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Penetrating Damp FAQs

Penetrating damp through ceiling

Penetrating damp is one of the most common types of damp a property owner is likely to face, but despite its prevalence, the issue can be fairly complex which leaves many people confused and unknowledgeable on the topic. How can it be identified? What causes it? These are just a few of the many questions that people are left wondering about when it comes to penetrating damp problems.

Given the health and structural issues that can arise from penetrating damp, it's important that you know how to spot the issue and what to do to fix it. Luckily, Garratt’s Damp are on hand to answer any queries that our customers may have, and that's why we've put together this comprehensive FAQs guide on penetrating damp.

What is Penetrating Damp?

Penetrating damp is the outcome of water filtering through external walls, roofs etc and into the building. This is often a result of a defect in the building or the decaying of brickwork, allowing water to seep into the building.

How Do You Identify Penetrating Damp?

Penetrating damp signs include the presence of visible dampness, puddles and drips that are contained within a singular area, crumbly or wet plaster, patches on ceilings or walls, and staining on external walls. Black mould or spores may also appear on the internal walls from condensation occurring on the cold surfaces created by wetting from penetrating damp.

When leaking gutters, overflow pipes discharge to external brickwork it is common to observe white sulphate salting (efflorescence) appearing on the brickwork and/or moss growth.

Does Penetrating Damp Smell?

Yes, the smell of damp can be quite apparent. It can create a musty odour when fungal growth of wet rot and/or dry rot occurs on timbers. You should be able to recognise it fairly easily.

Why Does Penetrating Damp Occur?

Penetrating damp can be caused by a number of issues. These include structural defects such as missing roof tiles, poorly installed or dilapidated windows, damaged flashing and pointing, blocked or leaking pipes, and overflowing gutters. Another leading cause of penetrating damp are porous walls which are a result of ageing brickwork. Similarly, penetrating damp could occur as a result of degraded mortar rendering or spalled bricks.

How Do You Prevent Penetrating Damp?

One of the main concerns is how to prevent penetrating damp. This can be achieved through thorough and regular house investigations. For example, you should check waste pipes, connections, and seals to locate areas where water can seep into your home. On top of this, you should also inspect the roof of your loft for signs of water making its way through. Finally, you should pay attention to exterior walls for cracks, crumbling, or decay.

Other common ingress points are where flat roof extensions meet the main building and also defects with chimney stack including uncapped pots, poor flashings, pointing and flaunchings.

How Do You Treat Penetrating Damp?

If you’re unable to prevent it, the next large concern will be how to fix penetrating damp. Typically, the treatment of penetrating damp will include repairing or replacing damaged brickwork, repointing damaged mortar, replacing or repairing damaged render, applying creams and paints, fixing roof defects, and sealing around doors and windows.

Can You Treat Penetrating Damp Yourself?

You may be able to amend some minimal issues when it comes to treating penetrating damp, such as sealing doors and windows. However, we always recommend that more complex jobs are carried out by a professional.

Will Penetrating Damp Go Away on Its Own?

Penetrating damp will not go away on its own. In fact, it will only worsen with time.

Does Penetrating Damp Spread?

Penetrating damp itself doesn’t tend to spread; however, untreated penetrating damp will inevitably form moulds and rotting timbers which will then spread.

Is Penetrating Damp Bad for Your Health?

Once again, penetrating damp itself won’t cause any health problems; however, the mould that it results in can lead to health complications. Black mould spores can be toxic, and they germinate in the same manner as plant life. This means that their spores are released into the air, which can result in breathing problems. This is particularly an issue for asthma sufferers.

Is Penetrating Damp Covered by Insurance?

Another concern associated with penetrating damp is home insurance. Despite this, there isn’t a clear-cut answer as policies differ from company to company. Generally speaking, you may find that most insurance providers regard penetrating damp as general wear and tear, meaning that they won’t pay out for the repairs. With this being said, you’d have to consult your individual provider to find out what their policy entails.

What is the Difference Between Penetrating Damp and Rising Damp?

As previously mentioned, penetrating damp is caused by water seeping in through exterior walls and roof due to damage and defects. On the other hand, rising damp is caused by the capillary movement of damp from the ground into your home’s masonry.

Contact Garratt’s Damp for Penetrating Damp Treatment

Here at Garratt’s Damp, we’re especially conscious about offering a transparent service which is why we set out to ensure each of our customers is educated about penetrating damp. We know how daunting it can be to leave your home in the hands of someone else, which is why we’re determined to make every customer aware of what’s being done to their home.

We make it our mission to provide an efficient and honest service, and that's why we’re able to provide a no obligation quote upon performing a site survey to diagnose the issue with your property. In order to find out more about our services from a member of our expert team, please get in touch.

Call us at 0208 535 7536

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