What Is A Damp Survey?

Tuesday 4th April 2023

Ellen Warren

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Condensation on window

CONTENTS

Over a fifth of homes in the UK have been affected by damp and mould. This is due to various reasons, such as poor building practices or a lack of insulation. Conducting a damp survey on your home is just one of the ways you can spot dampness early and prevent it from becoming mould.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer damp surveys and effective mould remediation services. Our Dewpoint-accredited technicians can sample and test your home, identify mould spores, and diagnose the root problem which may be causing damp.

Read on to learn more about what causes damp and what a survey can do to prevent mould growth in your home.

What is damp?

Excess moisture in your home can lead to damp. This is a common problem in the UK where the climate is humid and wet. Damp is usually caused during the colder months of the year when we switch on our heating and there may be a build-up of moisture on our windows.

You can spot the signs of damp in your home by assessing the walls and ceilings. Walls could be cold or have damp patches on the wallpaper, and ceilings will look stained. There are three types of damp to look out for, and they can all cause mould and mildew to start growing if not dealt with quickly.

Condensation damp

You may see your windows fog up during the colder months due to the cold air outside and the warm environment in your home. Condensation forms into water droplets which cause excess moisture around the frame of your window.

Over time, you might spot black spots of mould growing around the windowsill and sealant. You will often see condensation damp in bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms because of the increased heat and moisture in these rooms.

Rising damp

This form of damp is the most common type encountered in buildings, caused by dampness in the floors and carpets. Homes built in the 1800s are more likely to experience this issue due to poor building regulations and a lack of insulation.

With rising damp, you will often see stains on your walls, air bubbles in the wallpaper, or paint that may start to peel. It can eventually damage the skirting boards and leave a musty smell.

Penetration damp

When water leaks into your home due to heavy rainfall or a burst pipe, it might cause excessive damage to your home’s infrastructure. Like rising damp, you will see discoloured patches on your walls, ceiling, and crumbling plaster that may appear to bubble before peeling.

If you spot damp in your home, you should always check for a leak and identify the cause early on. Penetration damp is often triggered by leaking roofs, overflowing gutters, damaged exterior walls, burst pipes, or poorly fitted windows and doors.

How is damp caused?

If you have damp in your home, this usually means there are several issues you could try to remediate before it grows into a mould issue.

If you already have mould in your home, you must contact mould removal services to eliminate it completely before addressing the damp. There are several ways damp can manifest in your home, and these can be fixed by identifying the cause which could be due to:

  • Poor heat or insulation
  • Excess moisture
  • Poor ventilation
  • Poor building regulations
  • Overflowing gutters
  • Increased groundwater levels
  • Inadequate or no damp-proof course
  • Plumbing problems

How does damp cause mould?

Dampness and moisture are key factors for mould to start growing in your home. It is an unsightly fungus that thrives off a humid and warm environment.

You must have any mould removed as soon as you spot it, or you could be putting your health at risk. Some groups are especially vulnerable to the effects of mould, such as those who suffer from allergies and are immunocompromised, or children and elderly individuals.

What is a damp survey?

damp survey is an assessment that detects moisture levels, identifies the cause of the issue, and determines the effect it has had on your home

A surveyor examines the exterior and interior of your home, looking for the root cause of the dampness to determine what steps to take. A surveyor check will consist of:

  • An assessment of the exterior of the home
  • Understanding the ground levels outside concerning the interior levels
  • Assessing the condition of the roof and any chimney stacks present
  • Checking any blockages or cracks in your guttering
  • Establishing if the property has solid or cavity walls
  • Identifying the type of brick, stone, and pointing, as well as its condition
  • Assessing recent changes made to the property like building work or extensions
  • A full interior assessment of walls and ceilings, the source of damp, and possible mould growths
  • A full report on the findings, conclusions, and recommendations moving forward

What to do if damp is present in your home

If you spot the signs of damp in your home, there are several ways you can prevent mould from growing:

  • Install an extractor fan or ventilation devices in the kitchen and bathroom
  • Wipe down any windows covered in condensation and air out the room
  • Ensure your house has good heating to keep walls and surfaces warm
  • Have more insulation fitted in your home
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity and moisture
  • Dry your clothes outside, in a tumble dryer, or on a heated clothes horse

Do not try to clean any mould or damp spots you see, and have these dealt with professionally. DIY solutions and commercial chemicals will not eradicate the root cause of the issue, and mould could grow back.

If the damp has led to mould, you should not try to tackle this yourself as exposure could lead to sickness. A mould remediation specialist will rectify this issue rapidly, and kill mould at the source.

Get in touch

ICE Cleaning is an expert mould removal company that can remove all traces of spores from your property, including the surfaces and the air. We can also conduct a damp survey to help you keep your home mould-free in the future.

If you would like to learn more about our services, you can get in touch with our friendly support team at 0208 066 0360 or send an inquiry to enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk for a free, no-obligation quote.

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