Damp and mold are common issues that many homeowners have to experience sometime in their lives.
Your home is especially vulnerable to these home invaders during the colder winter months where the days get shorter and it is generally wetter.
Wherever you live, damp and mold can congregate. Usually caused by a lack of house maintenance, once it arrives, it can become a lingering headache.
Not only is it unpleasant to look at but it can affect your clothes and furniture and even trigger health issues such as asthma. Therefore, it is imperative that you remove mold and damp as soon as possible.
Preventing damp is quite simple with a little home maintenance such as wiping down the windows every morning to dissipate any condensation. However, if the damp has already seeped into your home, there are ways of combating it.
Depending on the type of damp, you may have to repair or replace certain gutters around your home or repair windows with dip grooves. Hopefully, though, it can be easier.
Rising damp is a common problem. Serious damp problems may require a qualified surveyor who will take a moisture reading at your home and then identify the cause of the problem before advising a course of action.
They may recommend installing a new damp-proof course that injects the walls with chemicals to form a water-repellent barrier.
This is usually done from the exterior of the home but the interior wall may need to be stripped back for this injection to take place. The wall will then be recovered with a specialist plaster.
If the issue isn’t as large as this, you can tackle mold and damp yourself. All you need is:
- A stiff-bristled brush
- A cloth
- Chlorine bleach
- Some water
When tackling mold, always wear protective glasses, gloves, and a face mask as it can be harmful to your health when in contact with your pores.
- Open the windows or use a fan in the room
- Make a solution of chlorine bleach with water (1 part bleach, 3 parts water)
- Scrub the moldy area with the bristled brush
- Rinse thoroughly with a cloth and water and let dry
You can also use specially formulated products for mold and damp that may be stronger and more effective.
Always try and prevent mold and damp in the first place. Try using a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home. This will significantly limit the chance of mold and dampness occurring.
How do you permanently get rid of damp walls?
If your house has a persistent damp problem, then dehumidifiers and opening windows may not be cutting it. If one or more walls are seriously impacted, you should seek help from a professional surveyor.
Let’s start by looking at dehumidifiers and ventilation. Dehumidifiers draw in moisture from the air. This is very useful if you regularly dry clothes in your home which can cause excess humidity.
Even showering and cooking can cause higher levels of humidity that can lead to damp over time. If you notice any mold spores in your home, it may be worth investing in a dehumidifier.
You can also ventilate your home to get rid of condensation. This can be done by regularly opening your windows to let air into the rooms.
You can also add window vents and build air bricks into the walls so condensation is released. You can also install air vents into internal walls and sealed chimneys for increased airflow.
If your wall is constantly damp, you can paint it with damp-proof paint. Old bricks can easily become porous which allows water into your home. However, if this occurs, you may need to have the bricks replaced.
Before this drastic step, you could try painting the exterior bricks with silicone water-repellent fluid or limewash.
Doing this can seal the walls again but still allow them to breathe sufficiently. It is a good idea to do this, even before any signs of damp as this paint is an excellent preventative measure. However, you should seek professional help first to find out what would be the best course of action for the age of your house and its building materials.
You may need to repair or replace your damp-proof course or membrane. This is usually only applicable if you have a wider area that is affected and other treatments have not worked.
A common method of repair is for a contractor or damp specialist to drill holes into the wall and then inject damp-proof cream which acts as a new course.
There are also the options of cutting grooves into the brickwork and then installing a singular piece of damp-proof course instead of a chemical type.
Although all can be costly, you must take action as soon as you notice any signs of mold or damp.