Signs of Damp

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Signs of Damp

Damp may not always be obvious to spot in your property. It can appear rapidly after flash flooding or it can be very slow to emerge, in many cases taking several years before a damp problem becomes visible.

For many residential and business properties, Rising Damp, Condensation and Penetrating Damp are three of the most common types of damp problems found in UK homes, each with their own unique symptoms and treatment requirements. No two cases of damp are identical, so getting a correct diagnosis by a specialist surveyor is important to prevent unnecessary expense on a solution that ultimately may not solve the underlying damp issue.

Rentokil specialist surveyors are experienced professionals who can identify damp problems indoors and on the exterior of your property, diagnosing the extent of the affected area, the kind of damp issue affecting your home and offer the most suitable solution to resolve it. You can book a damp survey by clicking the button below. Alternatively, keep reading this page to find out more about how to identify the tell-tale signs of damp.

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What Kind of Damp is Affecting My Home?

Signs of damp in your property will usually occur as a result of three main problems: rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation. Without the right amount of experience and training it can be difficult to tell the signs of condensation, rising damp and penetrating damp apart, but it is important to recognise the difference as each needs separate treatments and solutions.

What Causes Damp?

Regardless of the root cause of damp in your property it will always be caused by excess moisture. Excess moisture can be caused by things like leaking pipes, absorption of ground water, rainwater ingress from faulty roofing and window frames and, the most common form of damp, condensation caused by excessive humidity.

Tell-tale Signs of Damp

The most common signs of damp include;

  • A damp musty smell
  • Mould or mildew forming on walls
  • Staining of wall coverings, peeling wallpaper & blistering paint
  • Dark patches & damp walls
  • Discolouration & fragmenting plaster
  • Decay of timber by wood rotting fungi or presence of wood-boring beetles
  • Rusting can also develop on angle beads within damp plasterwork
  • The appearance of salt stains on outside walls
  • Mortar on the outside of the property begins to crumble away

If you notice any of the signs or a combination of the signs above, it could be your property is suffering from damp that may require further investigation. For every type of damp, damp signs will differ but will most likely include the above signs along with their own unique symptoms. If you have concerns about damp developing in your property and you want to speak to one of our experts about your damp problem, call us on 0800 0121 437 or complete our online contact form for a member of our team will call you back.

Types of Damp

The signs above will indicate a general damp problem, but if you want to get a more specific idea, the guide below will help you spot the individual characteristic signs of rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation.

Signs of Rising Damp

  • A tide line of yellowish or brownish staining or brown plaster in the lower area of your wall. This will be above your skirting board.
  • Rising damp symptoms may also be visible on skirting boards, where nails or screws show signs of rust
  • Skirting boards or plaster within the property may be damaged or rotting.
  • Wet patches may become visible which can often lead to paint and wallpaper peeling off.
  • You may notice floor coverings lifting or damp patches.
  • A white powder-like substance can be left when soluble salts dissolve from the ground.
rising damp example wall staining on internal wall

If you noticed any of the following signs, it is likely that you have rising damp. If you believe your property could be suffering from rising damp, read our in-depth advice for more information about rising damp and how to treat rising damp effectively.

Signs of Penetrating Damp

  • Damaged interior decoration
  • Localised damp patches at a high and low level that grow in size when coming into contact with moisture source e.g water ingress, burst pipe
  • Damp travels in a horizontal motion across walls or ceiling
  • Damp patches stain walls and ceiling
  • Damage to the external wall, allowing moisture to penetrate the property
penetrating damp example on top wall

For more information about penetrating damp including how to treat penetrating damp and associated damp problems such as wood rot, visit our dedicated service pages.  

Signs of Condensation

  • Water droplets or a light mist appearing on cool surfaces e.g windows, walls, metallic objects or glass
  • Mould growth around window edges or walls
  • A lingering damp smell
Condensation water vapour on window pane

If your home is developing a problem with condensation or black mould, please take the time to read our guide on the causes of condensation and our help and advice guide to black mould treatment.

Damp on Outside Walls

Signs of damp will show on exterior walls as well as internal ones. Like internal walls, you are likely to notice damp patches on brickwork and vegetation growing. When penetrating damp is the problem you will notice localised external staining around the source of the water ingress, usually a broken gutter or a damaged downpipe. In the case of rising damp, you might notice a tide mark on the lower external wall at a similar height to any damp patches on the inside of the property.

How to Fix a Damp Problem

Once you have identified the signs of damp, regardless of which damp problem your property is facing, it is important to get expert advice on the best-recommended treatment for your property. Not all types of damp are treated the same and treatment will differ depending on the type and extent of the issue.

At Rentokil Property Care, our team of locally based surveyors and technicians are on hand to offer a professional, specialist survey to help deal with damp issues and provide effective damp proofing treatment for damage caused by rising damp, low level penetrating damp and solutions for any associated rot or woodworm issues. Our surveys are undertaken in accordance with the Property Care Association 'Code of Practice'.

A detailed assessment of the extent of any damage is carried out by our Certificated Surveyors in Remedial Treatment (CSRT), any recommendations and a no-obligation quote for specific damp treatment for your property is supplied for your consideration.

To get expert help and advice on your problem, give us a call. Our local property care team are on hand to answer any queries or concerns about damp you have. To get in touch, contact your local branch on 0800 0121 437 or you can contact us online.

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