As anyone that has ever suffered from damp in their own property, or maybe a property they own, knows that if you do not catch the damp and sort the issue before it becomes a major problem, the end result can be a very costly repair effort, taking much time and money to truly fix and prevent the damp from occurring again.
Many people believe that damp and moisture is only ever found in older homes, but this could not be further from the truth, because water will always find a way to get into your property if it can, whether you own a 4 bedroom new build in the city or a 100 year old cottage in the country. Damp does not discriminate, as once water or moisture finds a way to penetrate your property, either structurally or via your lifestyle, it does not matter where you live or what you live in, it will always have a fair go at ruining your property.
Once you find damp, you can deal with it, but until you know the exact problem you have, you are literally never going to stop it completely.
As we mention above, damp is often caused by one of two ways:
Structurally – From missing roof tiles through to broken water pipes, moisture can get into your property via structural issues, most of which you will probably never really notice until the damp becomes an issue. Obviously, if you had water running through your ceiling then you would know, but most leaks occur over time and simply build up, until the point where it becomes obvious and damp will have already set in.
Lifestyle / Living Conditions – When you have a shower, dry your washing indoors or simply boil up those peas and carrots for your dinner, you are producing warm air which of course contains a lot of moisture or vapour, which is where your lifestyle and living conditions can often have an impact on the moisture levels in your home. If you do not have the correct level of ventilation, then the moisture cannot escape, meaning it stays in the property and this is where, over time, the damp will start to take hold.
Depending on the type of material your property is built from and contains will determine the levels of moisture that it absorbs, with materials like wood always going to hold more moisture than bricks for example. Of course, all homes are a mixture of many materials, but depending on how your property was built can often determine the level of risk that damp could pose to you, with mostly wood structures at a higher risk than those mainly built of thick, quality stone. This is not to say you need to rip down your home and start again, it just means that you need to be aware of where the risk is and what you can do about it.
When you first notice damp, you will often see the tell-tale signs, a change in the wall colour, black mould or cracking and peeling, but this does not always mean that you have found the source of the damp. Because moisture travels then what you see is often located away from the originating issue, which is why buying a damp or moisture meter will allow you to pinpoint exactly where the damp is coming from, allowing you to not only fix the damp problem, but also prevent it from reoccurring.
Whereas condensation is pretty easy to spot (just look on mirrors, windows or tiles), damp and moisture in walls and structures often is not, which is where investing in a damp or moisture meter can really help you to determine if you do have a problem and then where the main problem is. Fighting damp is not a case of fixing the area that is worse hit, it is more a case of finding the issue, fixing the problem and then dealing with the after effects of the damage, as damp spreads quickly and will keep coming back unless you find the source issue and deal with it.
You need to work out if you have rising or penetrating damp, or whether you just have a major case of condensation before you rush to any conclusions, as the longer you leave the issue without trying to find the solution, the more money it will cost you to put right.
Although the best moisture meters are going to set you back anywhere between £150 – £500, this is a lifelong investment, and when you compare this to the many thousands of pounds it would take to fix a damp problem, having one of these handy little tools really can save you and property a lot of money, not to mention the inconvenience and hassle of having to have your damp issues sorted would bring to you and your family.
Thanks to The Tape Store for this article, providing a selection of the leading Protimeter Moisture Meters for sale on their website, along with a range of other measuring instruments, with quick delivery and unbeatable prices across the range of products for sale.