With the summer finally leaving us in the wake of autumn, it’s time to prepare ourselves for dealing with the devil that is damp – every homeowners’ nightmare.
Damp can cause a great deal of destruction to a home if left alone, from damage to your flooring, carpets and walls to the deterioration of plaster and masonry. As a result, it is vital that you deal with this problem head on as soon as it rears its ugly head.
To help you keep your home as safe and as damp-free as possible, here are some tips on how to deal with damp this autumn.
On your flooring
There’s nothing worse than finding damp on your floors; regardless of whether you have carpet or vinyl flooring.
Removing the marks which damp can leave behind is a great deal easier when you have vinyl or laminate flooring in place – simply wipe clean, using a suitable cleaning solution to keep everything fresh and bacteria-free – but there are things you can do if it has got into your carpet fibres.
The first thing you need to do is clean your carpet thoroughly and as soon as you notice any dampness. A professional steam cleaner is a good tool for this but you can also dab the affected area with a dry towel to remove some of the moisture.
Professionals can also be hired to do the job for you if you don’t fancy all that elbow grease yourself but regardless of what you choose you must allow your carpet to dry thoroughly after cleaning to prevent merely adding to the problem.
On your walls and ceilings
Damp doesn’t just affect your floors, it can also find its way onto walls and ceilings.
If you notice damp patches on upstairs ceilings after periods of heavy rain then this is normally the result of a broken or missing roof tile or slate that is letting water in through your roof. Replacing the tile or slate as soon as possible will prevent the problem and help tackle peeling paint, damaged floors or other impacts of the damp.
Alternatively, if the damp is around the ceiling by your chimney breast then the damage done to the paintwork is the least of your problems. This is a sure sign that the seal between your chimney stack and roof may have cracked or become dislodged, ultimately allowing water through the joint.
To fix this you’ll have to refit the loose flashing or replace it. Once you’ve done this you should find that the damp patches begin to fade. Similarly, damp walls can be caused by blocked or broken gutters which let rain water run down your wall and saturate it from the outside in. A simple clear out is all that is required here.
Basic maintenance is all that is required to keep damp at bay in your home. Regularly checking and cleaning your gutters, having your roof inspected and ensuring any features such as chimneys and radiators are correctly sealed and not broken or faulty in any way can work wonders at keeping this silent demon out of your home.
We recommend checking your flooring for damp every 2-3 weeks, focusing on areas such as those beneath radiators as this is where dampness is most likely to occur due to the potential for faults or leaks (especially during cold weather).
Fitting underlay beneath your carpet and laminate floors can help keep your flooring in good condition if your home is prone to dampness while a dehumidifer can help remove excess moisture from the air to improve the quality and condition of your home while keeping damp at bay.
Remember, a dampy home isn’t just unsightly but can be a danger to your health. If left too long then bacteria and mould can grow, causing potential problems with your breathing. Get it sorted now.
Along with dealing with damp we have helpful how to guides in abundance, get them all in our how to section.