Does your home tend to suffer from damp spots after stormy weather, heavy rain and wind, you live in a unsheltered area or one exposed to wind driven rain? If yes, It could be down to two possible causes, either your home is a solid wall construction, and the moisture is seeping through to the inside of your home, as bricks are porous and can absorb moisture. Alternatively, your home could be a cavity wall construction that has had cavity wall insulation and the insulation layer has become saturated transferring moisture into your home.
We’re going to discuss how you can try and stop penetrating damp problems in your home, so if you’re suffering from crumbling plaster, peeling wallpaper and paint, damp spots, mould, and condensation these will soon be a thing of the past and not a burden on you and your property.
Solid Wall Construction
If your home is a solid wall construction or stone your best bet is to use an exterior damp wall paint such as Thompsons Water Seal or Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream , this will stop moisture being absorbed by the brickwork as it repels water however, it still allows for the wall to ‘breathe’ which is extremely important. The paint must be applied when the wall is completely dry so in the spring or summer would be the best time to apply.
Also, if the brickwork is taking on too much moisture it can become problematic in the colder months, the moisture can freeze inside the brickwork causing cracks eventually leading degradation of your walls.
Wet walls also mean colder walls, so painting with a damp proofing paint can be beneficial in another way as it can make an improvement to the energy efficiency, the estimated energy saving is around 29% after one application.
Cavity Wall Construction
If you have a cavity wall that is not filled with insulation, then your wall will have been constructed with weep holes and a damp-proof course that will allow for any moisture that is absorbed by the brickwork to drain out, as one of the main purposes for a cavity wall is to keep the interior walls of the house dry.
You could also consider using an external damp proofing paint if you have a cavity wall filled with insulation however this will not really solve your problem. This is because the insulation layer in the wall will have now become saturated, meaning the insulation is now not doing its job correctly and will be less energy efficient. Yes, it will prevent more moisture seeping into the insulation but once it is saturated it will become very hard to dry out.
For the most part if you suffer from ingress damp problems your home probably shouldn’t have been installed with cavity wall insulation in the first place as it wasn’t suitable, or an unsuitable insulation material was used. In this case it is best to have it removed as your home will probably now be less energy efficient than it was before the cavity was filled, if the install was covered by a CIGA 25-year guarantee (Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency) then you should be able to make a complaint about this.
Blown mineral wool is the only type of cavity wall insulation that is suitable as it is hydrophobic, so it doesn’t absorb water, but also still allows the walls to breathe away any moisture. Other materials such as urea formaldehyde foam or EPS beads (expanded polystyrene beads) are not waterproof and do not allow the cavity to breathe.
In homes with solid wall constructions your best bet is to apply a damp proofing paint to the exterior of the wall, the wall must be completely dry before you apply this. In cavity wall constructions its best to have the insulation removed, and if you’d like it reinstalling after you have the option to do so with a suitable insulation material.
If you have suffered damp, mould and condensation and you have had cavity wall insulation installed, then you can claim to have it removed and receive money for damages caused to your home, including furniture, wallpaper, previous redecorating costs and loss of enjoyment from the property. At Housing Triage this is something we specialise in, and we’d love to help Make Your House A Home Again, get in touch today!