If you have peeling paintwork or damp patches on external walls then you should not delay in attempting to control these problems with one of the various damp proofing solutions out there.
If damp problems are left alone, they can go on to seriously compromise the aesthetic appeal and structural integrity of a property, making any future damp treatment more time-consuming and costly.
Of course, there are many reasons for damp, so you need to know what is causing the problem before choosing the treatment.
So, what should you be looking out for?
Damp proofing - Common Causes
If you have damp, it may be that your home's damp proof course (DPC) is being prevented from doing its job properly. If you have a DPC installed you should be able to see the tell-tale line of the damp proof course along the exterior brickwork of your home, several inches up from the ground. If the level of your garden, patio or path is higher than the damp proof course, it will not work properly.
Another potential cause of damp is the exterior fabric of your home. Common property problems include deteriorated pointing, deteriorated or cracked rendering, and bricks that have become porous.
Other common causes of damp include missing or blocked guttering and drainpipes, missing or loose flashing, and missing or loose roof tiles. Flat roofs can also lead to leaks and damp because they are only watertight if properly sealed.
DIY Damp treatment
You can get liquid sealants to apply to the exterior of your home to stop the brickwork being porous, but these can only be used when the bricks are dry. Afterwards, your home should retain more heat because the bricks cannot get sufficiently damp.
You can also get liquids to seal interior walls against damp and cold, but these should only be used if you've addressed the cause of the problem and only on walls that are above ground level.
Ensure that you strip the walls of any wallpaper or flaking paint and clean them thoroughly before painting the liquid on, always following the manufacturer's instructions.
It is possible to fix some things yourself, but if you are not confident that you can deal with your damp problems properly, then we would recommend seeking professional advice by organising a property survey.
Find out more about professional damp treatment
- Rising damp treatment - Find out more about the wise way to treat rising damp
- Condensation treatment - Learn more about treating condensation problems.
- Prevent damp problems - Listen to Wise Property Care MD Les Meikle aka "The Rotter" discuss damp proofing problems and solutions on BBC Radio Scotland