// the above is not my code
Damp in Your Home

Damp in Your Home

Are you encountering musty, mouldy smells in your home? Or perhaps you’ve spotted peeling plaster or found water damage on the walls? Then you could have a damp problem. 

When spotted early, dampness can be fixed and treated, while your home can be damp proofed for the future. But if left to fester, then damp can cause costly damage to your property. But what is damp exactly? And how can you spot it in your home? In this article, we explain what damp is, how to spot it and how your home can be protected against it. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about damp in your home. 

What Is Damp?

So what is damp? Damp is caused by the presence of moisture within a property. It can be caused by flooding, condensation, poor ventilation, or by water moving through the walls of a home. 

When left unchecked, damp can damage walls and decoration, lead to fungal growths and musty smells and, in extreme cases, it can even cause structural damage to property. 

The most common signs of damp include:

  • Damp, musty smells wafting through the house
  • Fungal growths or mould
  • Damaged wallpaper or plasterboard
  • Visible water damage or wet walls
  • Crumbling masonry or damaged brickwork 
  • Salty tide marks on walls

Signs of damp can be seen either inside or outside the home, but you’re more likely to notice them inside before you notice any problems outside. There can be many reasons for the presence of damp, so if you are worried that there is damp in your home, it’s a good idea to call in a professional to investigate further. 

What’s the Difference Between Rising Damp and Penetrating Damp?

Damp is caused by the presence of some form of moisture in the home, but there are several types of damp. 

The most common damp problem is condensation. This is the least damaging and easiest to prevent type of damp, as it’s almost always caused by lack of ventilation. Opening windows in the kitchen or bathroom when hot water is running is one of the easiest ways to stop condensation from causing damage. 

The two other more serious types of damp are:
  • Rising damp
  • Penetrating damp

Both have similar signs, but there are subtle differences that mean different treatments need to be applied. Let’s take a look at those differences in more detail.

Rising Damp

Rising damp occurs when water is allowed to move upwards through the walls of a property. This occurs through capillary action and usually happens when a flood or leak inside allows water to seep into the walls, from ground level upwards. Installing a damp-proof course at ground level that acts as a waterproof membrane is a great way to stop rising damp. 

Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp can cause serious damage anywhere in the home, and it commonly occurs as a result of broken pipes, floods or spills within a property. Unlike rising damp, which only results from ground level floods, penetrating damp can appear in the ceilings, roof, or anywhere else affected by leaks. 

What Is Damp Proofing?

Damp proofing is the only way to ensure that your home is fully protected against moisture and is fully waterproofed. Without adequate damp-proofing methods, different types of damp can take hold and cause damage throughout your property. 

There are several different methods of damp proofing, and a combination of techniques can be employed to combat damp problems. The most common damp-proofing methods include:

  • Removing potential sources of water or moisture (such as broken pipes)
  • Ensuring a home is sufficiently well ventilated to stop condensation
  • Injecting a chemical damp-proof course into walls to create a waterproof barrier
  • Digging around the base of the home or lowering the ground level to make sure water can’t seep inside

Contact Atlantis Damp to Find Out More about Damp in Your Home

Identifying rising or penetrating damp early can help you to resolve the problem before it causes serious damage to your property. If you believe there might be damp in your home, our expert team is here to help. 

Our family-run business can assist with problems arising from all forms of damp in the home, and we can provide damp-proofing solutions that ensure your house is well protected in the future. Contact Atlantis Damp today for more information.

Damp-Proof Injection

There are many different types of damp problems that can occur in your property, and each one has various possible solutions and treatments.

We have gathered some useful information on damp-proof injections, how they work, when to use them, and how much it costs.

What is Damp-Proof Injection?

A Damp-proof injection is a solution to some kinds of damp problems. It is a very common solution, and is known for being very effective! If applied correctly, it can last for several decades or longer. Put simply, damp-proof injections involve injecting a chemical treatment into the bottom of a wall. The treatment permeates through the brickwork to form a water-resistant barrier.

When To Use It?

