The impact can range from an unsightly inconvenience to a health hazard. But can you get rid of damp problems by yourself?
There are households across the UK who are putting up with damp. Maybe you’re living in one of them. Some people are even sharing their living space with thriving communities of fungi as a result.
While I don’t share my home with a fungi farm, my flat does have a problem with the dank stuff. Living in the converted loft space of an old house, it’s no surprise really.
But I’ve managed to banish it from my home. And it would seem that identifying the type blighting your house is the key to dealing with it.
We found in a survey of Which? members that condensation is the most common type, affecting one third of them. And this is what my home was suffering from, noticeably because it started in the bathroom.
Two thirds of Which? members with condensation problems dealt with it themselves. Most solved it by opening a few windows to improve ventilation – this is what I’ve done too. However, I also use a dehumidifier to soak up some of the excess water and avoid covering up the radiators in the room.
However, my friend’s flat had a rather menacing looking grey-black mould creeping across the hallway walls. And it wasn’t a condensation issue. It was penetrating damp, which can be spotted by the horizontal movement of the patches travelling up the walls.
We found that half of those suffering this type hired a builder to resolve the issue, but two ninths of them managed to deal with it themselves. The solutions ranged from fixing the roof (60%), getting cracks and leaks in gutters and downpipes repaired (33%) and fixing gaps in window frames and doors (15%).
But so-called rising damp seems the trickiest of them all to deal with. This variety usually reveals itself in damaged skirting boards and floorboards, crumbling or salt-stained plaster and peeling paint and wallpaper. There may also be a tide mark along the wall.
Solutions for this kind of damp may be a new damp-proof course or specialist attention injecting damp-proof cream into the walls. The toughest question, however, can be whether it is rising damp and if you do need specialist help to treat it.
Don’t ignore the damp
This just isn’t advisable; it’s likely to only worsen and it could end up being very expensive the more time goes on.
In the long run, identifying and dealing with it is important for your home, your pocket and your health.
Have you had damp in your home? How did you deal with it?
Have you tried treating a damp problem?
I tried but it didn't resolve the problem (39%, 409 Votes)
No I've not tried before (36%, 379 Votes)
Yes and it worked (25%, 262 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,050