depending on the severity of it, but penetrating damp is of greater importance because it’s indicative of a separate underlying issue elsewhere in your home. When looking at the cause of penetrating damp, you need to consider the risks the damp itself poses, but also the risk of what’s causing the problem. For example, standard risks of damp include:

  • The onset of other types of damp – penetrating damp can give way to a host of other types of damp, including wet rot and/or dry rot which can destroy your house’s timber and lead to structural problems
  • Salting and pitted finishes to internal plaster
  • Slumped or fractured ceilings
  • Mould – this can irritate sufferers of eczema and asthma, as well as compromising the immune system and causing allergies and/or respiratory infections. This often due to penetrating damp cooling the wall and permitting condensation and black mould growth
  • Damage to household possessions – ceilings, flooring and fabric of any kind (including furniture, clothes and curtains) can all be ruined by damp and condensation.

Alongside these issues, water ingress can be a sign of deeper problems. For example, if the issue is caused by damaged seals around a window, this could be a security issue or even pose a risk of injury if panes of glass come loose.

Likewise, if the problem is caused by loose roof tiles, this could also be dangerous because more tiles could be loose and could fly off and injure someone or damage you/your neighbour’s property, not to mention the security risk.

In the first instance you notice the signs of damp – be it penetrating damp or any other form of damp – it’s essential you seek to fix the problem immediately, but how do you know what to look for?

Signs of Penetrating Damp

There are a number of things you should look out for when you’re considering if your home might be suffering from damp. Common symptoms include:

  • Peeling paint, emulsion, plaster or wallpaper
  • Wet patches on the walls or ceiling, especially after it rains
  • A pungent musty smell, often described as smelling like wet socks, mouldy food or somewhat earthy
  • Black mould on the walls, ceiling or fabric within your home

The moment you notice any of these signs, you should seek out what the cause might be. If you can’t identify the cause, give us a call on 0208 535 7536 and we’ll conduct a site survey to identify the problem for you.

Treatment for Penetrating Damp

The treatment for water ingress will depend on what the offending cause is. This could mean you need to look at replacing the rendering or mortar on the exterior of your house, or it could mean installing new windows or gutters if they’re at fault.

How to Stop Water Penetrating Walls

To err on the side of caution and prevent the need for treatment in the first place, we’d recommend taking the following steps to make sure you’re minimising the risk and protecting your home from the effects of penetrating damp.

  • Keep a close eye on the plumbing in your home and avoid DIY quick-fix solutions if you do come across a leaky pipe
  • If the windows in your house are old or dated, install new ones – starting with the most damaged/in need of repair – and regularly check on the seals
  • Observe the mortar or rendering encasing your property and address any cracks or breaks immediately – making sure you avoid putting a strain on the exterior of your home
  • Clean your gutters of debris on a regular basis and replace any areas that are damaged or broken
  • Observe the roof on your home and keep a close eye on the condition of the tiles. In the case of flat roofs, seek out ways to aid drainage and keep water running into the gutters and away from your home

Following these steps should reduce the chances of water ingress taking hold in your home, but in the event you do find yourself with a damp issue, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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