Most walls have some kind of damp-proofing measures applied or built in when they are first built. This is often some kind of damp-proofing membrane. Damp-proof injections are usually used when the original damp proof membrane of the wall has failed. It is designed to be used on brick or stone walls – alternative damp proofing methods are available for walls made of different materials.

You should consider a damp-proof injection treatment if your wall has begun to show signs of rising damp. Signs of rising damp include tide marks or brown and yellow patches on the walls. These are caused by damp evaporation. If the marks are more than a metre up the wall then it could be a penetrating damp problem rather than rising damp. Salt deposits on the plastering can also be a sign of rising damp. The water rising up from the ground contains naturally occurring salt from the earth, and as the water evaporates the salt is left behind on the wall. Other signs of rising damp can include peeling wallpaper or paint, rotting skirting boards or flooring, a damp or musty smell and sometimes the presence of black mould.

If you aren’t sure whether you have rising damp or penetrating damp, or you don’t know whether damp-proofing injections are the right solution for you, then you might want to consider getting a survey. A damp-proofing specialist can survey the property, diagnose the specific damp problem, and recommend the most appropriate and effective solution.

What Can It Treat?

Damp-proof injections can effectively treat rising damp problems. It can also be applied to walls that have already suffered from water saturation. It is not always suitable for other types of damp problems, such as penetrating damp. This is because the holes are drilled into the bottom of the wall to stop the water coming up from the ground, but it does not stop water coming into the walls from other sources.

How Does It Work?

Now you have an idea of what damp-proof injections are, how do they work?

After the damp problem is diagnosed and damp-proofing injections have been deemed the most appropriate solution, small holes will be drilled along the bottom of the affected wall. The holes are then injected with the chemical treatment. It will usually have a cream or liquid consistency, and is a silicone based product. The active ingredient is silane.

The chemical treatment seeps into the brickwork and spreads horizontally and vertically. It is absorbed into the bricks without leaking out. Once it has diffused to cures, creating a water-repellent barrier which prevents water from the ground from rising up into the wall.

Some fittings and fixtures may need to be removed from the affected wall before the treatment can be applied. This could include skirting boards or fitted furniture. Some of the plaster along the bottom of the wall might also need to be removed, depending on the water damage. After the treatment has been applied, those sections of wall will need to be re-plastered.

If the treatment is applied incorrectly, it may not be very effective. If the holes are drilled too high the injection will prevent the damp from rising up the walls, but will not protect the floorboards, leading them to rot and ruin.

Benefits of Damp-Proof Injection?

Why are damp-proof injections so popular compared to other types of damp-proof treatment?

They are quick to install, and relatively non-intrusive. The liquid chemical treatments are even faster and simpler than the cream based products, as they cure quicker and are more concentrated so less injections are needed.

Damp-proof injections are a low hazard solution to damp, as they are non-flammable, non-caustic and solvent free.

How Much Does It Cost?

Now that you understand how damp-proof injections work, how much does it cost?

The cost of a damp-proof injection treatment depends on many things. If you have a large wall or a whole house to treat then this will be significantly more expensive than one small wall.

The condition of the wall before the treatment is applied could also affect the price, like the materials it is made from and the severity of the damage caused by the damp problem.

Prices will vary depending on your local area and the company you choose to use. For a standard domestic damp-proof injection treatment with a survey etc then you will be spending at least a few thousand pounds. This price will usually include a survey, internal plastering, and a guarantee. 

Can I Do It Myself?

Unless you are a trained damp-proof specialist, it is not recommended to apply damp-proof injections to the affected wall yourself. There is lots of room for error in the application of this chemical treatment, which could render the treatment ineffective or even compromise the stability of the walls themselves. You will also need specialist help to diagnose the cause of the damp, as rising damp is easily misdiagnosed and you may be applying the wrong treatment to your property.

If you want to bring down the cost of the treatment, you could speak to the company you use about prepping the area beforehand, such as removing fixtures, fittings and plaster. This would save them time and might bring down the labour cost of the job. You could also consider your own plastering after the treatment has been applied.

For more information about rising damp, how it can be treated with damp-proof injections, and what services we can offer to help you, please visit our rising damp page.

