What Is Penetrating Damp?
Penetrating damp, also known as lateral damp, can often be confused with rising damp to the untrained eye. Penetrating damp is the end result of excess moisture penetrating through pores and cavities in the structure of the walls. Unlike rising damp, penetrating damp can occur anywhere in a building, including roofs, ceilings, upper floors and walls. It is more common to find penetrating damp in older properties, with solid walls and poor damp-proofing.
What causes Penetrating Damp?
Penetrating damp is caused when water penetrates porous and damaged house bricks. This can be through a number of reasons such as poorly maintained brickwork, leaking pipes, and defective guttering. As bricks age, they deteriorate naturally over time. The bricks lose their ability to keep water from entering. Penetrating damp can also be caused when water is allowed to penetrate through roof damage, downpipes, and poorly installed and ageing windows.
Early signs of Penetrating Damp
Penetrating damp can happen in any area of a property, unlike rising damp which will only be found on ground levels. Penetrating damp will present itself in many ways and as with all damp problems, it is beneficial to treat it early. Treating the problem early will prevent any further damage such as progression to wet rot and decay.
- Localised damp patches. Penetrating damp patches will present themselves on inside walls in spaces such as skirting boards, corners, and roofs. This will often be the first sign people recognise.
- Damaged external brickwork with moss and algae growth. From extensive exposure to penetrating damp, outside brickwork and drainpipes will be damaged with patches of moss and algae that have been encouraged to spore.
- Damage to plasterwork, paint, and wallpaper. The excess moisture from the penetrating damp in the walls can cause wallpaper paint and plaster to bubble, peel, and crack.
- Internal mould growth. Similar to external moss and algae growth, extensive exposure to penetrating damp creates the perfect environment for fungi spores to germinate and develop.
Treating Penetrating Damp
As with all damp problems, the first step to treating the problem is to find and stem the source of excess water. With penetrating damp, the source can be from a number of places such as faulty drainage, dilapidated brickwork, and roof damage. The extremity of the treatment depends on the severity of the damage. Damaged brickwork and masonry should be removed and replaced, with all gaps filled. Regular drainage maintenance and monitoring will make sure that the penetrating damp will not return.
Health risks of Penetrating Damp
Penetrating damp can lead to black mould within a property. Black mould can trigger respiratory problems and allergic reactions. People most at risk of penetrating damp exposure are the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing health conditions.
We here at Abbots are highly skilled experts at identifying and treating penetrating damp. If you think you could have penetrating damp in your property or have any penetrating damp queries, contact us for advice and a free estimate today.
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