Find out how to control damp before it spreads with our handy guide to damp wall treatment in the home.
How is Damp Caused?
There are two main types of damp found in the home: penetrating damp and rising damp. Both are caused by excessive or lengthy exposure to water or moisture on the exterior of the property, often at a ground level or low surface; this water then seeps into the walls and masonry, disintegrating the materials and undermining the structural integrity of the wall itself.
The sudden appearance of damp can be caused by a range of different reasons; from long periods of rainfall and wet weather to a leaky roof, broken guttering or even the disintegration of the exterior wall that usually acts as a protective barrier. Damp is much more likely to be found on older properties or in rural areas, but again this isn’t an iron-clad rule – and it is always important to keep a lookout for damp in and around the home; the sooner you start a damp wall treatment, the less work and expense it is going to cost you overall.
How to Treat Damp Internal Walls: damp wall treatment guide
So what does damp proofing a wall or treating the onset of rising or penetrating damp actually involve? Well, there are a number of different ways you can approach the problem, including by…
- Repairing any tiles, slates and guttering in your home or on your roof, usually as soon as possible, but not in wet and slippery weather – although the additional rain can exacerbate the damp problem you don’t want to suffer any kind of accident undertaking this sort of DIY work!
- Repairing any roof flashing or damaged and broken chimney stacks after windy and/or stormy weather.
- Replacing damaged bricks and brickwork as soon as possible, and filling in gaps between mortar and masonry with damp proof plaster (a lightweight insulating plaster that is laid over a chemical rendering of the wall in question – helping to prevent a repeated onset of damp in your home).
- Using a glue-based sealant around window and door frames throughout your home.
- Lining your walls with damp proof wallpaper or damp proof lining paper once the wall has been treated (and before it is redecorated); like damp proof plaster, this paper acts as an extra protective barrier against penetrating moisture and other forms of mould and mildew, as well as additional discolouration.
Remember, every piece of DIY damp treatment should be carried out with a thorough risk assessment first, and you should obtain all the necessary health and safety equipment (such as a hard-hat for outdoor work, or protective gloves and face-masks) before the work gets underway.
Although our advice guide should tell you how to treat damp walls in your home, you might still be worried about the best course of action to take – in which case, you might want to consult a professional contractor or hire a plasterer to do the work for you. It might cost a little extra, but getting in someone with the right sort of experience can help give you additional peace-of-mind.