How to spot wet rot at home

When it comes to the materials that are used to build houses, timber is up there with one of the most common. However, a negative that is associated with the use of timber in homes is that it is a vulnerable material that needs to be well protected. The biggest threat to this type of material is the fact that it can rot, which definitely isn’t good. There are also other different materials that are used in home construction that could be susceptible to rot. There are two types of rotting that can occur, and these are dry rot and wet rot. These are two very different types of rotting, and the treatments vary for either one.

 

In this article, we are going to tell you all about these two types of rotting, so you can learn to distinguish between the two. We will also let you know how to identify any rotting in your home and how it can be treated. In terms of treatment, this is not something that you will be able to do yourself, and you will have to hire a professional to come out and fix the problem.

 

What is Wet Rot?

 

Wet rot is a type of fungus that can affect any timber that has become damp. You can also find this type of rot in things like plaster, wallpaper, and even carpets. The wet rot spores are attracted to any materials that have a high moisture content. This type of rot is typically the least destructive of the two, as it remains confined to the wet area. However, this does not mean that it doesn’t need to be treated because it does. If left unmonitored, it can begin to affect the structural integrity of a building, which can quickly become very dangerous.

 

There are different types of wet rot, but the most commonly found ones are Coniophora and Puteana. Wet rot typically occurs when a high level of moisture has been present in a material for a long period of time. The decay that occurs in damp or wet materials will cause them to soften, and they will begin to rot. The cause of the moisture can come from a variety of different sources, including things like leaks, moisture from bathrooms, condensation, and dampness in the walls.

 

How to Identify Wet Rot

 

Identifying that you have a wet rot problem is where things start to get a little bit trickier. This is usually due to the fact that some of the signs to look out for are similar to those of dry rot. Ideally, you will need a professional to come and identify the type of rot, but there are some signs that you can look out for.

 

Usually, wet rot will make timber a darker color, sometimes even just in the affected areas, and it will also make it soft and spongy to the touch. It can also lead to materials having a cracked appearance that can be known to crumble when it has dried out. It will usually cause materials to shrink due to the fact that they are breaking down, and it usually has a damp and musty smell that is easy to identify.

 

When looking for signs of wet rot, you will usually find that there is damaged or flaky paint, but this might not always be the case. If you are concerned about a wooden area, try sticking a screwdriver into the wood. If it goes in really easily, then it is likely that you have a wet rot problem.

 

You are more likely to find signs of wet rot in places like cellars, garages, roofs, and around the windows. However, it is not limited to such places.

 How to Treat Wet Rot

 

The best way to start treating wet rot is by identifying the source of the moisture and stopping it. This will get rid of the factor that is causing the problem, allowing you to efficiently treat it. In some cases that are majorly affected by wet damp, the original timber or other material might need to be completely replaced, but in most cases, it can be treated.

 

What is Dry Rot?

 

Dry rot is the worst of the two types of rot that can occur in your home. It is a serious form of fungal decay that will attack the timber in buildings and degrade the strength of the structure. This type of rot does not require any moisture to spread, as it can generate its own. Once it has started to spread, it will not stop unless it has been treated, and it can majorly impact the safety of a building structure.

 

You will need to hire a professional to identify the rot and what is causing it, but in some cases, the timber may need to be replaced. Dry rot spores already exist around us, but under the right conditions, they can become a real problem. The conditions in which it will thrive is when there is damp timber that has a moisture content of roughly 20%, which is also accessible to air.

 

Dry rot can be caused by a variety of things, including leaking gutters, dampness in the walls, poor or compromised ventilation, and rising damp. The dry rot spores will land on the timber and start to grow, eventually infiltrating the timber.

 

How to Identify Dry Rot

 

In the early stages, it can be difficult to identify dry rot in your home, but it becomes more evident as time goes by. However, there are some signs that you can look out for to help you to identify if you have a problem or not.

 

In some cases, you might be able to see fine and fluffy mycelium spreading across the wood, and you can also see grey/white color skin with colored patches across the wood. Later in the rot cycle, you will see mushroom-like fruiting bodies, which are usually an orange/brown color with rust in the center. At this stage, you may also see red dust around these fruiting bodies.

