The Most Common Causes of Damp

The Most Common Causes of Damp

Our homes are usually the most expensive asset we own, so it can be devastating when a problem occurs. One of the most common problems which are found in homes is damp, and this is usually caused by a build-up of excess moisture. This excess moisture can come from internal condensation or intrusion from outside and sometimes occur when the building work of the property just isn’t up to scratch, has been inadequately maintained or even if there is a deterioration of the building fabric.

Unfortunately, if damp is left untreated, it can cause a great deal of damage to your home, and even cause further problems such as dry and wet rot. There are numerous different types of damp, so we have listed them below so that you can identify what you are dealing with.


Condensation is most common during the colder months, as there is usually a less air-flow in homes during this time of year. Condensation is caused by high humidity levels and is most common in bathrooms, but also in rooms where there is no ventilation.

You will be able to notice condensation as the room will feel damp but can also be spotted by the black mould fungus it leaves behind, which can also be called Aspergilla. This type of damp can be very damaging to a home affecting clothes, furniture and even going as far as damaging your health by causing coughing, headaches and even rashes.

To avoid condensation altogether you should keep rooms well ventilated, and even call in the help of a specialist. Additionally, you can make changes to your home like installing passive vapour vents and an extractor fan to stop the issue from happening again in the future.

Water Damage

Leaking or burst pipes, leaking roofs or even actual flooding are all causes of water damage which can have a devasting effect on your home. However, it will depend heavily on the extent of the water damage as well as the length of time, but this type of damage can often be covered by most home insurance policies.

After your home has experienced water damage, restoration will depend on the extent of the damage caused. To start with, drying fans and dehumidifiers will be used to help dry out the property so that work can begin. If the damage is not resolved, it causes further problems like dry rot fungus, as well as black mould fungus.

Rising Damp

Rising damp is another common type and is when the movement of water from the ground rises up walls and other ground-supported structures. When groundwater travels up through building materials such as bricks and mortar, the water can damage the plaster, timber floors, décor and even any joinery.

You can usually spot rising damp due to yellow lines, brown plaster, or staining which is above the skirting board; the skirting board usually rots too. Another common sign of this type of damp is fluffy white deposits in the plaster; these are the salts which have been washed from the brick, as well as black spots of mould.

Rising damp often goes untreated as many people simply paint over it to get rid of it, but it is important to get it looked at by a professional instead of trying to hide it!

Lateral Penetrating Damp

Lateral penetrating damp can usually be found on walls which are below ground floor level like basements, or where the walls are earth retaining, and causes the growth of mould internally. The damp penetrates under hydrostatic pressure and causes a considerable amount of internal damage.


Rain can seep inside a home due to any building faults or even deterioration, and mainly affects roofs, chimneys and even openings like windows or doors. Additionally, if downpipes and gutters are faulty, this can also cause the issue if not maintained. Rain penetration is different from other forms of dampness and usually requires a different solution.

Rain penetration often causes most havoc in homes as it can’t usually be seen by the human eye and is often found when the damage has already been done.

If you notice any damp in your home, it is advised that you speak with a professional who will be able to provide you with a damp report as well as advice on how to resolve the issue. Here at Martin Perry Associates, we can advise you on the best course of action by carrying out a report on the defect, as well as specifying and overseeing any remedial works required. If you have any questions regarding our services, then please do not hesitate to contact on 01579 345 777.

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