Penetrating damp, sometimes known as lateral damp, occurs when moisture from the outside penetrates the walls, roof, or floor of a property. Like other types of damp, penetrating damp can present a severe problem for people and property when it’s left untreated. It can ultimately threaten the structural integrity of buildings and leave homes uninhabitable and businesses unable to trade. The resultant deterioration of your property can include rot damage, as well as the structural impact on your walls, floors, and ceilings.
Unlike other types of damp, such as rising damp, penetrating damp can affect any level of a property. It also affects properties of all ages, both young and old properties are susceptible to penetrating damp. Older properties are always more vulnerable to damp; penetrating damp is no exception. Similarly, properties that haven’t been appropriately maintained are more likely to suffer from damp.
Modern buildings are usually more resistant to damp, but that doesn’t mean they are immune. Penetrating damp can and does affect new builds, especially if there are flaws in their design that aren’t picked up until it’s too late.
The signs of penetrating damp are similar to other types of damp. Making a definitive diagnosis can be difficult. However, in any cases of damp that present with the following indications, generating damp should be considered:
– Damaged and misshapen plaster: Penetrating damp will cause plaster to blister and disintegrate. It will quickly deform and lose its shape.
– Salting: Penetrating damp will cause natural salts found in walls to come to the surface, creating a fluff-like residue on the surface of plaster.
– Mould growth: A musty smell, sometimes accompanied by visible mould growth, indicates that you have damp in your walls. There may also be localised damp patches that appear to be randomly placed and won’t dry out.
If you suspect a penetrating damp is impacting your property, you should consult a professional home repair business before mould and rot have a chance to spread.