If damp present in your home, discovering the cause is highly important. This is because damp can become a major issue if left to linger in your home for prolonged periods. Not only does it look unpleasant, but it can also affect your health when not treated accordingly. In this article, we’ll provide you with a rundown of the main signs of damp. We’ll also provide a brief rundown of how you can damp proof your home.

Main causes of damp in our homes

First things first, moisture will be present in your home through everyday use. From simple chores like cooking and drying your laundry, condensation will naturally be created. However, when there is no place for this moisture to escape, issues begin to arise.

Insufficient ventilation is the main cause of dampness and mould in most households. Rather than escaping naturally, moisture in the air will settle on your walls and surfaces. Over time this buildup of moisture will cause damp.  

A lack of adequate waterproofing can be another cause of dampness. If there are damp spots on your walls or ceilings your home’s waterproofing may be failing. If this is the case you will need to have the affected areas repaired as soon as possible.

Sign of issues

During the autumn and winter months, issues with damp can become much more apparent making your rooms feel very cold. Here are the main signs that will help you identify damp and mould issues and whether you need to take measures to damp proof your home.

Touch test – Press your hand for 10-20 seconds on the surface of your wall. If it feels noticeably cold or damp to you, black speckles may be present also. This is an indicator of fungal growth. Alternatively, if your see paint flaking and wallpaper curling, there is a strong chance that moisture is present on the surface of the wall. the reason for this is because moisture tends to stick onto these types of surfaces.

Condensation puddles – If you suspect mould and dampness is from condensation, you can easily identify it by looking at your windows in the morning. If there are small puddles of water along the window sill, it is typically caused by the high levels of moisture. If left untreated, mould will begin to form on your window frames.

Brown splotches – Discolouration and brown splotches on your ceiling is another indicator of dampness in your home. This may be caused by the lack of weatherproofing measures.

Hidden mould and smells – Mould growth may not be in the most obvious places. You should check your cupboards and cabinets to see if there are any evidence of staining and growth. typically, there will be a musty smell that’ll give away the locations of dampness. Your furniture and curtains can also become victim to extra moisture, so be sure to check them for specks of mould and condensation on all types of surfaces.

Prevention measures

Keep your home ventilated – Open your windows whenever you can and keep your window vent open at all times. This way you are allowing the air filled with moisture to escape and fresh air to come into your home. If you haven’t got one already, install an extractor fan in your bathroom, kitchen, and any room you feel a lot of moisture lingers.  

Keep your home warm – Keeping your home warm helps reduce the amount of condensation present in your household. As condensation is created when cold and hot moist air meets, a cold room is far more at risk of becoming damp, especially in the winter. There are many ways in which you can prepare your home for the winter that can help to damp proof your home. If you need extra guidance, be sure to check out our previous article to help you with your winter preparations.  

Outdoor home maintenance – If you are not a trained professional, we do not advise climbing on to your roof to fix a leak. However, if you have leaking gutters, this is something you can easily fix. For more advice, our previous article explains how to handle drainage issues.

With that said, it is best to do regular checks to see if there are any damages on your roof so you can get it repaired accordingly. If you are concerned about damp in your home, there are tools that can provide confirmation as well as help prevent future occurrences.