What are the symptoms of penetrating damp in your home?

Penetrating damp symptoms

Could you diagnose penetrating damp in your home? If your answer is ‘no’, don’t stress! You will quickly understand how to spot penetrating damp a mile off with the help of our article. Here, you can read about the many physical symptoms it can have on you and your family, how to identify it in your home, and how it can affect your finances. Don’t let the penetrating damp in your home thrive right under your nose. The first step to curing your home of penetrating damp is to know exactly what to look for…

What is penetrating damp?

To begin with, it is probably useful for you to know exactly what penetrating damp is. Penetrating damp is the result of an excess of moisture entering your home from the outside through its structures, like your walls, window frames and your roof etc. It can affect any house of any age (if your home is quite old and in need of a little care, it could be more vulnerable to developing penetrating damp). Many things can cause penetrating dampness in your home. These can include; a crack in the brickwork or rendering of your home, certain characteristics of your home, for example the type of brick pointing your home may have, or even the location of your home. So, let’s get to it shall we? There are many things you can look out for if you think you have penetrating damp in your home. Our team of experts here at First Choice Energy Ltd have put together this article for you, so that you can detect even the slightest of hints of penetrating damp in your home.

Have you got penetrating damp in your home? What symptoms you should be looking for-

There are three ways in which penetrating damp in your home can leave breadcrumbs of its existence. These are; the symptoms it leaves on your house, the physical effect it has on you and your family, and how it affects you financially.

The symptoms of penetrating damp in your home

Blown plaster

This is when the moisture in the wall causes the plaster to lose its bond from the wall and appear raised or crumbly. The plaster can then start to disintegrate and crumble away from the wall, ruining the interior of your home. Another symptom your plaster has been damaged by penetrating damp is a fluffy looking residue on your walls called ‘salting’. This is when the moisture in your walls draws out all of the natural salts that belong inside your walls.

Keep an eye for patches of damp and mould in your home

It really is that simple! If you can notice any water marks anywhere on your walls, or any stains, especially around any window frames, external door frames, where your walls may meet the guttering, or your roof. These damp stains can be localised to one spot or they can spread! It all depends on the severity of your problem. You know what they say? Where there is damp there will be mould. If your damp has stuck around long enough it will become the perfect breeding ground for mould. If you’ve noticed a new little ecosystem growing in your lovely home, it’s highly possible you have a penetrating damp problem.

Have you noticed a musty smell in your home recently?

If you cannot see any damp or mouldy patches on your walls, you might be able to smell it! When damp or mould starts to cling on to any of your belongings they surely will smell. You know the smell we’re on about. Have you ever left damp clothes in your washing basket, or possibly the boot of your car? That smell. And the same goes for mould. The smell of mould spores can only be described as thick and musty. Anyway, if you can smell any of these, there is a high chance your home is suffering from penetrating damp.

The internal structures of your home could be rotting

This can range from your timber floor joists, to your skirtings and architraves! Penetrating damp in your home can cause both dry and wet rot in your home. This can seriously compromise the structural integrity of your home, putting both you and your family at risk in your home.

Damage to your furniture and property.

Unfortunately, damp and mould cannot keep its hands to itself, and will spread to all your belongings like wildfire if given the chance. Have you noticed your clothes may be feeling a little colder than normal? Or maybe a certain sofa in your living room has a few unsightly grey-black patches on the side facing your external wall? You guessed it! That would be the penetrating damp taking up residence in your belongings, like the parasite it is! Let’s face it, when you start to notice the damp and therefore mould spreading to your belongings… It really is time to claim back the pride you carry for your home and do something about it.

The symptoms of penetrating damp outside of your home

These symptoms may look just like regular old wear and tear on your home, however, they can indeed be the all-telling signs that your home is suffering from penetrating damp. PLUS they’re not exactly easy on the eyes either, these ugly, damaging symptoms are easy to spot, once you know what you’re looking for.

