There are some areas of the home that are prone to dampness and condensation, namely the bathroom. A hot shower can quickly lead to a dripping ceiling but if this isn’t managed, it can quickly lead to mould and damp. Damp is common throughout Metro Vancouver and the most common signs of this are a musty smell and black marks along ceilings and the upper levels of walls. This is not only visually unappealing, but can lead to damage and even health risks. Simply wiping away condensation can help but it is not a long-term solution.
Signs of Dampness
Owning property across Metro Vancouver means learning to contend with fluctuating temperatures, heavy rains and snow falls. Damp is most often caused by condensation, which forms as temperatures begin to drop. There are plenty of other ways that damp can begin to settle in around your home or commercial space, but whatever the root cause might be, the symptoms are often the same:
Stains & Discolourations: If you begin to notice that plaster is being discoloured or walls are developing marks, it is a sign that dampness is seeping into the walls and ceiling itself.
Musty Smells: The smell of damp is very distinctive. The scent is strong and the air tends to feel a bit heavier.
Damaged Wallpaper & Peeling Paint: If wallpaper is curling or peeling up from the wall, it is a sign that there is damp in the wall behind.
Wall Temperature: Interior walls should be room temperature or even warm, as well as dry to the touch. Cold surfaces be a sign that there is damp behind.
It is also important to consider where you are noticing the signs of damp. A discoloured patch near the top of a wall will often signal a leak in roofing, while cold spots or peeling paper near the floor often means rising damp. If left untreated, this can lead to broken baseboards and rotten floors. In addition to repairing the cause of the damp, property owners will soon be left with the need for widespread repairs and costly replacements.
Damp Proofing Your Property: The Benefits of Professional Help
In a province known for excessive moisture, it is no wonder that properties are constructed with damp proofing measures. Damp proofing is not one particular technique but refers to a wide range of measures. The most common treatment is installing insulation or vapour barriers to prevent excessive moisture from seeping in. Condensation is common in high humidity areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Extractor fans might reduce moisture in these areas but a real dampness problem requires more in-depth treatments. Exhaust fans or air conditioners that are installed on or near foundation walls must also be thoroughly insulated so damp cannot enter your home.
Even if structures have been built with damp proofing in place, these are not permanent solutions. Like any construction project, insulation and other materials will degrade over time. This can mean crumbling insulation or internal sheets that have shifted creating damp patches.
Avoid Costly Damage: Damp and mould growth do not just impact one area of a home, but causes widespread damage. Poorly insulated areas can allow moisture to make its way inside. Some of the most common areas for this to occur (other than the condensation which forms in bathrooms and around kitchens) are the areas around window frames and openings for air conditioners or other additions.
Decrease Utility Bills: If there is damp behind your walls, they will be cold to the touch. This can mean needing to increase heating use or running a humidifier or exhaust fan around the clock, which is not an energy efficient approach.
Avoid Widespread Damage: Noticing excessive moisture around window sills and vulnerable areas is common following a shower or after cooking. Daily use can impact indoor humidity levels but over time this can build up on itself, leading to wall rot, damaged flooring, warped doorframes, peeling wallpaper or chipped paint.
Calling an expert for your damp proofing needs means preventing disaster, while reducing costs and eliminating the threats associated with exposure to mold. Whether it is rising damp coming up from the ground or penetrating damp soaking in through walls, a plumbing expert can help to stop moisture in its tracks.