Water always finds the easiest and quickest course of way to travel through a building with deleterious consequences. Without any discrimination between luxury and lower grade building, water can be harmful to both. During rainy seasons, the damages are seen easily. In the properties where leaks occur over time, it may take some time for damp patches and mould to appear. Water is the prevailing reason that affects the materials of properties degrade and damage.
What is Water Ingress?
Water entering your building in any way is a piece of bad news. When water from outside makes its way into the building, it is called water ingress. It can enter the building in different ways. For instance, often water comes through the basement, roofs, or the property walls if the building materials have already deteriorated.
Water ingress means big problems for the buildings and its occupants. Water can cause severe damage and lead to more expensive problems. It includes fungal decay, decoration damage, and long term damp issues harming your health. Water ingress is also referred to as penetrating damp sometimes as the water penetrates via the walls into the building.
Common Causes of Water Ingress
If any defect in the building permits the access of moisture into it, then the same should be treated or remedies immediately. Further, the affected area by water must be dried out, and water entry must be prevented. To identify the defects in the buildings that can result in water ingress and recognise areas within the buildings at risk of fungal decay. In such cases, a detailed inspection should be conducted by a competent damp specialist.
You need to pay attention to the following:
Here are some of the external factors that can cause problems of water ingress:
- Blockage in gutters, defective rainwater goods and the hidden valleys
- Defective roof surfacing
- Loose or displaced slates or tiles
- Broken, missing tiles
- Faulty flashing around chimneys
- Missing or defective damp proof course
- Deterioration of mortar in joints of brickwork
- Blocked air-bricks
- Bridging over the DPC
- Broken or cracked pipes, both waste-pipes and water-pipes
- Faulting flashing around window frames
- Continuation of overflowing water tanks
Apart from the above, climbing plants may hide many of the above defects. Roots of the plants may sabotage foundations causing breaks in damp courses.
In addition to potential causes of dampness, some of them are not visible from the outside. Here are the internal factors that cause water ingress:
- Concrete or solid stone floors covered with timber where the waterproof membrane are of poor quality or cracked
- Trapping of flood-water over concrete and under-floor space
- Condensation caused by steam, high atmospheric moisture
- Defective toilets and plumbing defects
- Laminating flooring or close-fitting linoleum vinyl installed over faulty ventilated or unventilated wooden floors
- Inadequate waterproofing and raised water level can cause water ingress into the basement
Signs you have Water Ingress in Your Building
There are several signs of water ingress. If you have wet walls and ceilings, this means you have issues with water ingress in your building. It shows that the water from outside has made its way inside. The other signs of water ingress are:
- Damp patches on walls, ceilings
- Musty, damp smell
- Peeling of plaster from the walls
- Mould growth on the surfaces
- Wet and dry rot
- Peeling of paint
Importance of Tracing Water Leaks
Various environmental factors such as ultraviolet light, pollution, or movement cause the building materials to become less resilient and degrade. Substandard repairs, irregular maintenance, and failure to find the point of ingress contribute to continuing leaks.
Preventing water ingress can prevent the need to replace damaged interior woodwork such as skirting boards and flooring. Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, identifying potential weakness and water ingress points before the leak occurs is the best way to reduce potential damage. However, after the water ingress has already occurred, tracking it back to the source is time-consuming and a daunting process that needs a thorough and systematic approach.
With damp spreading through the surface of walls or water dripping onto a floor, the instant approach recognises what appears to be the evident repair and carries this out immediately.
Prevention of Water Ingress
Despite its causes, you can usually prevent water ingress by checking your property regularly and looking out for negative signs.
Preventing Ingress via Roof
Check the condition of the roof regularly to prevent water ingress from the roof. Keep an eye for any broken or missing tiles and replace them instantly if found one. It is also good to check to clear out the debris and guttering. Damaged guttering can be fixed by you at home and usually doesn’t need an expensive repair.
Preventing Ingress via Brickwork
When it comes to brickwork, you can prevent water ingress by checking the condition of bricks and mortar. Look out for the brickwork while residing and before purchasing the property. If the mortar appears to be shedding, depleting, or cracks are there in the rendering, you will need to get it repaired quickly. If your walls appear to be wet inside after it rains heavily, it indicates that your building has poor brickwork.
Take Care of Ingress via Windows
If you notice a lot of damp or water condensed around the windows or window frames in your home, it may be due to the poor installation or the damaged sealant which needs replacement.
Before buying a house, always ask whether it has a damp proof course (DPC) installed or not. Usually, DPC is missing in the older properties. However, if they do have DPC, it might not be up to the latest advanced damp proof course standard. It is the most bothersome cause of water ingress and also the most expensive to treat. Thus, you should always check out the DPC and especially if your building has a basement.
Moreover, look for faulty plumbing in your building and try to identify where it has the problem. Get it fixed straight away once you found the issue.
Water ingress is one of the most common problems faced by residents, especially those who live in places that experience heavy rains. Water can lead to severe damages to your property and can affect your health conditions. To treat water ingress, you need to first identify its source and then carry out the repair work. So, if you are struggling with any water ingress or any other type of dampness in your building, you can always reach out to Advanced Damp specialists for treatment solutions.
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