Moss and mould on your external walls

While moss on your external walls can give your beautiful home a rather romantic, fairytale-like appearance, it really is the product of something more along the lines of nightmare-ish. Penetrating damp, correct! The damp, moist environment is the perfect niche for the growth of moss! It doesn’t just stop there, with the moss on top, there will be absolutely zero chance of your external walls drying out. Unfortunately, the moss will act as a wet blanket. The damp will just keep seeping through your walls and into your home. Mould has the exact same effect, except that it doesn’t look so romantic or cute. The terrible, displeasing mould will infest your external walls, making your house look grubby and in need of a fresh layer of paint. However, a fresh layer of paint will not fix your problem, be it moss or mould! You need to cure your home at the source of its problem.

Damages to the external structures of your home

These will most commonly be cracks in your brickwork or render… or both, if you’re unlucky enough. Has your home got a big ugly crack in its wall? Penetrating dampness will cause this! As the moisture seeps into your walls and takes up residence, it can stay there for a while, i.e., from summer into winter. When the freezing weather has descended onto your home, and it will as we’re living in the UK, the water inside your walls will freeze. What happens to water when it freezes? It expands. This will undoubtedly cause cracks in your brickworks and renders, which is, not only an ugly, but an extremely expensive damage to your home.

Have your pockets been suffering? This could be yet another symptom!

This is a sneaky little symptom., You may only notice it when you check your finances at the end of the year, and by then it’s too little, too late!

Rising energy bills

As you’ve just read, this symptom can be very hard to detect. Especially if it’s a little bit at a time. However, did you know you could actually lose up to £300 a year because of your rising energy bills due to penetrating damp? It makes sense if you think about it! Penetrating damp will make your house colder than usual, whether it’s in the summer, or the winter. You may have subconsciously noticed this, therefore putting your heating on more than, or longer than usual. Thus, raising your energy bills. You may not notice this increase month by month, you will however, definitely notice the rather dramatic increase when you receive your annual summary.

Lastly, but certainly not the least… penetrating damp could be affecting the health of you and your family!

There are two ways in which penetrating damp can affect the health of you and your family. By acutely affecting your immune system, and by compromising the safety of the internal structures of your home thus, creating a risky living environment for you and your family.

How does penetrating damp affect your health?

When your house is damp, you may as well be living outside for all the good it’s doing to your health. You may find yourself unable to shake a cold or a flu because of your constant breathing in damp, cold air. Where there is damp, if it’s there long enough, there’s mould… right? Mould naturally produces and releases mycotoxins in their spores, especially when a patch of mould is disturbed. These spores are toxic to you and will make you ill. Have you noticed you, or your loved ones have been feeling a bit fuzzier or more disorientated than usual? Or maybe you’ve been a bit more congested than usual? This could be due to mould toxicity! Other symptoms you should definitely watch out for include-

  • Headaches
  • Dry and tickly cough
  • Blocked and runny nose
  • Itchy nose and throat
  • Itchy skin, or a visible rash
  • Itchy, dry eyes
  • Trouble concentrating

The reasoning behind this is that you are actually allergic to mould spores and what you’re experiencing is an allergic reaction.

Long-term exposure to mould can actually seriously affect your health too, causing health conditions such as-

  • Legionnaires disease
  • An increased risk of respiratory symptoms
  • Organ damage
  • Development of asthma

Don’t believe us? Many accredited websites such as the NHS and Healthline back each of our statements up!

Now, although mould can affect every single one of us, (no exceptions!) There are a specific lot of you that are especially vulnerable to mould and damp exposure and should stay away. These are-

  • Pregnant people
  • The elderly
  • Babies and children
  • People with respiratory problems, i.e., asthma
  • People with a compromised immune system, i.e., those receiving chemotherapy.
  • Those with skin conditions, i.e., psoriasis.

Mould can also cause the internal structures of your home to rot! What happens when things rot? They break! You must agree with us, this definitely doesn’t make for a safe living environment for you or your loved ones!