Practical Advice for Identifying and Dealing with Damp

21st February 2017
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Practical Advice for Identifying and Dealing with Damp

Damp can cause a wide range of problems for just about anybody, from homeowners to landlords. Not only is the smell unpleasant, it can be extremely dangerous to our health! This post is going to help you to identify damp and deal with it properly. 

Musty Smells
If there’s a musty smell in the home, this is a huge sign that you have a damp problem. Your clothes and things may also start to smell damp and musty. They may not dry properly, either.

Discolouration of The Walls and Ceilings
Discolouration of the walls and ceilings can indicate a damp issue as the problem spreads.

Lifting Wallpaper
Lifting wallpaper is usually due to moisture creeping in to places it shouldn’t be.

A Chilly, Damp Feeling
In your home you may experience a general chilly, damp feeling when damp is present.

Algae and Mould On External Walls
Algae and mould may be present on external walls if you have damp, but it may also show up on other surfaces too.

You need to bear in mind that damp is a symptom, not a cause. Things like a leaky pipe can be fixed to eradicate damp, but in some cases, the cause is natural. Damp could be due to garden soil, or even water from somewhere nearby.

You don’t necessarily need to call in a professional, but if your damp problem is serious then it’s a good idea to do so. Here are a number of ways you can prevent damp:

  • Do your outdoor home maintenance. Keeping gutters clear and your outdoor brickwork healthy can help to prevent damp.
  • Maintaining a constant temperature in your home is best. Setting your thermostat to a lower temperature for a longer period of time during the day is a good idea.
  • Keeping your home well-ventilated is a must. Extractor fans should be installed in your bathroom and kitchen.
  • Take care creating moisture in the home, such as drying your clothes and cooking.
  • Using a dehumidifier can reduce excess moisture.
  • Moisture resistant paints and other finishes can help your decor to resist mould and other damp symptoms.

A Landlord’s Obligations For a Property Let To Tenants

There are many different things that cause damp, so it is never automatically the tenant’s or the landlord’s fault. However, from a legal standpoint, it is a landlord’s responsibility to fix rising and penetrating damp.

Some landlords may feel that it is their tenant’s responsibility to alter their lifestyle so they are not creating as much moisture. Damp caused by condensation is usually caused by things like long showers and baths, cooking, hanging washing inside, etc. However, it’s worth remembering that it can be impossible for a tenant to eliminate damp altogether, no matter how well ventilated a property is. It’s better for landlords in the long run to invest in things to help ventilate the property, rather than do nothing - regardless of who’s ‘fault’ the damp seems to be.

Dealing with damp quickly and effectively is crucial once the cause has been identified.

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