How to Spot Damp and How to Fix It

16 Nov, 2023

How to Spot Damp and How to Fix It

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If you are a homeowner and you suspect you have a damp problem read on. In this article we share how to spot damp and also how to fix the problem. We offer a clear description of the key indicators that you might have a damp problem and what to do about it.

How to Spot Damp and How to Fix It

permanently wet bricks are a good clue in how to spot damp
Permanently wet bricks are a good clue in how to spot dampt

Damp can come in several forms. Whatever the case, spotting damp early and hiring a professional to fix it promptly is key to preventing damp-related issues from worsening.

If damp issues worsen it can ultimately cost, you more to fix and potentially even put you and members of your household in danger. So, without further ado, here’s how to spot damp and what to do about it!

How to Spot Damp – The Signs

Firstly, let’s look at some of the key indicators and how to spot damp. Knowing what signs to look out for can help you spot this issue early and then have it addressed ASAP. It’s important to know that there are different types of damp too and certain signs may indicate one type or another.

Penetrating Damp

Here are some of the common signs of penetrating damp:

  • Bubbling plaster
  • You notice wallpaper and plaster with damage fairly high up on the wall
  • External house wall has experienced damage/cracks
  • Walls feature damp patches
  • Ceilings feature damp patches

Rising Damp

Here are some of the common signs of rising damp:

  • Wallpaper and paint are peeling off
  • Skirting boards rotting
  • Bubbling or flakey plaster
  • You notice a white powder-like substance potentially resulting from soluble salts that dissolved and come from the ground initially


Here are some of the common signs of condensation:

  • High levels of moisture (e.g. moisture on windows or/and tiles)
  • Lingering musty smell in your home
  • Mould growth near walls
  • Mould growth near window frames
  • Higher humidity levels

How to Fix Damp

paint peeling of the walls
Paint peeling off the walls are also a sign of damp

The steps required to fix damp can vary widely. Also, along with fixing the damp directly you’ll want to have the damage it has done addressed too. But first let’s focus on fixing damp itself.

When it comes to address damp issues, damp proofing costs (as well as any other costs involved in fixing damp or/and its symptoms) can vary depending on a range of factors including the extent of the problem.

Fixing Penetrating Damp

There are many steps that may be need to fix penetrating damp, including but not limited to the following:

  • Fixing or replacing faulty guttering
  • Repairing air gaps (e.g. doors and window frames with air gaps)
  • Replacing porous bricks
  • Address cavities in isolated parts of a cavity wall
  • Exterior paint added to suitable areas of exterior surfaces

Fixing Rising Damp

Some of the potential fixes for rising damp include but are not limited to:

  • Damp proof course or DPC
  • Chemical injections
  • Re-plastering post-rising damp treatment
  • Internal damp proof injection cream

Fixing Condensation

The steps needed to address condensation can be more straightforward/conventional with potential examples including:

  • Utilise dehumidifiers
  • Dry clothes outdoors when possible
  • Have an extractor fan added to your kitchen
  • Have an extractor fan added to your bathroom
  • Improve ventilation with suitable measures (e.g. roof ventilation tiles, air vents through internal walls, adding air bricks to outside walls).
  • Ensuring windows are opened when the shower or bath is being used

Addressing the Symptoms/Side-Effects

Aside from how to spot damp, you need to consider the consequences. Among the consequences of the damp you may need fixed may include:

  • Replacing plaster
  • Replacing wallpaper
  • Re-painting an interior space
  • Having mould removed
  • Having damage or cracks on your property’s exterior repaired

Final thoughts on how to spot damp and how to fix it

Now that you understand more clearly how to spot damp and what to do about it you know that you need to take action.

Naturally, the vast majority of the jobs needed to address the consequences of damp will require a professional. If in any doubt as to whether a job is DIY friendly, make sure to check with a professional.



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