How to prevent damp this winter
Posted on 28th October 2022 at 11:24
The days are getting shorter, and the temperature is plummeting. The season for winter coats and hot chocolate is almost in full swing. You might thoroughly enjoy winter, unfortunately, so does damp.
There are some types of damp that thrive in wintry conditions. The colder temperatures, central heating and increased rainfall create the perfect environment for it to run rampant.
Condensation damp and ventilation
Condensation damp is caused by warm, moist air trapped in an enclosed space. When the moist air touches cold surfaces such as exterior walls and windows, droplets form. Everyday activities such as boiling the kettle or cooking dinner can cause a build-up of condensation. Drying laundry inside your home is also a big contributor.
Ventilation is key. Making sure your home is properly ventilated allows for excess moisture to escape. Understandably, you won’t be very popular in your household if you constantly open the doors and windows in 0° temperatures.
In winter, the best practice is to ventilate briefly but powerfully. Lower the temperature on your thermostat and open the windows as wide as possible. A couple minutes daily will be enough to ensure clean, fresh air is circulated and excess moisture is removed.
Penetrating damp is more complicated to eradicate. It is caused by water infiltrating an external wall. This occurs when there is a building defect or when masonry has degraded to the point of being porous. It can cause damage even if the moisture doesn’t make it all the way through.
Make sure to check your guttering regularly. Leaves and other obstructions can cause blockages after heavy rain. Regularly maintaining your windows and roof will ensure that penetrating damp is kept at bay. Like many things in life, prevention is better than the cure.
Rising damp occurs when water held in the ground is drawn up through capillary action. Older buildings are particularly susceptible to this form of damp. It occurs when the building’s damp proofing course (DPC) is damaged. If the DPC is damaged, it is vital to get it repaired as soon as possible.
This type of damp is particularly dangerous as it can cause wet rot. A common warning sign is paint debonding and bubbling due to the salt from ground water. If a damp and musty smell appears, it will be worth investigating.
Rising damp will become a serious problem if left unchecked. Therefore, it’s important to take preventative steps. If neccessary, you can install a damp proofing membrane to stop it in its tracks. Keep an eye out for the warning signs all year round, but especially in winter.
Winter will take its toll on plumbing inside and outside your home. If pipes freeze, they can rupture, causing leaks.
You can avoid plumbing mishaps kickstarting damp in your home. Performing preventative maintenance and ensuring pipes are insulated will prevent failures and keep your systems running smoothly.
Damp can damage your home and can even lead to a host of health problems. Respiratory illnesses will also be exacerbated if it is left unchecked. Watch out for damp this winter and protect your home and your health.
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