If you’re a North London resident, you’ve undoubtedly had problems with damp in your home. Or you at least know someone else who’s dealt with it. Homes with damp and mould are prevalent in London.
A quick Google search for damp proof specialists in North London will attest to this fact – there are numerous damp proofing and basement tanking companies operating throughout the capital city.
Clearly, damp-proofing is big business in North London. But why is that?
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North London Has a Damp Problem
Residents of London suffer from damp and draughts in their homes. A YouGov and Shelter poll from 2016 found that 39 per cent of renters in London had to contend with damp or mould.
Relatedly, a quarter of London homes have consistently been given poor energy ratings since 2009.
Cold, damp, and mould in such high quantities can lead to persistent health problems. On a large scale, they also point to lower levels of energy efficiency.
The UK has old housing, with about 21 per cent of homes being built before 1919 and 16 per cent between 1919 and 1945.
Schemes have been undertaken by the government at national and local levels to update the insulation in housing, so homes aren’t so cold and damp.
These measures have only worked to an extent, though, as many North Londoners still experience problems with damp. As a result, damp proofing companies have proliferated.
The Causes of Damp in North London Homes
If damp is such a problem in North London, what are the causes behind it? According to the Property Care Association, failed or compromised insulation is a possible cause.
This includes poor pointing and cracked render in filled cavity wall buildings.
Indeed, improper materials, inferior ventilation, and sub-par maintenance account for the top three causes of damp in North London.
Incorrect building materials for adequate damp and waterproofing are most commonly found in old houses.
Homes predating the mid-20th century don’t contain modern building materials. Builders didn’t account for damp proofing when constructing these homes.
Updating these homes can be done but it’s usually a complicated process inserting modern insulation or waterproof substances into old homes.
Moisture will build up in homes that don’t vent properly. It’s wise to keep air circulating through your home by opening the windows and ensuring you have an extractor fan in high-moisture rooms like the kitchen and bathroom.
With damp being such a common problem in North London, keeping it away requires regular inspection and maintenance.
Consequently, you should check your roof, chimney stack, gutters, and pipes for damage like missing roof tiles, cracks, breaks, and blockages.
Dealing with Damp
Now that you understand the main causes behind damp in your North London home, you can take steps to mitigate it.
Most people don’t regularly check for damp unless they see signs of it, like mould on their skirting boards or windowsills.
But doing your own inspections every few months, along with paying mind to your daily habits, can go a long way to prevent damp problems.
What are some good habits to keep damp away? Opening your windows as frequently as you can is a good start.
So is avoiding hanging up wet laundry to dry inside the house. Also, keep the doors to bathrooms and kitchens closed when you shower or cook, so damp doesn’t spread to the rest of the house.
Basement Waterproofing on the Rise
Damp is a big problem in North London homes, especially in basements and cellars. These underground rooms typically lack windows, so they can’t receive natural air circulation.
They might also be improperly ventilated, causing even more moisture build-up.
To help homeowners keep basement flooding at bay, damp-proof specialists will often also offer basement tanking or waterproofing services.
Basements can be a valuable feature of your North London home – but only if they’re moisture free!
Tanking a basement usually involves professionals adding an internal or external membrane to your basement’s walls.
This substance soaks up moisture and prevents water from the soil surrounding your home seeping through the walls.
As is the case with damp proofing, basement waterproofing is an extensive job and usually best left to professionals to complete.
When to Call Damp Proofing Experts
While there are things North London homeowners can do to combat the effects of damp, sometimes a professional is needed.
If your house has penetrating damp or rising damp, the solution will take more than just closing the bathroom door when you shower.
If you notice mould, cracked wallpaper, tide marks on your walls, a musty smell, or even damaged timber, then you’ll likely need to call a damp proofing expert.
Damp-proofing and basement waterproofing is such big business in North London because damp is such a widespread problem.
If you call the right specialist, though, your home won’t be another residence with consistent damp problems.