6 Different types of Damp that could Affect your Home

6 Different types of damp

There are 6 different types of damps that you should be aware of in case your home ever suffers from any of them. It’s not uncommon for your house to be affected by any of the six or a combination of the them. Each type of damp requires different treatment so it is important to understand what to look out for.

Below we have provided a list key features regarding each damp type.


1) Condensation – Damp from the Air


Condensation is the most common form of damp and can be caused by poor ventilation. It occurs when moist air hits cold surfaces and then condenses on them surfaces. Here’s what to look out for:

  • If it exists you can find in places such as in corners, near windows, behind wardrobes, on the ceiling or places where there is little movement of air.
  • Shows up as black patches of mildew.
  • Can also appear on inside of walls and insulation or under floors.
  • Can make your clothes smell like soft furnishings.
  • Is harmful to human health.

2) Rising damp – Damp from the ground directly below your home


Rising damp is when water from the ground underneath or next to your walls rises up through the bricks and mortar of a building by capillary action (where water is sucked through a small opening such as a tube or hole).

  • Rising damp usually only affects the basement or ground floor rooms as they are at the foundation.
  • Shows up in a variety of ways some of which include, skirting boards/timber rotting, fluffy deposits on your plaster or even your wallpaper showing a yellow or brown ‘tide line’.
  • Common in houses that have had their original ground floors changed to concrete.

3) Penetrating damp – Damp from the rain or from the ground against the wall


Penetrating damp can be caused by the lack of an escape route for moisture entering the structure, or an increase in moisture that overloads the escape route.


4) Chemical damp – Damp from salt contamination


Chemical damp can be caused by contamination of the plaster with hygroscopic salts. The salts absorb moisture directly from the air. This could have occurred when the house was built, or have happened at any time since for a variety of reasons.

  • Can appear on any surface that can be plastered.
  • Seen often on chimney breasts.
  • Shows up as patches of brown staining.
  • The patches can grow larger if left unchecked.

5) Damp from poor plumbing


Damp from poor plumbing normally takes effect because of the type of metal being used in the plumbing itself. It can be corrosion of the plumbing or joints that were not fully watertight when new.

  • Normally shows up as a small damp patches.
  • Common in houses with heating pipes buried under solid floors.
  • Plaster may bubble around the edges of the patches if damp is present.

6) Damp from walls/floors drying out


This can be caused by deep moisture within a building trying to make its way out. It can take months or even years to fully dry.

  • Damp patches can appear on surfaces that were not affected by the building work or flooding but are near by.
  • Shows up as damp patches without any type of brown staining.
  • Common after a period of building work, flooding, or a long term plumbing leak.

We hope our article will give you a little insight on how to spot the different types of damp so you can get it sorted out quickly before it spreads and causes more problems for you later on.

If you’re someone who doesn’t have the time or finances to fix issues caused by damp – we here at Housebuyers4u are national homebuyers and will buy any house in any condition so if you’re looking to sell your house, do get in touch!

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