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Types of Damp – 4 Best Examples Explained

Types of Damp - 4 Common Causes

As experts in water leak detection and water damage in properties we often come across damp in homes and businesses. Damp is a generic term which people use to apply to various forms of moisture in a property.

In this article we will list the five most common types of damp will you come across and explain the differences between them. Later on in the article, we also have an example of how damp and moisture can migrate from one place to another.

Types of Damp - Main Causes, including water leak
Types of Damp – Main Causes

What are the 4 Types of Damp?

This article will explain each of these in more detail but the most frequently occurring and common types of damp in the United Kingdom are:

  • Damp from a Water Leak
  • Rising Damp
  • Penetrating Damp
  • Damp from Condensation

Each of these each these are different types of damp and it is important to distinguish between them both the cause and remedy are different accordingly. so it is important not to confuse them with each other. Each of the things on this list can have different causes. For example damp on your ceiling may result in ceiling water damage be caused by upstairs shower leaking through the ceiling.

Types of Damp caused by a Water Leak
Types of Damp – Water Leak

Types of Damp 1 – Water Leaks

Clearly this is one of the most common types of damp we come across in fact in our article about the signs of a water leak, number one on that list is a visible sign of damp. this can include such things as:

Each of the things on this list can have different causes. For example damp on your ceiling may be caused by upstairs shower, bathtub or toilet leaking through the ceiling. There are many things in houses that can possibly leak water.

Strange as it may initially seem, people can be relieved to see that their damp is caused by a water leak as firstly they may be able to claim back costs on their home insurance and secondly it can mean that there isn’t something more substantially wrong with their property.

Types of Damp - Rising Damp, Water Leaks
Types of Damp – Rising Damp

Types of Damp 2 – Rising Damp

Rising damp is perhaps the most commonly considered and discussed damp in the UK. However, it can be misdiagnosed in error when the underlying cause is something else for example a condensation problem which we will discuss later on in this article.

That said rising damp is not uncommon especially in older properties of which clearly there are many in the UK. We are able to carry out a number of inspections and tests to help see if you have rising damp in your property. Importantly, we will also help identify the cause and make recommendations tailored to your specific property

Types of Damp - Penetrating Damp, Water Leak
Types of Damp – Penetrating Damp

We are sometimes appointed by a loss adjuster to help understand damp problems, especially to help get to the route cause as this can often help with insurance claims.

Types of Damp 3 – Penetrating Damp

This is perhaps the second most commonly thought of type of damp in properties in the UK but like rising damp, it can be misdiagnosed. The other thing to remember is that rising damp and penetrating damp can in some instances be seen together. This can complicate matters.

As you might expect rising damp is caused by moisture rising up, normally from the ground, into the fabric of a building. on the other hand, penetrating damp is more commonly associated with moisture travelling horizontally through materials. like rising damp penetrating damp is more commonly found in older properties especially those with structural issues.

Types of Damp - Condensation and Water Leak
Types of Damp – Condensation

Types of Damp 4 – Damp From Condensation

This is one of the lesser known types of damp but it’s surprisingly common especially in the colder months of the year it is often seen together with mould problems as one can cause the other. as we said in our article about dew point, condensation occurs when moisture in the air comes into contact with a surface (such as a wall or ceiling) whose temperature is at or below dew point causing the moisture in the air to condense. That is to say, it changes from water vapour / steam back into a liquid.

One very common cause of damp is bathroom condensation. People with especially bad condensation problems may benefit from a survey which will look at causes, and make recommendations. This could include something such as a PIV unit.

Our dew point calculator is a very useful tool as is our dew point chart, alongside an infrared thermometer, in identifying if the conditions are conducive for condensation problems that can lead to damp. the other thing to remember with condensation problems if that in some instances the elevated moisture in the air contributed to an increase in relative humidity can be caused by something such as a water leak.

Moisture Tracking

Now that we have explained the four different types of damp, billow we have a very interesting video showing how moisture or damp can track or migrate from one place to another through an absorbent material (which could be a wall / plaster or ceiling).

As you can see, the coloured water in each of the two glasses travels up through the absorbent material into the empty glass in between and this happened in just a half hour (which we sped up for the video). We plan to do some more experiments on this soon too, so watch out for that.

You can see our YouTube Channel for more similar videos too.

You can imagine how overtime a prolonged water leak for example could spread water to a number of places in your property. so as we always say, if you think you have a water leak get help straight away before too much damage is caused to your property.

Water Leak Causes
Top Water Leak Causes

Types of Damp – Other Articles

We hope you found this article useful, here are a few others you may want to read on similar subjects:

If you have need help finding a water leak at your home with our trace and access service, get in touch with our friendly team today. We offer these services to both domestic and commercial customers, including commercial leak detection.

As experts in both water damage restoration and leak detection, we have you covered. logo logo

How can I stop damp in my house?

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In order to stop damp in your house, you need to understand first what the type of damp you have and (very importantly) what the cause of that damp is. Even then, more details may be required to see how best to stop your type of damp. For example, lets say it is caused by a water leak, you need to know where exactly that leak is, and get it fixed before deciding how to treat the water damage and damp, with any repairs. Otherwise, the damp will likely return.

How serious is damp in a house?

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How serious damp (and the damage it has caused) is in a house in the UK will depend on a number of key factors. Not least the amount of damp, where it is located, the materials affected, how structural those materials are, the length of time the damp has existed and finally, the age and condition of the property. That said, you should never ignore damp, get it looked at by a damp specialist like ourselves.