Signs of Damp

Call to Book a Survey 0800 012 1437  or Contact Us Online

As proud PCA members you can be sure all work carried out is of the highest quality

For 60+ years we have protected properties across the UK from woodworm, damp and rot

Rated Excellent on Trustpilot Committed to Customer Service

How to Spot Signs of Damp in Your House

Damp is one of the most unpleasant problems that can happen to a property. Regardless of whether you are a homeowner or the owner of a commercial premises, it can make your property feel unwelcoming and unhealthy. These problems can also lead to rot and structural problems that present real danger.

In this guide we will show you the signs of damp, the simple steps you can take to prevent it and let you know when to call for professional damp proofing services.

Book a Survey Online for a £25 Discount

What is Damp?

Damp in houses refers to the presence of excess moisture in a property, caused either by water ingress from outside or condensation from within. It is important to first establish what is the cause of dampness and then remove the source of moisture to prevent the damp from reoccurring. There are various different signs and causes of damp depending on the type of damp occurring within the property.

Types of Damp

Whether on the ground floor, upstairs or even in the basement or cellar, excess moisture and damp walls in your house 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 differentiate the signs of each problem. It is vitally important to recognise the difference though as each requires different treatments to resolve.

How to Identify Rising Damp

If you have noticed any of the following signs on the ground level of your property, it is likely that you have rising damp resulting from capillary action. The most common cause of this is a damaged or bridged damp proof course (DPC). If you believe your property could be suffering from rising damp, read our in-depth advice for more information about treating rising damp effectively.

Tide stain of rising damp on wall

Signs of Rising Damp

  • A tide line of yellow or brown stains or plaster on ground floor walls.
  • Symptoms may 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.
  • Moisture can often lead to paint and wallpaper peeling off.
  • A white powder-like substance can be left when soluble salts dissolve from the ground.

Identifying Penetrating Damp in the House

For more information about penetrating damp including how to treat penetrating damp and associated moisture ingress problems like wood rot (either one of the many types of wet rots or the more severe dry rot fungus) or damp insulation in the cavity wall, visit our dedicated service pages.

penetrating damp example on wall

Signs of Penetrating Damp

  • Damaged wallpaper and plaster higher up the wall
  • Plaster showing signs of bubbling and wallpaper stripping from the wall
  • Localised damp patches at various heights on the wall and ceiling
  • Damage or cracks  to the external wall of the house, pebbledash or render and guttering

Condensation Problems in the House

If your house 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 on black mould treatment.

condensation water vapour on window

Signs of Condensation

  • Excess moisture appearing on any cold surface like windows, tiles and cold walls
  • Increased humidity levels
  • Mould growth around window frames or walls
  • A lingering musty smell

The Effects of Damp on Houses

Damp can have serious structural implications for a house. In sufficient volume moisture will weaken timber and structural timbers are vital for the sturdiness of your home. Increased moisture can also lead to other associated problems like woodworm, require you take action to stop wet rot problems, or in severe cases mean you need to call in dry rot repair specialists.

Structural issues aside, damp can also aggravate existing health problems. Excess moisture and related mould provide unpleasant conditions, particularly for people with respiratory problems and certain allergies.

How To Get Rid of Damp in Your House

The first step to getting rid of damp is diagnosing it properly. When damp is left too long it can lead to structural problems, and applying the wrong treatment through incorrect diagnosis will only lead to more problems and expense. This is why Rentokil Property Care send qualified and experienced surveyors to every property before we recommend a treatment programme.

After diagnosis, you have two options: DIY or hire a professional. The DIY option requires the correct use of DIY products as well as some home improvement and lifestyle changes. The professional option requires you to find your local specialist to get rid of the problem for you.

Dealing with Damp Yourself

Although most damp issues require advice from an expert surveyor, some can be prevented or even fixed by simple home maintenance.

Repairing gutters and downpipes that are leaking or clogged can prevent water from penetrating the brickwork.

To get rid of condensation, your house needs to improve its ventilation and this can be as simple as opening windows and cleaning out airbricks.

Once the issue is rectified, the removal of any mould built up within the property can begin; we suggest using a rag and soapy water and following this up with the application of anti-mould spray. Be sure to protect yourself from mould spores by wearing goggles, rubber gloves and a mask that covers both your mouth and nose.

Even though a DIY solution is the cheaper alternative to professional treatment, it does carry the risk of something being missed and the obvious disadvantage of having no guarantee. If you notice anything more serious than a minor drainage maintenance or spots of mould we would recommend contacting a professional.

How To Choose your Damp Professional

A good property care company should be able to answer any questions you have about your damp problems. Any services and treatments offered should be tailored to suit your needs as much as possible and crucially a property professional should also respect your house, property or business.
Key criteria you should consider for selection:

Qualifications – a surveyor carrying CSRT and CSSW qualifications ensures that your damp survey and subsequent treatments are being carried out to the highest industry standards.

Affiliated associations – membership of recognised industry associations such as the Property Care Association (PCA) will ensure the company you choose has to comply with strict membership criteria.

Online reviews – reading both the good and bad reviews online can give you a real insight into how a company performs and how they handle any complications.

Got Damp in your House? Contact our Specialists

With Rentokil Property Care, you can be assured of complete property protection. Our approach to damp proofing will help your house or business remain dry and welcoming long-term.

With over 60 years experience delivering professional solutions for our customers, you can be sure of the quality of our service.

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 you have. To get in touch, contact your local branch and contact us online.

Book a Survey Online for a £25 Discount