What are the causes of damp?
As we’ve mentioned elsewhere in this website, most damp problems can be reduced to three conditions: condensation, rising damp and penetrating damp. These in turn are the result of the way environmental conditions act on the structure of your home. For example, Victorian houses in their unmodified state are well ventilated, but attempts to insulate them can create a problem with condensation.
Another big issue, especially for London, is the changing weather conditions we’re seeing each year. Rising levels of ground water can overwhelm your property’s existing damp proofing and unusually heavy rainfall contributes to both penetrating damp and rising damp. Your damp problem may be a combination of these and other factors: if you have a damp problem, the quickest and easiest way of curing it is to contact a damp proofing specialist.
For advice on the causes of damp, complete the short form to the right of this page and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
How do I know if I’ve got a damp problem?
Strange though it may seem, your damp problem won’t always be obvious. It’s usually fairly easy to tell when you have a condensation problem, because you’ll see droplets of water on painted walls and your windows will be misted up, especially after you’ve been keeping them closed for a while. A condensation specialist will help you find the origin of the problem and advise you on condensation management.
Some telltale signs to help you spot other kinds of damp are peeling wallpaper or blistering plaster, patches of black mould and a persistent musty smell. If your skirting boards seem to be damaged, or if there’s a tidemark along the wall, then you may have rising damp. In this case, a rising damp specialist will be able to arrange a damp survey to determine the extent of the problem.
An expert in the diagnosis of damp—such as one of London Damp Company’s surveyors–will use their experience and objective techniques to determine whether the levels of moisture in your home are likely to be problematic. Why not book your free damp survey now? Click Here
What is damp proofing and why is it important?
Damp proofing is any material included in your property’s structure which is designed to keep moisture out. This is quite different from simple waterproofing.
Damp proofing can be achieved through the use of a damp proof course or damp proof membrane, which prevents the spread of moisture through walls by capillary action. Cavity walls are another way of achieving damp proofing: where the interior walls are separated from the exterior walls by an air gap, the outer wall acts as a barrier to rainwater and the cavity itself helps prevent condensation.
Damp proofing is important because, as any damp specialist will tell you, a damp home gives rise to aesthetic, structural and even health problems. Black mould grows freely in damp environments and its spores can both directly affect your lungs and make you more susceptible to colds and flu. Not only are the effects of damp unsightly, but they also compromise your property’s structural integrity and reduce its value.
London Damp Company offers timber and damp surveys to help you assess the risk to your home. Click here to book yours.
Does my home already have damp proofing?
If your house was built after 1870, it’s likely that it does contain some kind of damp proofing, be it cavity walls, a damp proof course or damp proof membrane. In well constructed Victorian and Edwardian houses, such as those found in South London, this will typically comprise several layers of slate. However, from the Georgian era onwards, Britain saw several boom periods in home construction, and some property developers installed less durable damp proofing consisting of bitumen-impregnated hessian.
Most damp proofing measures were entirely adequate at the time they were installed. But it’s common to find that damp proofing in older houses becomes less effective over time: cavity walls can fill up with debris from degrading mortar, bitumen and hessian eventually decay, and slate can crack under the constant stress caused by the expansion and contraction of the underlying London clay. If your home was built before the late 20th century, its damp proofing may well need to be upgraded.
Why not contact London Damp Company today Click here to find out whether your home’s damp proof course is still working?
What is basement tanking and what are its advantages?
As it’s below ground, damp and water penetration is an ongoing issue for your cellar. Basement or cellar tanking is a straightforward process which can help transform your basement from a damp, unloved space into a cosy extra room. Even if you don’t need the additional space at present, tanking is a worthwhile investment because it gives future owners this option, increasing your property’s value.
Basement tanking is accomplished either by coating the walls with a waterproof product such as a cementitious coating, membrane or sealant, or sometimes by installing a cavity drainage system. The first treatment works by excluding moisture entirely. But it isn’t suitable for every basement, and cavity drainage systems have a number of advantages, since they use the air space between walls to help the inner wall to dry out.
If you live in South or West London and you’re interested in our basement tanking solutions, complete the form to the right of this page and an expert will call you back within 24 hours.
My home smells damp. What can I do to get rid of it?
Forget about merely masking the smell: the best thing to do is identify the source of the damp. Start by looking for obvious leaks, such as those caused by over-full guttering or penetration by heavy rain. Of course, leaky pipes aren’t always easy to find, and you may need to call a leak detection service to make sure you’re not missing hidden sources of moisture.
At the same time, think about condensation. This is an extremely common problem in many homes, and is usually at its worst during the colder months of the year. Better ventilation is usually a big help in reducing condensation, especially when you’re engaged in moisture-producing activities such as showering, cooking or tumble-drying clothes.
London Damp Company offer specialist advice on condensation management. Complete the short form to the right of this page and one of our experts will call you back.
How much will it cost to cure my damp problem?
Without conducting a survey it’s difficult to give an idea of the cost involved in damp proofing your home, since the treatment needed will depend on the nature and extent of the problem. However, we pride ourselves on offering high quality, cost-effective solutions, and will always work with you to ensure value for money. We’ll price your project by the metre: the larger the area treated, the lower the unit cost to you.
For a no-obligation quotation, book one of our surveys here. Click here
Will you have to remove sound plaster to treat my damp problem?
This is a tricky decision. It’s easy to see when plaster is very patently damaged, but harder to determine whether it has been affected in less obvious ways. For example, apparently unaffected plaster may contain salts in a concentration sufficient to attract moisture from the air, perpetuating your damp problem. It takes a plastering expert to recognise this issue.
Best practice when treating damp is to minimise the removal of sound plaster, and that’s why you’re always better off dealing with a Certified Surveyor in Remedial Treatments (CSRT). If maintaining the existing plaster is especially important to you, London Damp Company can help you plan the way forward. Our specialist plastering service is available to you as an additional service after your damp problem has been successfully diagnosed and treated.
Call us on 0207 127 6886 or complete the call-back form to discuss your specialist plastering requirements.
Are your damp treatments guaranteed?
Yes. We offer a 100% diagnosis and cure rate for all damp problems, however complex. Our damp proofing products, timber treatments and waterproof plastering are guaranteed up to 30 years.
If you need advice about any aspect of your damp problem or would like to discuss our services, call London Damp Company on 0207 127 6886.