Moisture problems can seriously damage your home and your health. Below are 9 things you really ought to know about damp, moisture and water damage. Hopefully, none of them will be a surprise and none of them will sound familiar, but if you spot a problem with moisture, damp or water, it’s essential to get it fixed straight away.
1. It’s not just showers that put water in the air
Daily life produces high levels of water vapour from a surprising number of sources. You’ll probably have spotted that having a hot shower leaves your bathroom damp, but cooking (especially boiling water in an open pan or kettle), washing and drying laundry, and even breathing also puts water into the air.
2. Modern homes trap damp very effectively
Insulation, double glazed windows and blocked-up chimneys don’t just keep heat in – they also trap moisture very effectively. This means that you can have a damp problem or related issues, such as mould, without having a water leak.
3. Opening your windows is very effective
Simple, free and easy, opening your windows for as little as 15 minutes a day can prevent damp and moisture problems. Unsurprisingly, homes suffer most from damp in winter so it’s important to do it even if the weather outside is frightful! Many modern windows have trickle vents which provide a small continuous flow of air and keeping them open can be effective.
4. Mould is a health hazard
Toxic mould has been debunked, but the NHS reports that mould spores can trigger respiratory infections, allergies, asthma and skin irritation. In some cases, mould can trigger breathing difficulties.
5. Damp smells should never be ignored
If a room smells damp or musty, particularly after it has been shut up for a while or you’ve been away, it’s essential that you investigate as you may have a hidden leak, such as a pipe under the floorboards.
6. You don’t need to take up floorboards to find a leak
Modern technologies let specialists find water, gas and other leaks without pulling up floorboards or ripping into plaster. Getting the leak fixed may require invasive action but, finding it doesn’t need to.
7. Water can seriously damage your building
Water can undermine your building’s foundations, rot wood, dissolve plaster and otherwise damage the structure of your building. Fixing a leak or moisture problem as quickly as possible is essential to prevent serious damage.
8. Moisture is terrible for electronics
From IT equipment to wiring, kitchen appliances to cars, moisture in the wrong place is almost guaranteed to damage electrical equipment. For this reason, turning the electricity off is essential if you have serious water leaks or flooding and electronics should not be used in damp rooms, such as bathrooms.
9. Dehumidifiers and fans work
Extractor fans and ventilation are alternatives to opening a window. As an example, you should always run the extractor fan in your cooker hood while boiling water on the hob. Similarly, when using the bathroom, if an extractor fan is fitted, its use for a period of time after washing and bathing is an excellent way of removing the damp air. Dehumidifiers are also an option for high moisture areas without windows where they can collect moisture from the atmosphere.