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What is Penetrating Damp and How Can I Solve It?

What is Penetrating Damp and How Can I Solve It?There's a good chance you've heard of rising damp, and you'll know the symptoms well. A musty smell, stains on the wall and moss growing where it shouldn't. But what is penetrating damp?

In fact, it's an extremely common occurrence, especially in older buildings with weather-worn masonry, and it occurs when rainwater can penetrate a wall. You can tell it's happening when you see discolouration of paintwork or peeling wallpaper. It can be quite high up, too, so alarm bells should ring as rising damp wouldn't be that high.

The issues it causes are not just aesthetic, either.

You could be losing heat, therefore increasing heating costs, and when water gets in during cold and frosty weather, even more damage could be caused as ice expands and cracks masonry.

What causes it?

The causes are many and varied.

If you have a double-skinned wall, then any masonry falling between the gaps could cause a bridge through which water can pass. This is worse when masonry is damaged or aging.

If the outside wall isn't watertight, maybe due to damaged brickwork or pointing, water ingress is made worse and damp can be the result.

One of the biggest causes of damp has been the trend to install cavity wall insulation in buildings that simply aren't designed for it. The cavity between an outer and inner wall is there for a reason, and filling this with insulation material can cause more problems than it solves.

How to solve it

The first thing to do is to look at what could be causing the rainwater to collect in enough volume to create the problem.

Check all your waste pipes and guttering to ensure water is being guided away from the house. If at any point the guttering isn't doing its job and a leak or simply poorly fitted connector is causing water to constantly hit a wall, it can cause a lot of damage.

The water flow could be damaging bricks and mortar and as bricks are porous, if it doesn't get ample time to dry out, it can be a huge contributor to damp inside the house.

You should also check the loft at regular intervals. Very often, roof damage goes unnoticed until it's too late. A missing tile or slate can mean water eventually makes it's way through the membrane and down a wall.

Often, however, the brickwork of the house has become damaged due to age and one solution is to paint or clad the entire house. However this can have a drastic effect on the look of the building.

There is another solution, though, and Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream could be the answer.

With a life expectancy of 20-30 years, this easily applied cream could be the long-term solution to your damp problem.

It is painted on in one coat and provides water and rain repellency as well as being proven to reduce heat loss, therefore leading to lower energy bills.

Penetrating damp doesn't need to be a problem if treated quickly and effectively, and Seamless Coatings has the solution.