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Finding the cause of damp and mould in your bathroom or laundry

Bathrooms and laundries are particularly susceptible to damp and mould attacks due to the nature of high moisture levels and fluctuating temperatures that occur in these rooms.

Have you noticed horrible black spots appearing in your grout, sealant or around your windows, walls or on the ceiling? Or maybe there are yellow-brown stains appearing on your walls? If this sounds familiar then unfortunately you have had yourself a damp invasion.

If not treated, damp can become detrimental to your home and your health. Generally it causes a slow structural deterioration which can be expensive to fix if not treated quickly. Damp and mould is also extremely harmful to your health, especially those who are vulnerable such as babies, the elderly and those who suffer from skin or respiratory conditions.

The most common causes of damp and mould

There are three damp manifestations that you could be suffering with:

Condensation
When warm air meets a cold surface or when the room is too humid, the moisture-laden air cools down quickly and releases water which turns into liquid drops that settle on the cool surface. Bathrooms and laundries produce a lot of warm air and steam. This is why extractor fans and/or windows are essential in these rooms to release the warm air. When these rooms are poorly ventilated, this warm air has no way to escape it has no choice but to turn to liquid. Condensation won’t go away on its own and is one of the main causes of mould and mildew growth.

Rising damp
Rising damp is a condition where water on the ground is absorbed through the tiny holes and tubes in bricks, therefore travelling up the wall and dampening everything in its path including paint, plaster and timber. Rising damp generally occurs in older buildings that don’t have a damp proof course (DPC) installed. The DPC is a barrier made of non-absorbent, water-resistant materials and prevents water from travelling up the wall.

However, it can also occur in more modern buildings especially if there are broken, leaking or disconnected pipes. When the pipes aren’t working as they should, the excessive water has nowhere to escape.

Rising damp is generally identified by a noticeable high-tide mark on the wall which will indicate the height the damp has reached.

Penetrating damp
Penetrating damp can affect anywhere from small patches to full walls and often the first sign is a visible watermark appearing. Building defects are usually the cause of penetrating damp (failed waterproofing, leaking pipes, faulty windows, issues with roofing). Older buildings are often most effective as the materials used to build them have deteriorated and moisture is able to soak through the walls.

If you have noticed any signs of excessive damp an mould in your bathroom, laundry, or believe you may have ventilation issues, contact us today! Don’t wait as the longer you leave it, the more harmful to the structure of your home and your health.

 

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