Damp is one of the most common problems seen in homes throughout WA. Damp can seem like a silent demon wreaking havoc on you much loved home, however with the right expertise and course of treatment, all damp problems can be rectified.

Rising Damp

Rising damp occurs in buildings when water from the ground rises up through bricks and mortar by capillary action in a similar way a sponge soaks up water from a wet surface. As a property owner, you can use visual and touch signs to help identify rising damp.

Typical signs you can look for include:

  • Damp patches and staining, usually seen one metre above the floor height.
  • Tide marks on the walls up to one metre about the floor height. This is caused by evaporation and salts.
  • Flaky paint, peeling wall paper, decaying timberwork and a damp, musky odour.

Lateral and Penetrating Damp

Lateral damp is a common for of dampness in buildings. It can occur through walls, roofs and openings ie; Window or door reveals. Water will often enter the outer skin of a building and travel inside.

Common causes of Lateral Damp include:

  • Roof defects such as faulty, cracked or missing slates or tiles.
  • Masonry faults such as cracked or missing mortar, fretting or porous brickwork and render and progressive reticulation splash back.
  • Missing or defect mastic around door and windows.

Structural Damp

Structural dampness is the presence of unwanted moisture within the structure of a building either the result of penetration from the outside or condensation within the structure.¬†Damp tends to do secondary damage to a building. The unwanted moisture enables the growth of various fungi in the timber, causing rot or mould. These can lead to health issues and will eventually lead to ‘sick building syndrome’.

Other signs to look out for include:

  • Plaster and paint deterioration
  • Loose or hanging wallpaper
  • Staining from water, salts and mould on surfaces
  • Concentrations of airborne mould that once inhaled can cause damage to humans and pets
  • External mortar and brickwork deteriorate
  • Timber integrity decreases through infection and fungal attack

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