How to Avoid Rising Damp

There's no evidence that a coastal location causes dampness/ iStockIn the UK it rains a lot and it’s cold a lot… which means it’s damp most of the time. Which got me wondering which part of the UK is the dampest and would this have any bearing on having a damp house?

We all know that damp in your home is not good news and can lead to serious structural issues if left un-treated. There are a number of pests who also love damp conditions. Here at Rentokil we can damp proof your home and can sort out any pest related problems too but we are powerless against the weather (sorry!).

Damp in your home can be caused by a number of factors. Penetrating damp could be poor pointing between the brickwork, cracked external render coatings, or abutting walls adjoining your property. Rising damp is the term used to describe dampness in a wall structure, where there is higher moisture content at the base of the wall, which rises further up the wall. It pays in the long run to keep the water out of your home. Just simple, low cost measures like clearing your gutters so the rain runs down the drainpipes rather than your brickwork can pay dividends.

So is there such a thing as the dampest part of the UK? The Met Office keeps records back to 1766 by amateur meteorologists and more accurate data from 1914.  Here are a few facts:

Extreme Rainfall

  • Highest 60-minute total rainfall Maidenhead (Berkshire) 12 July 1901 92mm
  • Highest 24-hour total for any 24 hour period is 316.4mm Seathwaite (Cumbria) 19 November 2009.

Highest maximum temperature record

  • England 38.5◦c, Faversham (Kent) 10 August 2003
  • Wales 35.2◦c Hawarden Bridge (Flintshire) 2 August 1990
  • Scotland 32.9◦c Greycrook (Scottish Borders) 9 August 2003
  • Northern Ireland 30.8◦c Knockarevan (County Fermanagh) 30 June 1976/ Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast (County Antrim) 12 July 1983

Lowest daily minimum temperature records

Scotland -27.2◦c, 11 February 1895 Braemar (Aberdeenshire), 10 January 1982 Braemar (Aberdeenshire), 30 December 1995 Altnaharra (Highland)

England -26.1◦c 10 January 1982 Newport (Shropshire)

Wales -23.3 ◦c 21 January 1940 Rhayader (Powys)

Northern Ireland -18.7◦c 24 December Castlederg (County Tyrone)

The Lake District is beautiful, but wet

According to the fountain of all knowledge – google! Dalness in Scotland is the wettest place in the UK. Seathwaite in the Lake District is the wettest place in England. Capel Curig Gwyned is the wettest place in Wales. The driest place is St Osyth in Essex. The windiest place in England is Gwennap Head in Cornwall which recorded 118mph winds in December 1979. The sunniest place is Sussex.

Throughout the UK, July and August are the wettest summer months. October to January are the wettest months overall but it seems to vary year to year.

So where is the dampest place in Britain? Surely it has to be the coast?

“Homes at the coast can experience salt contamination if they are exposed to sea spray but generally I don’t believe they will be any wetter than any other building that is an exposed position,” says Peter Brett, Area Manager South Rentokil Property Care.

Rising Damp

The unfortunately fact is that though all that rain makes Britain a green and pleasant land, there’s no escaping the damp. Research by the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research suggests that the annual temperature across the UK could increase by 2 to 3.5°C by the 2080s. Summers will be drier and while winters may become wetter. So it looks like damp is rising.

  1. Brigitta

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