Damp Proofing Specialists Bournemouth
Damp is possibly the most destructive and unsightly affliction that can befall any property. There are many different types of damp problems, and just as many different ways of treating the damp. Some forms of damp are easier to cure than others, but damp should never be ignored.
Here at Abbots we are often called in to find solutions for damp in affected properties in our area of operation across Hampshire and Dorset. We are experts in treating rising damp.
Experience has taught us that the three most common damp problems in all sorts of buildings – old and new – is rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation.
Signs of damp causing damage to buildings are easy to spot. Things like peeling or bubbling wallpaper; the appearance of water marks, tide marks and powdery wet patches on walls; flaking plaster; and the growth of black mould.
These signs can build up slowly over time, and it is tempting to ignore them initially in the hope the problem is temporary and will resolve itself. Sometimes people try to rectify damp problems themselves by painting over with waterproof sealants, or applying damp proof membranes. Unfortunately, unless the source of the damp is identified and dealt with, no D-I-Y remedy is likely to work in the long term. Damp is insidious and will creep back, unless it is cut off at its source.
Wise property owners call in the specialists, like us here at Abbots, at the very first sign of a damp problem. Treating damp is easier, and generally less expensive, if you catch it early – and before it has had a chance to cause real damage to the structure of the building, like dry rot or wet rot in the timbers, rust, soggy ceilings and even swollen bricks which may lead to cracks. One of the most concerning aspects of damp in the home is the health risk posed by the growth of mould and mildew.
RISING DAMP TREATMENT BOURNEMOUTH & POOLE
Bricks and mortar are like natural sponges when it comes to absorbing moisture from the ground, particularly in low-lying areas where the water table is high. That is why when a building is constructed a damp-proof course (DPC) is usually built into the walls at a height of around 15cm above ground level. A DPC is usually a strip of bitumen felt or polymer material that is laid between the layers of bricks on a horizontal level all around the walls.
All new houses in England and Wales have to have a DPC as laid down in building regulations (which came into force in 1875). Old properties may not have a DPC, which is something to consider if you are buying an old building to renovate.
In addition to the DPC buildings should have a damp proof membrane laid underneath the concrete floor, which meets up with the DPC, effectively sealing off the building from ground water.
The DPC prevents the moisture from rising up the walls. If the DPC fails rising damp results, initially noticeable as warped skirting boards, peeling paint and powdering plaster at the bottom of the walls.
The DPC fails if it becomes damaged, or, more likely, if for some reason the level of the ground outside the building becomes higher than the DPC, or drainage around the building becomes compromised and water is lying at a level higher than the DPC.
Such issues are rare, and if and when they do occur the rising damp needs to be investigated by a specialist.
Here at Abbots we know that rising damp is a tricky problem. When called in we will diagnose the cause of the problem – starting with checking the DPC. If the DPC is missing or damaged we are able to inject a chemical cream through drilled holes. It is more likely, though, that the rising damp is the result of poor drainage or a high ground level on the outside of the wall, and this we can usually easily rectify with trenching.
If it is necessary we are able to tank the damp wall or floor below ground level – sealing it under the plaster or concrete with a layer of asphalt or a membrane.
At all stages of combatting rising damp Abbots will keep you, the customer, informed about the cost of the work involved. We keep our fees to the bear minimum, being fully aware that dealing with rising damp can be expensive.
PENETRATING DAMP TREATMENT BOURNEMOUTH & POOLE
Penetrating damp occurs in old or poorly constructed walls when rain penetrates through the masonry. It results in blotchy patches on the inside walls, rotting skirting boards, moss growing on the outside of the walls, and a mouldy smell inside. The moisture entering the bricks also causes damage to their surface.
Penetrating damp creeps through walls horizontally rather than vertically like rising damp, and is usually found higher up in the walls where rain penetrates from the outside. Aging bricks could be to blame, blocked cavity walls or cracks, and defective guttering and downpipes, or windows that have been poorly fitted. Basements, being below ground, are also often subject to penetrating damp from the surrounding soil.
Once again we will diagnose and fix the cause of the damp before treating the symptoms.
CONDENSATION TREATMENT BOURNEMOUTH & POOLE
Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface, leaving moisture droplets to build up and run down walls and windows – ideal conditions for the growth of mould and mildew.
Any building can fall victim to condensation, but it is particularly prevalent in houses where the air is thick with water vapour due to a lot of cooking, washing and drying of clothes, heating and even just breathing.
The biggest danger presented by condensation is that the growth of mould can have a negative effect on the health of the building’s occupants. It can also cause damage in the form of rotting window-sills and ceilings, and be mistaken for rising damp when it causes bubbling at the base of walls.
Condensation is the most common cause of damp in the home, and one of the easiest to rectify.
Abbots are able to assist home-owners with condensation problems by advising them on how to control the relative humidity in the building. The installation of extractor fans works wonders, along with ensuring there is adequate ventilation like putting trickle vents in windows. Other solutions include making sure the building is kept warm, using a dehumidifier, anti-mould paint and removing the source of excess moisture like clothes dryers.
If you have any problems relating to damp-proofing a property give Abbots a call. We will conduct a free survey and advise you on how to resolve your damp issue.
Most of our happy clients are surprised to discover how affordable our damp solutions are, and how efficient and successful our specialist damp-proofing teams are in ridding buildings of unsightly and damaging damp and fungal infestations.
We wage war on damp in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ringwood and Hampshire, providing free estimates and reliable, professional service.
WE CAN HELP YOUR PROPERTY BY REMOVING:
- Rising damp
- Lateral penetrating damp
- Tanking in below-ground areas
- Condensation control
- Chemical damp proof courses available
- Wet and dry rot
Senior citizen discounts offered. 24hrs call out. All small jobs welcome.
All work carried out by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.
Payment Terms: We accept Visa, Mastercard & Delta.
I'm afraid we don't accept American Express