Water ingress, damp and mould can be incredibly distressing, and the causes are not always obvious.
As Structural Engineers, we have extensive knowledge of how buildings are put together and can investigate, diagnose and recommend how to cure damp and water ingress issues.
The Difference Between Water Ingress and Condensation: Why have damp patches appeared on your walls?
The repair solutions for water ingress and condensation are very different, so it’s important to correctly diagnose the cause of the water ingress.
New for 2023 is our advanced Moisture Meter, which tests the air humidity as well as scanning the walls by radar and prong. This tells us whether the damp walls in your home are caused by water ingress (from leaking gutters or missing roof tiles, for example), or condensation.
Condensation forms when moist, warm air within a room touches a cold surface, such as an internal wall or window. This is because warm air can hold water, but when it suddenly cools, it loses its ability to retain moisture and deposits it on cold surfaces. I’m sure we’ve all experienced steamy bathroom windows when showering – this is classic condensation.
Condensation isn’t normally a problem in well ventilated, warm properties, as the water droplets will dry out. But without ventilation and heating, condensation does not have the chance to dry out, which can lead to black mould, which is hazardous to health.
Water ingress, on the other hand, causes damp walls and ceilings and occurs when water penetrates through gaps in roof tiles, ceiling finishes, brickwork, and poorly sealed windows and external doors. Damp and water ingress can lead to bubbling paintwork, crumbling plaster, rotting floorboards and health issues.
If water is getting in through your roof, you may need to replace the roof tiles or felt to make sure it’s watertight. Any rotten joists, floorboards, etc., will need repairing or replacement.
Did you know? The walls in old homes need to breathe, so over-zealous insulation to improve energy efficiency can actually have a detrimental effect and lead to damp.
- During our visit to your property we will carry out a preliminary investigation, including taking readings of humidity levels, and provide you with a report outlining what we believe to be the cause of the water ingress/damp problems.
- If the cause of the water ingress is obvious, for example a faulty gutter or lack of sealant around a window, we can provide recommendations for repairs.
- If the damp walls are due to a condensation problem, we can advise the best ways to prevent it, such as opening windows to increase ventilation, and heating the property. You can use a black spot mould specialist treatment (such as Kingfisher Building Products Ltd’s Mould Cure) to get rid of the mould, and it should not reappear so long as you follow our recommendations.
- Sometimes, we might recommend that a builder carries out opening up works to expose parts of the building for further inspection where the cause of the water ingress may not be completely clear. We can organise these works on your behalf and then reinspect.
- We can then put together a Schedule of Works for the necessary repairs to resolve the problem and prevent it from recurring. We can even obtain quotes and oversee the repairs on your behalf: find out more about our follow-on Contract Administration service.