Damp home

When you are living with damp problems in your home, this can be extremely unpleasant and can lead to a wide range of health problems as well as problems with your property itself. Damp can make simple day-to-day living very uncomfortable. The health risks involved with damp can often make your home a rather dangerous place to live.

In this article, property and construction expert Natalie Mitchell at HomeHow.co.uk explores the risks involved with living with damp in the home. She also explains the causes of damp and outlines how homeowners can deal with and prevent damp in the home. These tips can help you to improve your wellness and prevent problems with your property and your and your family’s health.

What Are the Causes of Damp in the Home?

Several things can cause damp in your home. The most common of these causes include condensation and increased moisture within the air due to things like using the dryer, taking a bath or shower, or hanging your clothes to dry indoors.

The most common areas affected by damp in the home are the bathroom and kitchen. This is because these rooms generate a lot of air moisture through cooking or when showering or bathing.

Damp may also form due to damage to the roof, guttering, or pipes. This can cause leaks, rot, and mould. Damage to rendering may also cause penetrating damp.

A potential external cause of damp is through your windows or doors if they’re not sealed properly. It’s also worth checking your cavity wall insulation as this can sometimes be prone to damp.

Spillages can also cause damp. Any liquids that are left can cause rotting on skirting boards or walls.

How Do You Identify Damp in the Home?

There are several signs of damp, including the following:


Condensation is formed when warm air comes into contact with water on a colder surface. This causes it to steam up. Condensation can occur regularly and is common in homes. However, a significant amount of condensation can cause damp to form, which can damage your home.

You can usually identify condensation on your walls, which can feel cold and may also start showing black dots. These black dots are the start of mould growth.

The most common areas for condensation include walls, windows, ceilings, furniture, and the attic. You may also notice a musty smell which may be a sign of damp – particularly in the loft, as this area is usually much cooler than the rest of the house.

Penetrating Damp

This type of damp is caused by water that enters the property through the external walls. This is usually a result of structural defects. The most common place where penetrating damp can become an issue is on the southwest-facing walls – particularly when exposed to heavy rain.

The most common sign of this type of damp is the appearance of damp stains on your exterior walls as well as patches on your interior walls and ceilings. You may also identify a wet area on your plastering, or the plaster may start to crumble. Black mould can also form in isolated areas.

In more serious cases, you may have water dripping from your ceiling or puddles of water around the internal and external walls.

Rising Damp

Rising damp is one of the worst types of damp in the home. This results from water entering from the ground and rising through the walls. It usually starts in the exterior walls. However, it can be visible on the internal walls.

The main signs of rising damp include patches near the bottom of the walls moving upwards and damp around the skirting boards or wall plaster. You may also notice that your paint or wallpaper starts to peel.

In severe cases, you may notice a white substance forming on the wall, along with yellow or brown stains. The flooring may also start to lift or may feel wet to the touch.

How Is Damp Dangerous?

In addition to damp being terrible for your home and potentially ruining your walls, floors, and ceilings, damp is also very bad for your health.

As damp causes mould, this can be very dangerous. Breathing in or touching fragments of mould can cause the following:

  • Runny nose
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin rashes
  • Red/itchy eyes

How Do You Prevent Damp In the Home?

Wiping your windows each morning will remove the condensation and prevent mould from building up.

Deal With Cooking Steam

Always cover your pans when cooking, as this prevents steam from escaping. You may also want to close the kitchen door to prevent steam from escaping to other areas of the house. An extractor fan in the kitchen is one of the best ways to reduce moisture.

Get Rid of Moisture in the Bathroom

You can prevent moisture from escaping from the bathroom by keeping the door closed whenever you have a bath or shower. It’s also best to open the window

to create ventilation. An extractor fan in the bathroom is also one of the best ways to remove moisture from this room.

Ventilate the Home

Ventilating your home regularly can help to prevent damp. Aim to open your windows for around 15 minutes in the morning to ventilate the home. If you can keep your windows locked in a slightly open position, this is even better.

Hire a Professional Damp-Proofer

If you are experiencing problems such as penetrating damp or if your home is susceptible to mould on the walls, ceiling, or floors, it’s best to reach out to a professional. A professional will identify and deal with the damp issues accordingly, providing damp-proofing techniques to prevent the problem from continuing in the future.

Final Thoughts

There are many different causes of damp in the home. If you are struggling with damp, it’s important to determine the cause of the damp so that you can act accordingly. There are some things that homeowners can do to help reduce or prevent damp in the home. If you have a rather large problem with damp or mould in the home, it’s best to get in touch with professionals who will have the tools and knowledge needed to deal with the damp accordingly and prevent it from being a problem in the future.