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6 easy ways to protect your home against damp

17 Oct 2016

Damp can cause real problems in your home. From damaging the structure of your house to leaving you with an unpleasant, musty atmosphere and even health problems, damp in your home needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Keeping the lid on saucepans while cooking will minimise the amount of moisture in the air.

A good damp solution will protect your home for years to come. This is according to Nico Nei of Waterproofing Durban, who says however, when it comes to damp, prevention is better than cure.

Nico shares six things you can do to keep your home safe from damp…

1. Be vigilant  

Take the time to examine your home regularly for signs of damp problems. Check both internal and external walls, have a look at your ceiling, and don't forget to take a look at your roof too. Some signs of damp problems include:

- Damp patches on your walls or ceiling.

- A damp patch on your ceiling that appears only when it rains.

- Visible signs of damp on outside walls.

- Mould growth on your walls or ceiling (this often appears as black patches).

- Signs of rot on external doors.

Another way to reduce the moisture in your home is to dry your clothes outside whenever possible.

- Damp patches at the base of doors or on the floor just beside an external door.

- Widespread damp around skirting or rising up internal walls.

 - Patches of water or condensation at the base of windows.

- Signs of condensation on cold water pipes.

- Visible leaks or wet patches anywhere in your home.  

Keeping an eye out for signs of damp will make it much easier to catch it early and get it treated before it can cause problems in your home.  

2. Keep your home ventilated

Good ventilation will prevent the build-up of condensation, which can lead to damp problems. Make sure you keep your home well ventilated at all times, even if the temperature drops a little bit.  

Air your house every day by opening the windows and letting the air circulate. You could also talk to a local builder about adding more vents to the kitchen or bathroom, which are both prone to damp as a result of condensation.  

Reduce moisture in the bathroom by wiping down the bathtub.

3. Clear any blocks to ventilation  

Sometimes solving a damp problem is as simple as clearing any blocks that are preventing ventilation. For example, if you have vents in your kitchen, bathroom or cupboards that lead to the outside, make sure the space around them is clear.  

You should also check that mud isn't building up beside your house and blocking the outside vents. If this is the case, you can remedy the problem quickly by shoveling that mud out of the way.

4. Use a dehumidifier  

A dehumidifier is a cheap and easy solution for reducing moisture in the air. You can buy a dehumidifier for as little as R2 000, plus they are cheap to run. You'll notice a real difference in the air quality, and it will help prevent damp from too much condensation.  

If you don't want to invest in a dehumidifier, you can hire one and run it while you look for more permanent solutions to any damp problems.  

5. Regrout your tiles  

Old or cracked grouting can leak and let extra moisture into your kitchen or bathroom. You can prevent this by simply regrouting your tiles.

Old or cracked grouting can leak and let extra moisture into your kitchen or bathroom. This causes more damp and mould, and leaves you with a bigger problem to deal with. 

You can prevent this by simply regrouting your tiles.  

Regrouting is a quick and easy DIY job that you can do in an afternoon, and the materials are available for a reasonable price at any DIY store.  

6. Reduce moisture  

A quick-and-easy way to protect your home from damp is to reduce the moisture. Less moisture means less condensation and a less damp atmosphere for mould to thrive in.

Easy ways to reduce your moisture include:

- Keeping your home ventilated.

- Keeping the lid on saucepans while cooking.

- Only boiling the kettle when you need it.

- Drying clothes outside if possible.

- Wiping down the bath, shower and tiles after every use.  

Be aware of the amount of moisture you're putting into your home and try to reduce it where possible.

Taking as many steps as you can to reduce and prevent damp will keep your home dry for years. If you notice damp problems, don't hesitate to give a professional a call - when it comes to more in-depth work such as damp coursing or repairing your roof, a professional touch is needed.
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