Avoid Health Risks
It is common knowledge that water and humidity can cause mould to grow, sometimes this mould can be toxic to you and your family’s health. You may think that this can take years to form but black mould can grow in as little as 48-72 hours. This mould could simply be avoided with an effective basement waterproofing system which improves the ambient temperatures of the air and surfaces.
You are Protecting your Investment
When most people buy their property they have worked extremely hard to save; put blood, sweat and tears into the renovation and they consider it to be one of their proudest achievements. There is no point in spending all that time and money achieving something to cut corners on the waterproofing. By using a basement waterproofing system, you are protecting your investment from water and damp affecting your property fabric and living environment.
One of the key factors which leads to defective property fabric is penetrating damp. Penetrating damp can be very serious and happens quite easily. The damp can get into your property via the roof, walls, below ground basements and soil retaining walls.
Signs of Penetrating Damp
Penetrating damp can be identified in a variety of ways. It could be in the form of blotchy patches of damp on internal walls, if it looks like your plaster is deteriorating that could be penetrating damp or any damage to timber or skirting boards; if they are damp and deteriorating. A big sign of penetrating damp is strange growths of mould or an unusual damp smell with condensation occurring on the existing cold damp walls. Older buildings made of solid brick are more likely to suffer from penetrating damp however penetrating damp can pass through cavity brick walls that have been filled with cavity wall insulation.
Causes of Penetrating Damp
Water will always follow the path of least resistance and unfortunately this means that penetrating damp problems are caused primarily by issues with the external envelope of the building itself. Penetrating damp is often due to materials used in the construction of the building that have become porous and unfit for purpose. These materials tend to lose their ability to keep out rain with age – therefore older buildings are usually more likely to suffer from penetrating damp. Any damage to your brickwork or roof coverings and flashings can allow water to seep through, causing penetrating damp. General construction defects are also a major cause of penetrating damp; this could be anything from faulty drainpipes to poorly installed windows. Even changes near your house such as garden work can cause penetrating damp to start.
How to Treat Penetrating Damp
The first stage in treating penetrating damp is that the property must be surveyed to firstly check where the damp is coming from and what is causing it. Richardson & Starling can identify whether penetrating damp is the problem you are having or whether it is something else. The key to treating penetrating damp is to remove the moisture at the source. Some causes of the damp problem will be easier to fix than others and it is important to let the professionals step in if your penetrating damp problem is advanced as misdiagnoses can be expensive. If you want to give it a go yourself there are a few simple steps that could fix the problem:
- Repointing Doors and Windows – If the pointing around your doors or windows has deteriorated it is important to reseal these as they could be letting the moisture in. Silicone sealant is superior to that of its competitors
- Repoint Bricks – The same applies to the pointing in your walls, if this has begun to crack or crumble then it is a good idea to go back over these to create a barrier to the moisture.
- Water Repellent – sealing your walls with a couple of coats of a high-quality water sealer could do the trick. The way these work is they soak into the bricks for a few millimetres to create a water repellent coating. This not only stops rainwater getting through the wall but allows the wall to breath and dry.
- Check the Cavity Walls – Sometimes there can be a blockage in the cavity wall which is creating the problem. This is a job for the professionals so if the above don’t do the trick or you can’t see what is causing the penetrating damp then give Richardson & Starling a call and we can have one of our surveyors come out to identify the problem.