 

It can be more difficult to spot dry rot when it is in the flooring, as it is often out of sight. However, some signs to look out for are when the floor feels springy, it drops away from the skirting boards, or the floorboards start to creak more. Signs of dry rot in walls are also difficult to spot. However, this type of rot often smells damp and musty.

 

How to Treat Dry Rot

 

Similarly to treating wet rot, you will need to identify the thing that is causing the rot to occur and stop it from happening. You will also then need to find out how far the rot has spread and how bad the damage is. A professional will likely need to remove parts of walls or flooring to find out, depending on where the rot is located. Only when they have seen the extent of the damage can they begin to treat it.

Penetrating Damp: Costs to Fix

Penetrating damp is a serious problem that can rapidly lead to dangerous structural issues if not fixed.

Caused by water leaking through walls or ceilings, penetrating damp needs to be stopped quickly in order to limit the damage it causes.

But how much does penetrating damp cost to fix? Our experts have all the answers…

What Is Penetrating Damp?

Penetrating damp is one of three main types of damp that properties in the UK regularly experience – the others being rising damp and condensation.

It occurs when water begins to accumulate in the walls or ceilings inside a property. Water can penetrate into the home through cracks in the walls, because of a lack of waterproofing, or because of any number of faults in the structure of the building, such as broken tiles or damaged windows.

Penetrating damp can quickly lead to mould, decay, peeling plaster, wood rot and much more. If left untreated, it can eventually cause dangerous structural damage to a property and lead to health problems for its residents.

What Does Penetrating Damp Treatment Involve?

There are several different ways to treat penetrating damp, so it’s important to speak to a professional in order to have the best solution applied. 

The most common treatment for penetrating damp is to have a damp-proof course installed. This involves installing a waterproof membrane in the affected area, to stop any damp from spreading.

How Much Does Penetrating Damp Cost to Fix?

So how much does penetrating damp cost to fix? There’s no definitive answer to this question, as the overall cost of a penetrating damp treatment depends on a number of factors. For this reason, it’s important to consult a professional for an accurate survey and cost analysis.

The main factors that affect the cost include:

  • The extent of the penetrating damp problem
  • The location of the penetrating damp problem
  • The amount of damage already caused
  • The type of treatment required
  • The amount of time needed to fix the penetrating damp problem

The longer penetrating damp is left untreated, the more damage it’s likely to cause, which is why it’s so important to act quickly. The more damage there is, the more it’s going to cost.

Different treatments have different costs attached to them, too, but the most cost-effective method is to install a damp-proof course in the affected areas. This is a long-term solution, but costs depend on how much of the home needs to be damp proofed and how accessible the affected areas are. Remember, any damaged plaster, tiles, timbers, masonry or decoration will all have associated costs in order to be fixed, too.

Contact Atlantis Property Preservation for More Information on Penetrating Damp Treatments

The team of experts at Atlantis Property Preservation is ready to help you with any penetrating damp problems. The longer penetrating damp is left untreated, the more damage it can cause, so contact us today to arrange a full inspection of your property.

Our penetrating damp specialists will identify the source of the damp, and provide you with a full breakdown of the work and costs needed to fix it. If you’re concerned about penetrating damp in your home, then call our team today on 0800 0988 277 or email us at atlantisdamp@gmail.com to find out more.

 

Causes of penetrating damp

Penetrating damp occurs when you get a development of moisture in the walls and ceiling or below the ground level of a building. As with other forms of damp, if this is left untreated, it can cause structural issues as well as damage to the fabric of the building.

Unlike rising damp, penetrating damp can occur at any level in the property. This type of damp can affect buildings of any age. That said, an older property that has not been maintained correctly is at a greater risk of penetrating damp.

Penetrating damp can occur in isolated areas or it might affect the full wall. This may worsen after bouts of heavy rain. It often affects areas of your home that are exposed to the most severe weather conditions. It may also affect homes with missing roof tiles or damaged gutters and downpipes.

In this article, we’ll look at the causes of penetrating damp and how to spot it.

