There are a lot of misconceptions about what causes dampness or mold in a home. New homeowners may come across water stains and mold and not have a clue what to do. Existing owners may have known there was a problem, but ignored the issue or not known if anything could be done. Surveyors may take a look and recommend thousands of dollars worth of treatment, leaving homeowners confused and worried.
If you want to try to tackle the issue of rising damp yourself, it’s possible. You may need a large drill and an appropriate treatment plan, but many of the solutions available to professionals can also be done by homeowners.
Mold issues can get more complicated. For example, if you know you have a pervasive black mold issue, you may want a professional to test your home — or you can purchase an air quality kit. The issue shouldn’t be shrugged off. Mold can cause allergies or irritate autoimmune diseases. You can find plenty of horror stories online about people who’ve had to move because of an infestation.
Keep in mind: Damp rising up though the walls from the ground can be misdiagnosed. Homeowners may spend four or five figures to fix the problem, only to realize that the problem may be more complicated.
Before you try anything with a big price tag (including DIY solutions), be confident in the diagnosis.
There are experts available who specialize in dealing with moisture and dampness, like the UK’s Advanced Damp. When looking for professionals, target a company with a good track record and reviews from past customers. You should also get quotes from a few companies before making your final decision.
For any moisture inspection to be thorough, you’ll probably need to get on a ladder and check areas that aren’t easily visible. These may include the top of the wall, where mold and moisture can build up over time, and areas near windows or other water sources.
If you know that your home is prone to heavy rains or snowfall in the winter, it may be a good idea to schedule your wall inspection during this time or as soon as the weather improves.
Homeowners and renters looking for DIY solutions will find plenty below.
If you have rising dampness in a foundation wall or on the first floor, there are mold you can place into the walls to seal up the problem. Yes, it almost seems like homeowner magic, yet Dry Rod Damp Proofing Rods are real.
To install these chemical rods, you should know how thick your wall is. Then, using a masonry drill, you bore holes though the mortar, in between the bricks or concrete, just far enough so your aren’t poking through the other side of the wall. You cut off the appropriate length of rod and slide it in between the bricks.
These with the damp and mold, creating a glass-like material, making the walls waterproof. The water will stop from rising up.
If a wall isn’t brick or concrete, drilling may not be necessary. Dampseal can be painted on vertical walls almost like primer, underneath the paint. First a diluted layer must be brushed onto the wall and then followed up by full strength coat after 24 hours. Together, these two layers create a waterproof seal. Keep in mind, dampseal isn’t made to be used on drywall.
If you have a standalone brick garage or workshop with rising damp, Black Jack roof & foundation coating can be used to seal worn foundation walls. The coating helps weatherproof the surface and keep damp from rising.
A spot of mold can grow on plastered walls for a variety of reasons, such as leaking roof or damp climate. To clean up the issue, you’ll need to scrape off the bubbles off of the mold. It makes sense to wear gloves and a filtered mask when working with mold growth.
The Spruce has reviewed several mold removers and recommends RMR-141 disinfectant. The chemical works on a variety of surfaces to stop mold, mildew bacteria and other issues caused by dampness. Keep in mind that it won’t remove mold stains, so you may need a different product or primer to take care of discoloration. Plus you’ll probably need to add new layer of paint.
Larger mold infestations may require professional treatment.