Understanding Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp (also known as water ingress or lateral damp) is one of the most prevalent sources of damp in older structures, but it can occur in homes of any age and at any level of the building.

Water infiltration through an external wall and inside the property causes penetrating damp. This can happen because of a building issue or because external brick or stone walls have decayed to the point where they have become porous, allowing water to penetrate through the external wall into the residence.

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Is penetrating damp a source of mould?

Penetrating Damp is indeed a source of mould. In regions where there is a lot of dampness, black mould is a common concern.

What is the difference between rising damp and penetrating damp?

The height at which rising and penetrating damp occurs is the most prevalent distinction. Rising damp occurs only up to a metre above ground level, whereas penetrating damp can occur anywhere.

How can I differentiate between condensation and penetrating dampness?

Penetrating damp is defined as water or moisture that has seeped into the structure of a building. Leaky roofs, busted water pipes, blocked gutters, and insufficient plumbing maintenance are the most common causes. Whereas, condensation is generally a result of the lifestyle practices of those residing in the property.

What Causes Penetrating Damp?

Penetrating damp in properties is typically caused by structural flaws such as roof tile deterioration, wall cracking, poor guttering, or internal damage from leaking or burst pipes.

Penetrating damp can also be caused by:

– Spalled bricks and defective masonry – over time the external brickwork can become defective from age or neglect allowing water to penetrate a property.

– Porous walls – unable to keep rain from penetrating inside a property.

How to Identify Penetrating Damp?

Because the symptoms of penetrating damp are sometimes confused with those of other types of damp, identifying damp can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. You should be able to recognise the indicators of penetrating damp from the following signs, regardless of size or scale:

  • Damaged Internal Decoration – deterioration and staining internal wall
  • Damaged Plaster – blistering, salting and disintegration.
  • Rotting Skirting Boards or Floor Timbers – wet rot decay can develop as a result of moisture saturating timber.
  • Localised dampness – Random damp patches at a high and low level that grow in size when coming into contact with moisture.
  • Mould Growth – musty smell, spoilt decoration.
  • Brick damage – damage to the brickwork on external walls resulting in spalling and cracks in the structure of the wall can allow moisture to enter the property.

If your home is suffering from penetrating damp, the sooner you address the issue, the less damage it will cause. Contact our damp proofing team today by calling 01273 257 765 or filling out an online form to schedule a survey.


How can Penetrating Damp enter a property?

  1. Penetrating damp through render

    In addition to protecting brick and reinforcing the structure, the render on a building’s walls works as a raincoat, preventing water from reaching the surface. Unfortunately, as the render deteriorates due to age or injury, it will begin to show cracks and fractures, which can lead to penetrating damp through the render.

  2. Small cracks in the render can lead to penetrating damp

    Even little fractures in a building’s render might allow water to seep through and become trapped between the render and the brickwork. The stagnant moisture will eventually penetrate through the brickwork/masonry, causing penetrating damp to develop within the internal wall. This can result in an ugly and perhaps dangerous damp condition in the property, which will only get worse if not addressed.

What is water ingress?

Water ingress is a term used in the construction industry to describe the action of water invading a structure. It’s also a term that’s typically used to characterise a property’s penetrating dampness.

What is causing water ingress to occur?

Water ingress normally occurs due to some sort of defect in the building such as cracks in the render allowing water to penetrate the property and, unsurprisingly, can lead to a host of damp related problems if left to its own devices such as:

  • Damp plasterwork
  • Increased heat loss
  • Damp musty smells
  • Frost damage to masonry
  • Wet rot
  • Dry rot
  • Unsightly water damage on both the outside and inside of a property

Given the potential consequences of repeated water ingress, we always recommend contacting our specialist damp experts to investigate the source of the water ingress, the potential damage that has been caused, and how we can prevent moisture ingress and penetrating damp from causing further damage.

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Damp and cavity wall insulation

To begin, it should be stated that cavity wall insulation can be extremely helpful and can significantly raise the value of your property if done correctly.

Unfortunately, in the hurry to make the houses greener and more energy-efficient, we are increasingly witnessing a correlation between damp and hollow wall insulation, which can lead to penetrating damp.

What exactly is cavity wall insulation?

The act of filling the gap between the outside and inner walls (known as the cavity) with insulation material such as foam, mineral-wool fibre, or beaded polystyrene is referred to as cavity wall insulation.

It is advantageous because it helps to limit the transfer of heat from inside the house to the cold outside. In theory, it’s a terrific idea, but it’s not without its drawbacks if you don’t use a qualified or industrially approved contractor.

Why does cavity wall insulation can cause dampness?

Cavity wall insulation damp problems are mainly caused by it being installed improperly or inaccurately, or by a lack of attention to the suitability of installing cavity wall insulation in the first place.

What we mean by the latter is that if there is damage to the external wall brickwork or render that was not detected prior to installation, the cavity wall insulation will effectively operate as a moisture bridge between the damaged external wall regions and the internal wall once it has been put. Penetrating damp is the most prevalent result of this moisture bridge.

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How serious is penetrating damp?

The problem of penetrating damp is really serious. For instance, it creates optimal conditions for Serpula lacrymans to thrive, in addition to the normal apparent indications. Dry rot is the popular name for this destructive fungus, and it can destroy the timber framework of your home, posing a danger.

