If you’re buying a property for the first time you will understand that there are many hurdles to jump over and plenty of tick boxes to work through before the sale is complete. Of course, these check points are all for your benefit, especially property surveys to ensure the building is sound structurally and not suffering from any subsidence or damp issues.
Once you get a clean bill of health on the property and you move in, it is essential to maintain the mindset, regularly checking your property’s structure for any signs of required maintenance. This includes checking for the appearance of any damp internally and externally and keeping an eye open for loose roof tiles or cracks in the exterior masonry. Any of these could mean that water has found a way to enter the fabric of the building, and if left untreated can easily lead to dry and wet rot, rising damp or other serious structural issued caused by water ingress.
It is advisable to seek professional advice if you think you may have any issues of damp in your property. Damp specialists Essex can offer valuable input, assess any damp problems and deliver the best solutions for you. But to provide you with a beginner’s guide to some of the most common, but most serious problems, a few main problems to look out for are listed below.
Dry rot is caused by timbers of the property i.e. the roof joists, floorboards or other wooden structures being subjected to an excess of moisture and left untreated. This can be due to damage to the structure of the property or even faulty leaking plumbing that has gone unnoticed. Dry rot is a serious fungus which digests the parts of wood that gives timber it’s strength, therefore reducing the integrity of the timbers and possibly rendering certain parts of the house unsafe.
The more worrying aspect of dry rot is that it will also start to devour any dry timbers adjacent to the ones affected by damp and can therefore spread throughout the whole property. Wet rot is very similar but will remain in a localised area damp area. If either of these conditions are suspected, you may see your timbers are cracked excessively, are soft and spongy to the touch or fungus is visibly growing on the surface. It is advisable to contact a damp specialist straight away for a consultation and to discuss possible treatments.
Rising damp can be spotted by visible water ingress on the exterior bricks of your property, leaving tide marks from the ground upwards. This is also often spotted by a line of damp around the lower part of your interior walls, just above the skirting boards. The line is made visible because of salts that are absorbed along with moisture, which is then drawn from the ground and penetrates up into the brick work. Peeling wallpaper can also be a tell-tale sign along with bubbling paint and rotting skirting boards. If rising damp is left untreated this can cause serious problems for your property being both timely and costly to fix.