Damp proofing a house

How to Damp Proof Walls

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How to Treat Damp Walls

Damp walls are a common problem in homes and commercial properties all across the UK, and there are a variety of reasons for this. Symptoms such as damp patches, mould and damaged plaster can be caused by faults in the external and internal walls along with issues surrounding the relative humidity of the property.

As with any dampness, a correct diagnosis for damp walls is essential because incorrect treatment has the potential to lead to more serious structural problems.

The surveyors and technicians at Rentokil Property Care have decades of damp proofing experience and if you feel your property is suffering from wet walls we are here to help. Get in touch with Rentokil Property Care today by clicking the button below to book a survey today or call us on 0800 0121 437 to discuss your damp problem further.

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The Signs of Damp Walls

Damp will always manifest differently from one property to another and no two problems will be exactly the same, depending on the type of damp and size of the problem. Dampness on walls can often be determined without the need of equipment like a damp meter and can be easily identified from sight and touch.

If you run your hand over a wall you will feel a noticeable difference in texture between a wet wall and a dry one. The wall may also look distinctly different from the drier areas of the wall, peeling, discoloured wallpaper or flaking paint can all occur as a result of damp brickwork.  

If your property is suffering from damp walls, you will most likely be suffering from one of the problems listed below:

Rising Damp on Walls

Moisture rising from below the ground level of a property and into the masonry walls can be identified by a distinctive tide mark stain. As moisture absorbed from the ground penetrates the internal brickwork, wallpaper and plaster can become damaged and white hygroscopic salt deposits can appear. The skirting board can also start to decay.

The most common cause of rising damp in walls is the failure of the existing damp proof course (DPC).

Signs of Rising Damp on Walls

  • Tide marks that appear halfway up the wall
  • Rotting or decaying timber along the affected wall e.g skirting or floor boards.
  • White salt residue on the wall

Penetrating Damp on Walls

Penetrating Damp occurs when a continuous source of moisture penetrates the wall of the property, either externally e.g from rain penetration or from within e.g a burst pipe or leak. Signs of penetrating damp will vary from case to case as it can manifest in different ways depending on the source of the moisture. Penetrating damp from soaked wall insulation will look different from ingress caused by broken guttering for example, and this makes it difficult to diagnose the correct treatment programme.

To treat effectively, the moisture source must be located and fixed or the excess moisture will continue to damage the walls.

Sign of Penetrating Damp on Walls

  • Damage to internal decoration
  • Damp staining that appears to grow in size when coming into contact with moisture
  • Localised damp patches
  • Damaged plaster and brickwork

Condensation and Mould Growth on Walls

Condensation is often dismissed as a less serious form of dampness, but it can eventually lead to damaged walls and mould growth in seriously affected areas. More noticeable in the colder winter months, condensation on walls is caused when hot humid air cannot escape effectively through traditional ventilation and settles as moisture on cold surfaces like windows and walls.

Condensation is common in new builds where more effort has been made to trap heat that easily escaped in old buildings.

Signs of Condensation on the Walls

  • Cold walls that are wet to the touch
  • Black mould appearing on window sills and walls
  • Peeling wallpaper or cracked paint from excessive moisture

How to Treat Damp Walls

A common mistake property owners make is simply hacking off wet plaster, drying out the wall, then replaster. This will only ever be a temporary solution until the source of excess moisture is identified. The surveyors at Rentokil Property Care will determine a permanent solution by thoroughly inspecting the internal and external walls of a property.

Common sources of water ingress our team will look for during a damp survey include:

  • Cracks in masonry and render
  • Loose and broken roof tiles
  • Leaking gutters and downpipes
  • Tree roots damaging foundations
  • A bridged or damaged damp proof course (DPC)
  • Damaged sealing of window and door frames
  • Damp cavity wall insulation

Once the source of the problem is identified, the correct repairs should be undertaken to resolve the problem before treating the visible symptoms. Rentokil Property Care offer a complete service ensuring that wet walls aren’t just patched up but given a long-term damp proofing solution covered by a 20-Year guarantee.

Professional Damp Proofing for Walls

The damp proofing professionals at Rentokil Property Care have the qualifications, training and experience to correctly diagnose your damp problem and develop an effective solution for damp proofing your walls.

You can contact our expert team at Rentokil Property Care today on 0800 0121 437 or click the button below to book a survey today.

Book a Survey Online for a £25 Discount