How to Spot Penetrating Damp

When you first spot penetrating damp, you may see watermarks although these will continue to grow as water enters. Mould may start to grow too. In addition to mould, you may notice the musty smell that goes with it.

You may also see damaged or misshapen plaster or signs of salting. Salting is caused by water pushing out the salts that are found in the wall toward the surface. This results in a fluffy residue being left on the surface of the decor.

You may spot areas of localised dampness. These may seem completely random and may not dry out however you try and do it.

You may also find that there is damage to the internal decor. There may be damp patches or discoloured tidemarks.  There may also be rotting around skirting boards and architraves.

What Are the Causes of Penetrating Damp?

Penetrating damp often happens when there are defects in the property. For instance, you may have defective or damaged roof coverings, faulty pointing, or a rainwater pipe with a leak. 

Often, the major problem is that render, pointing, or brickwork has deteriorated over time. This can be caused by frost or physical damage. Storm damage is another common cause on older buildings.

If the structure of the property is at fault, then it might allow moisture to soak through the wall completely. This signifies that your waterproofing system is at fault.

You may also find penetrating damp in places where the external ground level is higher than the internal floor, or where the damp-proof membranes in your concrete floors aren’t doing their job properly.

It is also common to find damp in areas below ground level such as in your cellar.

It’s important that you get your penetrating damp diagnosed professionally so that the right course of action can be carried out.

How Can We Help You With Your Penetrating Damp?

At Atlantis Property Preservation, we have a team of experts who can successfully identify your penetrating damp. Not only will they resolve this issue you’re currently having, but they will be able to prevent it from happening again in future.

We’ll carry out a full investigation into the causes of moisture and penetrating damp in your property and find the right method for treating it. You’ll get a full written report which will include our recommendations and a breakdown of the costs involved to remedy it.

If you’re concerned about penetrating damp in your property, let our team of experts advise you on the best course of action to take. Call is today on 0800 0988 277 or email us at atlantisdamp@gmail.com for more information.

 

Damp Proofing a Cellar Conversion

To increase value and make more space, more-and-more homeowners are looking for ways to extend their homes. Often, this means building outwards or getting a loft conversion. One of the more overlooked options is to get a cellar conversion.

 Thanks, in part, to better and more cost-effective waterproofing methods, many homeowners are starting to look towards their cellar as a great option for expanding their home.

 Let’s discuss some of the benefits of damp proofing and how you can convert your cellar.

What Are the Benefits Of a Cellar Conversion?

There are several key benefits to getting a cellar conversion in your property. These include:

 Increases the square footage of your property giving you additional living space

  • Improves the value of your home
  • Makes good use of a space that was previously unused
  • Adds to the salability of your home
  • Lets you rent out extra space

 In addition to these benefits, you’ll also be able to maximise the potential for your existing space. By moving one of your rooms down into the basement, you’ll be able to free up some of your above-ground space.

 Alternatively, you could use your basement for something a bit more ambitious such as to house a swimming pool, a gym, or a cinema.

 With the right help, you can convert your basement without breaking the bank and without complication. You’ll also get help sticking to building regulations.

 The structure of the space won’t change during the conversion so you won’t need to get planning permission, however, if you’re creating more bedrooms through the conversion, you will need to apply for planning permission.

How to Damp Proof a Cellar Conversion

As the water table rises and properties experience an increase in hydrostatic pressure, conventional basement waterproofing techniques such as cement-based renders become unreliable.

 A method that is becoming more popular when it comes to waterproofing involves applying a polyethylene Cavity Drain Membrane. With the right substrate, the membrane can be applied directly. This will be vapour proof and waterproof. It also helps with insulation.

 Before installing the membrane, it will be essential to install drainage. Later, insulation and plasterboard can be applied in front of the membrane. This helps create a dry area that can be lived in.

Enjoying Your Cellar Conversion

Once your waterproofing system has been installed, your cellar conversion will be ready to enjoy and should last as long as the property as long as the damp proofing has been installed by a suitable contractor and undergoes routine maintenance of your drainage channels.

Get in touch today to learn more about damp proofing a cellar conversion.