In general, moisture has been identified as one of the leading causes of respiratory health complications, with the elderly, asthmatics, and children being particularly sensitive. Although dampness isn’t always dangerous, it can exacerbate the health problems of individuals who already have them.

What happens if Penetrating Damp is left untreated?

There are a number of reasons why your home could be susceptible to penetrating damp. Leaking or pierced pipes, broken roofs, and clogged gutters are all common sources of damp difficulties. Because the foregoing flaws allow moisture to penetrate through your property’s walls, they cause dampness to form.

As time passes, the degree of the damp damage and paint lifting on your interior walls becomes more apparent. These problems are exacerbated during the winter months, when water trapped in the walls freezes and expands, causing the raised paintwork to flake.

Rainfall can infiltrate into buildings through leaky roofs, blocked gutters, overflows, and other water entry sites, generating penetrating wet. When water penetrates the building’s framework, it can cause major structural damage to the walls and beams. Large stains left on the ceiling, floors, walls, and interior paintwork makes this form of moisture easier to identify, especially after severe rains.

The parapets, roofs, and chimneys are usually the most vulnerable to the effects of severe rains since they are difficult to maintain due to their inaccessibility. Water can seep through broken water ridges, lead flashings, hips, or water fillets, making roof junctions the most troublesome areas. Penetrating damp is usually caused by structural difficulties such as faulty roofs, gutters, or wall cracks. Damp can cause damage to a building’s interior and exterior walls.

What is A Penetrating Damp Investigation?

To thoroughly examine the extent of the penetrative damp and the best course of action, our Chartered Surveyor will most likely propose a full damp survey. The professional diagnosis and advice you receive after a damp survey from a fully qualified surveyor can have a significant impact on deciding the best damp treatment approach, potentially saving you hundreds of pounds. The best way to know the qualifications of a surveyor and whether he is approved is by checking the CRDS (Certificate in Remedial Damp Surveying) or the CSRT (Certificate in Remedial Treatment).

The first step is to do a property survey. We will start our treatment plan, which includes traditional building techniques and damp proofing solutions after we know the amount and nature of the damp problem. This strategy guarantees that the faults that allowed the damp to occur are corrected and that preventative measures such as waterproofed concrete or chemical water repellent are implemented.

Damp has been shown to cause major health problems, not to mention the property damage it can bring if not addressed quickly. As a result, if you suspect your property has damp, you should call an independent surveyor for a professional assessment as to whether or not you require a damp survey.

Booking a Penetrating Damp Survey

Sussex Damp Experts is the company to call if you need experienced penetrating damp treatment. Our surveyors and experts will accurately analyse, diagnose, and treat your penetrating damp problem using cutting-edge diagnostic technology and treatment procedures. With over 10 years of experience in treating properties from the effects of damp, rot and woodworm. Contact our team today on 01273 257 765 or click the button below to book a survey today.

How To Treat Penetrating Damp

Identifying and correcting the cause of moisture/water ingress is the most critical stage in penetrating damp treatment. Property issues are more likely to blame for penetrating damp. Even in residential developments, there are on average 4 potential points of water entry that can impact a home:

  • Defective pointing
  • Porous brickwork
  • Cracks in render
  • Defective rainwater disposal goods

To keep the brickwork from being saturated, all of these places must be kept in top shape, with any faults detected and problems corrected.

How Much Does It Cost To Treat Damp?

Giving a set price for dump treatment is impossible because the cost of a damp treatment is determined by a number of factors, such as the size of the house, the extent of the damage, and so on. After conducting a penetrating damp survey on your property, we will provide you with an estimate for the treatment of penetrating damp.

Contact Sussex Damp Experts Today

Whether your home is brand new or has had extensive renovations, it is still susceptible to penetrating damp. Choosing to handle it yourself may sound appealing, but it may out to be ineffective because it is quite easy to misdiagnose the sort of damp causing damage to your home. As a result, it would be in your best interests to contact our expert surveyor to assess the damp in your home. Our surveyor would arrive and determine the cause of the damp, the extent of the damage, and the necessary repairs. Sussex Damp Experts can perform a property damp survey, offer you related advice and treat your penetrating damp issues.

Why Choose Sussex Damp Experts?

We adhere to high standards when it comes to damp proofing treatments, professional re-plastering, wood preservation, and damp inspections.

We provide homeowners, local governments, small enterprises, and large commercial properties with highly customised, professional, and dependable damp proofing treatment and repair services.

Sussex Damp Experts – Damp Proofing Specialists

If you are experiencing damp issues in Brighton and the surrounding areas, please call our damp specialist team on 01273 257 765 to schedule a survey or treatment.

Following our instructions, one of our CSRT and CSSW trained surveyors will thoroughly examine and provide a report, price quote and treatment suggestions.

We have a team of damp proofing experts with a wide range of experience dealing with damp issues such as penetrating damp, dry rot and woodworm, wet rot, wood rot, basement waterproofing, all sorts of interior dampness, and condensation control in both commercial and residential premises.

Advantages of choosing Sussex Damp Experts:

  • CSSW and CSRT Surveyors
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  • Expert service from fully qualified technicians
  • Over 20 years of combined experience

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