Category: Damp Proofing

Damp Proofing Scottish Borders

First Time Buyers Guide To Damp

Buying a new home is an exciting time, especially if it’s your first property. However, it’s important to take the process seriously to ensure that the property you intend to purchase is in a safe state. When buying a property, you will always have a survey produced by either your mortgage provider or external body. These reports determine the value and quality of the property, which includes pointing out any causes for concern – including damp.

Most old properties show signs of damp simply due to their age, and a lot of properties have damp that are caused simply by not opening windows or adequately heating the property, whereas others have detrimental causes that are deep down and unseen. I often come across people who have moved into a new house and not realised the severity of the damp in the property.

Some people simply assume that damp is a minor issue, whereas others decide to investigate the problem post-purchase. However, in doing so, repairing the damage caused by the damp and prevent it from reoccurring can be extremely costly, so it’s always best to have a damp proof assessment prior to completing your purchase so you know exactly what’s causing the damp and more importantly, how it can be treated, repaired and prevented.

If you’re in the processing of buying your first home, I’d always recommend a damp proof survey, just so that you’re aware of the potential risks and damage, and of course, how to prevent this moving forward. If the quote for repair is more than pocket change, you always have the option to renegotiate the buying price of the property to account for the cost of repair.

As a first time buyer, it’s important that you do your homework so that you’re able to spot the tell-tale signs of damp in a property so that you can rest assured that the damp – if any – is able to be repaired and of course, affordable. I’ve put together a few pointers on how to spot signs of damp, but don’t forget, just because you can’t see damp, doesn’t mean it’s not there! If you’re unsure, seek the help of a professional damp treatment expert to advise you.

RISING DAMP

Rising damp is particularly common in older buildings, and on the whole, the MOST common problem I am requested to investigate when people are buying their first home. Rising damp is caused by moisture rising through the stone and brickwork and in most circumstances, it can be dealt with a chemical damp proof course and renewing any affected plaster to the walls. Rising damp can be spotted if wallpaper is peeling from the walls, tide marks on the walls, areas that are damp to the touch, crumbly or paste-link plaster, and even rusty nails in skirting boards. There are, of course, other solutions available, especially if the rising damp has managed to cause secondary issues, such as dry/wet rot or salt contamination to the plaster.

PENETRATING DAMP

Penetrating damp is generally the result of leaking down pipes, leaking gutters or roof related issues. These problems allow water to get into your property, causing the walls the become wet. This type of damp is usually seen on the outside of the house, with the damp patches increasing in size after a bout of heavy rain. There are a number of solutions available to repair penetrating damp, including using membrane systems. If left untreated, the structure of your home could become seriously unsafe as wet and dry rot become present in large joists and lintels in the area.

CONDENSATION

Condensation is potentially the most ‘ignored’ sign of damp in your home, simply because people think it’s ‘common’ and it ‘happens’. However, condensation can definitely be a sign of a more serious issue at play. Condensation itself is caused by a lack of heating, ventilation and/or insulation, and can often be misdiagnosed as rising damp. Signs of condensation in your home include but are not limited to: mould growth on carpets and wallpaper and water on cool surfaces such as worktops and windows. The main way of dealing with condensation is to seek out the cause and source ways of reducing the amount of moisture being created in the property, for instance, by increasing ventilation.

Do you think your new property may have damp? Does your home report or survey suggest that damp is a serious issue but you’re unable to figure out how to fix it? Get Keith Rennie to assess your property, he will thoroughly survey your home and make a full assessment on works required to repair any damage caused by, and further prevent, damp in your home. Contact Keith Rennie today!



Damp Is Bad For Your Health

Is Damp Bad For Your Heath?

If your home has damp, you know it’s a problem and one that, unfortunately, some people ignore until it’s too late and they’re left with not only a home with structural issues, but large and costly repairs too. However, most homeowners take damp seriously and proceed to seek the help of a damp proofing specialist to fix the issue and more importantly, prevent it from reoccurring.

The reason that people sometimes ignore the odd patch of damp is because they believe that apart from the cosmetic problems damp causes, it doesn’t cause any other issues. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Damp does not just have a negative effect on your home, it can also have many negative effects on your health too. In fact, your health could be deteriorating as a result of damp in your home without you even knowing it.

What kind of damp can have implications on your health?

