Banish the dreaded damp

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Damp in your home can be a big problem. It's not just about the damage it can do to the building - it can also lead to health problems for you and your family as mould and mildew take hold.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to fix damp problems. So let's take a look at some different ways to dry out your home…

Don't delay - fix that leak today

Water ingress can cause real problems for your home. Leave it unchecked and you'll eventually suffer mould, rot and water damage.

But if you find what's causing the problem quickly, you can get it sealed up and dried out before any damage takes hold. Let's take a look at the most common ways water can make its way into your home…

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Damage to gutters from winter storms and blockages from autumn leaves can play havoc as the overflowing water washes down walls and into the ground. The good news is that you can often fix it with a gutter clean or a cost-effective repair.

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Winter weather can also cause roof damage. So have a look for any broken slates or tiles, missing or loose ridge tiles, or anything else that doesn't look right. Take a look from inside your loft too, if you can: water can slowly eat away at roof felt and cause bigger leaks. If you catch it early enough you can often get a professional repair before it turns into a bigger headache.

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Cracks in bricks or mortar can appear after cold and icy weather. It’s important to get these fixed sooner rather than later, as they can let water and damp into your home. Bricklayers can replace cracked bricks and repoint the mortar to keep your home watertight.

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Leaky chimneys can also let water into your home. If you don't use the chimney at all, consider getting it capped. This seals up the top and - importantly - includes a vent to battle condensation. So you keep the warmth in and water out.

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Whether they're inside your home or outside, burst or leaking pipes can also cause damage. Even a slow drip drip drip can lead to problems over time, while frozen burst pipes can cause chaos once they thaw. So even if you spot a tiny leak, get it sorted before it does any harm.

Ventilate your home

Condensation is another common damp problem. The warm, moist air in your house condenses on cold surfaces like thin walls and windows. Over time, this can lead to damp problems like mould growing on your walls, ceilings and windows.

The good news is that there’s a simple fix: ventilating your home. Modern homes do this through a series of vents which allow fresh air from outside to gradually replace the humid air in your home.

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If you have an older home, there are a few things you can do to help. Step one is to open your vents. Trickle vents are built into window frames to battle condensation, so don't be tempted to close them in winter to keep the warm air in - they're an essential part of your home's ventilation. If you don't have trickle vents, you might be able to get them fitted to your existing windows or upgrade to modern windows. Otherwise, you can just open your windows regularly!

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Kitchens and bathrooms are the most humid rooms in your home - so make sure you crank up the extractor fan when things are getting steamy - it's much more effective than just opening a window. These quickly push moist air outside before it becomes a problem.

If you don't have fans installed already or they aren't working properly, an electrician will be able to install a quiet, modern ventilation fan for you.

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The other big condensation baddie is drying washing inside - but it's a necessary evil in winter. If you feel like your house gets damper each time you dry a load, turn up a radiator and put your clothes airer next to it - then open a window. It'll dry your laundry quickly and help battle condensation.

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