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How to Identify a Damp House

Damp walls

How to Identify a Damp House

Nobody wants to stay in a house that’s going to kill you! The effects of damp walls are often overlooked as far as health and safety goes. In this article, we hope that you learn all about damp walls and the effects it has on your health and safety.

Damp may not always be obvious to spot in your property. It can appear rapidly after flash flooding or it can be very slow to emerge, in many cases taking several years before a damp problem becomes visible. No two cases of damp are identical, so correct diagnosis by a specialist surveyor is important to prevent unnecessary expense on a solution that ultimately may not solve the underlying damp issue.

The Damp Proof Company provides free site surveys in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Centurion, Midrand and Kyalami, if you do need a site contractor. They will even provide a free quotation upon appointment.

These are the following signs that you may be suffering from damp walls:

  • Damp and musty smell
  • Mold or mildew forming on walls
  • Staining of wall coverings, peeling wallpaper & blistering paint
  • Dark patches
  • Staining & fragmenting plaster
  • Decay of timber by wood rotting fungi or woodboring weevils
  • Rising damp may also be visible on skirting boards, where nails or screws are rusted
  • Rusting can also develop on angle beads in damp plaster work
  • The appearance of salt stains on outside walls
  • Mortar on the outside crumbling away

Dampness doesn’t only make your house smell and look bad, it can also have a huge effect on your health as well as your family’s health. Especially if you’ve had a “damp wall” problem for a while.

Here are some germs that you’re letting into your home by leaving your walls damp for too long:

  • Bacteria – moisture is where most bacteria breed. Bacterial colonies grow on damp organic matter, like wall boards and floorboards.
  • Pests – bugs such as cockroaches, dust mites and woodboring weevils, amongst many other pests, are more found more often in damp or moist areas. Most of these pests’ trigger asthma and many other sicknesses because of the germs they carry.
  • Mold – Whether you’re allergic to mold or not, mold exposure can irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs. In most cases, mold can make you sick, especially if you’re allergic to it or asthmatic. Even if you’re not asthmatic, inhaling mold fragments or spores can inflame the airways, causing nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure to high levels of dampness, and indoor dampness can reduce lung function and cause chronic health problems such as asthma.

Stay healthy and alert of the environment that you’re staying in. Take care of your damp walls today!