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Damp Proofing

Damp from first floor wall

Hi, our home is detached premise. On the first floor inside wall there is very strong smell of damp. There is no obvious sign of a leak. The cavity wall was recently filled last year (though the smell was there before). It has got worse.

I'm not sure how to find the source of leak, it may be from the roof or wall. I did get the window in the attic on the side wall replaced thinking it was coming from there, but doesn't seem to be the case as the smell is still there.

Two rooms in the house are now affected. Can you please help?

1 Answer from a MyBuilder Damp Proofing Specialist

Best Answer

Without information with regards to the age of the property, the build type, surfaces etc it would be hard to give a definitive answer. However, the point with regards to the cavity wall insulation maybe of concern. Please follow this link first of all for reference. It is dependant on the type of insulation but may be relevant and may have made the damp issue worse.

There are 5 main reasons that damp will occur in a property.
1) Leaking water pipes or water tanks above or around the area - This if not obvious should always be looked for by a professional.
2) Roof or guttering issues - When it is raining go outside and look for overflowing guttering or flashing issues, internally go into your roof space and look for signs of water coming in. There must not be any water getting from the roof to the property walls externally especially.
3) Rising Damp - You have mentioned on your note that this is a first floor issue, rising damp can only rise a maximum of 1.5m, intern you can eliminate this as an issue.
4) Condensation - This will come from a lack of the property being allowed to breath and moisture from general living (inc cooking, showering, boiling kettles etc) ensure the property is well ventilated with breather bricks, leaving windows open for a short period each day and making sure that the vent on your windows if there is one is open.
5) Water penetration/ingression - For older properties where the weather has taken its toll. This is caused by often failed surfaces on the exterior of the property, render, pebbledash and brickwork painted or not. Cracks in your render, blown pebbledash not painted and failed pointing or brick surfaces will allow too much water through to the main structure. It will need to be repaired and correctly water proofed with a high quality exterior paint. New render, pointing or pebbledash will not be enough alone as the surface will still remain porous.

In summary, my best advice would be to go back to the installer of the Cavity wall insulation first, as you mentioned the damp was there initially, yet, now seems worse. If they sold it with mentioning it will help damp problems they will be bound to fix it and will hopefully oblige.

If for whatever reason this isn't the case, after your own diagnosis with my points, call a few damp specialists for some independant opinions. Unfortunately I can't give you a full answer as mentioned earlier I would need to know more information in order to correctly diagnose the issue.

By all means contact us or send a message for more help and advise.


Answered 26th Oct 2019

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