So you think you have damp and you need to get rid of it because it’s unsightly or because you need to sell your house. But you would like to get rid of it quickly.
So how do I get rid of damp quickly? To get rid of damp quickly is first about finding the cause of the damp, but then it’s about fixing the problem that is causing it to happen. There are three causes of damp, which are condensation, rising damp and penetrating damp, and the cost and time it takes to get rid of each type will vary.
To help you to think about getting rid of any damp you have in your house as quickly as possible, it’s best if I go through each damp type and explain the best approach for each one.
What causes damp in a house?
There are three types of damp, as follows:
- Penetrating damp.
- Rising damp.
For each one of the above damp types, I’m going to run through what causes it and how to get rid of the damp quickly.
What causes condensation in a home?
Condensation occurs when warm moist air hits a cold surface like a wall or a window. You tend to find that condensation is more likely to happen in a home with a bad heating system or it’s due to poor ventilation and extraction.
Condensation is usually most common in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms due to an increase in air humidity or moisture.
How do I quickly get rid of condensation damp?
To get rid of condensation damp you need to think about the following options:
- Wipe down windows and walls to remove excess moisture.
- Keep your house warm in the winter to reduce condensation damp.
- A working extractor fan in your bathroom reduces condensation.
- Good extraction in your kitchen prevents condensation.
- External extraction of a tumble dryer’s exhaust prevents condensation.
- Good home insulation will reduce the chance of condensation.
- Avoid putting wet clothes on radiators to dry will reduce the chances of condensation.
1. Wipe down windows and walls to remove excess moisture caused by condensation
If you have a condensation problem, the moisture in the air will condense on colder surfaces. This generally tends to be on the windows and on the inside of the outside walls of the house. Condensation is the process of water vapour turning back into liquid water, which is what happens when it rains.
If you have moisture forming as a result of condensation damp you should wipe it down every day. By removing the moisture you help to prevent mould from forming, which according to the NHS if you have damp and mould in your home you are more likely to have respiratory problems, allergies and asthma.
2. Keep your house warm in the winter to reduce condensation damp
If you keep your house at a constant temperature, the fabric of the building shouldn’t get cold and will reduce the occurrence of condensation. The ideal way to heat a house is to keep the heating ticking over all the time. You can then turning the heat up when you want it warmer.
It’s a combination of a cold house mixed with moisture heavy air when condensation problems occur, which leads to condensation damp.
3. A working extractor fan in your bathroom reduces condensation
Bathrooms are one of the rooms in a house that are more likely to suffer from a condensation problem. This is because of the steam that’s generated from baths and showers.
The condensation problem in a bathroom can be reduced by having a good extractor fan. But if the extractor fan in your bathroom has stopped working or if it doesn’t have one at all, you need to replace it or have one fitted as soon as possible.
This should fix any condensation problems you have in your bathroom.
In the interim and until you get a working extractor fan, you are best to open the window whilst taking a shower or a bath. This way the moisture soaked air can be ventilated out of the room.
4. Good extraction in your kitchen prevents condensation
Kitchens are another room in a house that have more condensation than the other rooms. This is caused by cooking and the steam that is generated by cooking food.
You should have an adequate extraction hood above your cooker hob to take away the steam that’s generated from cooking.
If your extractor hood has stopped working, or if you don’t have one, you should have this fixed or have one installed.
5. External extraction of a tumble dryer’s exhaust prevents condensation
The exhaust air that comes out of a tumble dryer will be moist air. If this is not properly vented to the outside of your house, the moist air will cause condensation in the room that has the tumble dryer.
If this is what’s causing the condensation in your house, you either need to get the exhaust air from your tumble dryer vented outside, or replace your water condensing tumble dryer, which condenses the water instead.
In the interim, and until you are able to properly vent your tumble dryer, open the windows to vent the room as much as possible. Alternatively, get yourself a dehumidifier to absorb the excess moisture from the air when the dryer is drying your clothes.
6. Good home insulation will reduce the chance of condensation
Having good insulation in your house is one of the best ways to reduce condensation. For example cavity wall insulation, which gets pumped into your exterior walls of your house, will prevents these walls from getting too cold.
The same applies to having good loft insulation too, as this prevents your ceilings from getting cold and therefore attracting condensation.
Additionally, your windows are a cold surface where condensation will collect. To help prevent this you should install double of triple glazing to your house.
The benefit of having your home insulated is the Government are offering grants to do so. However, these grants cover for cavity wall and loft insulation, but not for double or triple glazing.
7. Avoid putting wet clothes on radiators to dry will reduce the chances of condensation
Many home owners don’t realise how much condensation is generated by using radiators to dry clothes. Drying cloths on radiators can generate significant levels of condensation and can be avoided by getting a tumble dryer or a visit to the laundry.
But if you can’t afford a tumble dryer or if you don’t have room for one, you should make sure you open the windows near to the radiators with wet clothes on.
Your other option is to get a combination washer-dryer if you don’t have room for both.
What causes penetrating damp in a house?
Penetrating damp is caused by moisture working its way laterally through the exterior of a property. So effectively the water works its way from the outside to the inside of the house. Penetrating damp is as a result of leaking gutters and downpipes, cracks and damage to outside render or roof damage.
How do I quickly get rid of penetrating damp?
Penetrating damp is distinguishable from condensation damp as it’s noticeable that the damp stains or patches have clearly come through the wall rather than looking like it’s sitting on the surface due to condensation.
Once you have established the damp you have is penetrating damp, you need to look outside the house near to where the damp is coming through. Often times it will be fairly obvious where why water is penetrating into your house.
For example, you’ll see there’s a damp patch on the exterior of the wall where the damp has collected each time it rains. You may find your gutter is still leaking, which is the cause. What happens is the drips of water from the gutter fall and splash on the ground, which then splashes up onto the wall. Over time this water will penetrate through the wall and is what shows as a damp patch on the interior.
To fix the problem is usually quick and easy once you established what is causing the damp. But this is going to be more expensive than solving condensation damp problems. Also, you are probably going to have to seek the help from a builder to fix whatever the fault is that’s leading to the water ingress.
For example, this may involve the replacement of your gutters and/or downpipes. Or if it’s a roof problem, you will need a roofer to fix the damaged roof tiles or slates.
How do I quickly get rid of rising damp?
Rising damp is in fact very rare, which is why I have left this until last. Any damp problems you have are therefore more likely to be as a result of condensation or penetrating damp.
However, if you find you have rising damp, you will need to get specialist damp surveyor or a builder in to fix the problem. You can check whether you have rising damp yourself by using a moisture damp metre.
If you discover you have rising damp, this can be expensive to fix and can be quite disruptive to your house.
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