Penetrating damp is simply the situation of water entering from an external source into your home and then into the building. This usually happens either because of water penetrating through an existing roof line or even if external stone or brick walls have deteriorated to the point that they become quite porous and let water in through the existing roof line into the home. This kind of damp can cause a lot of damage to a home because it does not only cause mold and mildew problems but it also can destroy or loosen roof shingles. It is very important for homes to have good roofs so that no damage is done. This is especially the case if you live in an area with a wet climate.
The Effects of Penetrating Damp
When moisture seeps into your house from an outside source, especially if it comes in contact with your floorboards and the subflooring underneath your foundation walls, it will typically stay on the surface of these materials. Most often this happens at the surface where you find the lowest parts of your walls – in this case, the ground level. If your basement has no floor, then the moisture will just form a damp spot on the floor. In a very short while, this will lead to mold and mildew problems developing on the surface as well as rotting floorboards and wood framing if the moisture stays on the surface, so penetrating damp can pose a real threat to properties.
Another scenario that can occur is when the water penetrates the external walls of your home through cracks in these structures. These situations are often referred to as external stonework problems. These can often be solved by simply sealing these areas using suitable materials such as waterproof paints.
The other two more common causes of penetrating damp in your home are loft damp and window damp. Loft damp is generally caused by poor ventilation of the attic itself. Unfortunately for you, it is usually not possible to control how much ventilation is available to you. This is because most loft spaces are below ground level and therefore lack the typical structural elements such as insulation. Because of this, condensation can form on the roof or on the attic floor, causing dampness in these areas.
Window condensation is sometimes also confused with damp walls or mould. The truth is that the moisture on your exterior walls is caused by rainwater logging into the gutters and downpipes of your house and then evaporating into the atmosphere. However, windows are different. When dampness settles on the window frame, this causes condensation on the glass as well as on the surrounding walls. You will most likely notice the dampness first things during the day, as windows can become extremely cold in winter and hot in summer.
The best way to get an accurate diagnosis of what the problem is to visit a professional damp inspection service. If you don’t want to wait for a long time, you can also make use of a digital moisture meter. It can easily measure the moisture in a room and if necessary, it can be connected to a computerized system to provide you with the most precise reading. For an accurate diagnosis of the source of your damp problem, it is better to rely on a qualified professional than doing it yourself.