Black mould is one of the most common kinds of damp to affect health. Damp walls, floors and ceilings can quickly lead to the growth and spread of black mould spores which are toxic to humans when inhaled. Allowing black mould to grow in your home could pose a real risk to the health of you and your family.

Although black mould is potentially the most serious health concern that comes from having damp in your home, other forms of damp can be just as worrying; even condensation can be bad for your health if you live with it in your home for a long period of time. A humid atmosphere is not only unpleasant, but it can certainly (unknowingly to some) cause long-term health complications.

You may be thinking that you’ve had damp in your home and haven’t experienced any health implications, but it’s also important to consider the health of the inhabitants too. If you have an elderly relative or children living in a property that is showing signs of damp, their immune systems are much weaker than that of a healthy adult so they would be more high-risk.

What health implications can damp cause?

Health implications caused by damp include but are not limited to:

  • Chronic coughing and other respiratory issues
  • Asthma attacks
  • Serious lung damage
  • Allergic reactions
  • Common colds and flus
  • Pneumonia
  • Infections e.g. Bronchitis/Tonsillitis

How can you remove damp from your home?

Fortunately, damp can be killed, removed and prevented by either yourself or a specialist, depending on the severity. We would always recommend that you seek the help of a damp proofing specialist to first, perform a damp survey your home. There may be patches of black mould or bits of visible damp that could be removed with the uses of a dehumidifier, but the issue may be more deep rooted, hazardous to health and unseen, but a specialist will be able to find the cause and more importantly, help and advise you on how to fix and prevent it.

Do you think your property may have damp? Are your health conditions worsening as a result of damp in your home? Get Keith Rennie to assess your property, he will thoroughly survey your home and make a full assessment on works required to repair any damage caused by, and further prevent, damp in your home. Contact Keith Rennie today!



Damp Proofing Scottish Borders

How To Spot Signs Of Damp In Your Home

Damp proofing your home is vital

Did you know damp can be a serious health risk?

Contrary to popular belief, damp might not always be obvious to spot in your home. In a lot of instances, it can actually take a number of years before any damp-related problems become physically visible around your home. Damp can appear rapidly, for instance after flash flooding, or alternatively, it can be very slow to emerge. If your home has damp, unfortunately this isn’t a problem that will simply go away.

It is important to be able to spot the signs of damp in your home, so that you’re able to contact a specialist in plenty of time to fix the issue.

No two cases of damp are the same, so the correct diagnosis by a specialist surveyor is vital to prevent unnecessary expense on a solution that, ultimately, may not solve the underlying cause of the dampness. Keith Rennie can identify damp problems that may be affecting either the interior or the exterior of your property, diagnosing the extent of the affected area, the kind of damp issue affecting your home and offer the most suitable solution to resolve it.

Damp isn’t just a case of a wet patch on the wall. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Not only can it cause dangerous structural problems within your home, but it can also be extremely hazardous to your health if not correctly treated. There are three common forms of damp you can find in your home, which are condensation, penetrating damp and rising damp, and there are a variety of ways to spot it in your home and more importantly, treat it and prevent any further occurrences.

Signs of damp to spot in your home:

  1. Damp and musty smell
  2. Mould or mildew forming on walls
  3. Staining of wall coverings, peeling wallpaper and blistering paint
  4. Dark patches and damp walls
  5. Discoloured and fragmenting plaster
  6. Decay of timber
  7. Rising damp visible on skirting boards eg. rusting nails
  8. Rusting on angle beads within damp plaster work
  9. Salt stains on outside walls
  10. Crumbling mortar on the exterior of the property

Signs of rising damp to spot in your home:

  • Skirting boards or plaster within your property may be damaged or rotting
  • Wet patches may become visible which can often lead to paint or wallpaper peeling off or blistering
  • You may notice floor coverings lifting or damp patches on the floor
  • A white, powder-like substance can be left when soluble salts dissolve from the ground
  • A tide line of yellow-ish or brown-ish staining on the lower area of your wall above your skirting boards

How do you fix damp?

As a home owner, you shouldn’t attempt to fix damp problems yourself. It is vital to assess the cause of the damp, and preventing any further issues, so it is best practice to seek a professional to ensure the damp proofing treatment is effective, preventative and long-lasting. Don’t let damp cause you unnecessary distress – the quicker you can spot the issue, the faster it can be dealt with.

Think you may have damp in your property? Contact Keith Rennie today!