Penetrating Damp

Penetrating Damp In Gateshead

What is penetrating damp (rain penetration)

Penetrating damp, also known as water ingress or lateral damp, is the development of water between the walls, roof, or foundation of a building. It occurs mostly in older properties but can develop on properties of any age and at any level.

Water penetration through an exterior wall and into the property will result in penetrating damp. This may happen because of a building defect or because external brick or stone walls have eroded to the point that they have become porous, allowing water to pass through the external wall into the house.

The causes of penetrating damp can be grouped into three major categories:

  1. Building defects
  2. Porous bricks
  3. Damaged brickwork

Causes of penetrating damp

There are a number of sources that can contribute to the development of penetrating damp:

Poor installation of cavity wall insulation

Penetrating damp is also increasingly common in buildings of cavity wall construction where insulation has been poorly installed. Another cause can be due to a lack of understanding that cavity wall insulation should not be installed in the first place.

Defects in brickwork

If the brickwork isn't maintained properly, it can result in penetrating damp problems. As bricks become spalled and the pointing fails, the brickwork loses the ability to withstand the elements, allowing moisture to seep through the property's interior walls.

Porous walls

As bricks age, they lose their ability to keep out rain penetration while the cracks in the exterior render or masonry allow water ingress. Older properties that have had a lack of maintenance are more at risk of developing penetrating dampness.

Defective masonry and building materials

Building defects such as overflowing gutters, leaking or blocked drains, broken pointing and flashing, dilapidated or improperly built windows, and missing roof tiles are just a few of the issues that can cause penetrating damp.

Uneven ground levels

Penetrating moisture can also be seen where external ground levels are higher than internal floors, or where damp-proof membranes to concrete ground floors or slumps below the ground floor are faulty.

Defective doors and window frames

Gaps and cracks around window and door frames are common problems that, if ignored, can lead to damp issues down the road.


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Penetrating Damp In Gateshead

Is penetrating damp expensive to fix?

Fixing damp can be expensive; the amount depends on the issue and extent of the damage caused with roofing costing more than other causes such as leaky pipes.

How do you know if your property has penetrating damp?

What does penetrating damp look like? The common signs of penetrating dampness include:

  • Black mould growth
  • Dry rot - signs include white or orange growths
  • Rotting floor timbers or skirting boards
  • Plaster damage- wet and crumbling plaster, blistering
  • Localized dampness- blotchy patches on walls
  • Damaged internal decorations- damp and discoloured patches
  • Defects in brickwork-this are the most common sign of penetrating damp and is caused by frost damage due to freezing weather.

Other signs of penetrating damp on your property include moss, defects in surface finishing, poor insulation, and mildew.

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What is the difference between rising damp and penetrating damp?

Rising damp is caused by water rising from the ground and passing through the walls and floor, unabated by any damp proof course. This is most common in older buildings that lack a damp proof course or where it has been bridged over time.

Penetrating damp, on the other hand, is the development of moisture through the walls and roof or below the ground region of a building is known as penetrating damp, also known as lateral damp. If left unchecked, damp can result in structural issues as well as substantial damage to the fabric of your home and property, as it does in most cases of damp.

Penetrating Damp In Gateshead
Penetrating Damp In Gateshead

How To Prevent Penetrating Damp In Your Gateshead Home

The first step to preventing penetrating damp is identifying the locations that are most susceptible. Below are the areas where you are likely to find signs of dampness:


  • check for damage to tiles and missing parts
  • ensure the chimney flashing is firm and study

Gutters and drainpipes

  • check for missing or leaking drainpipes
  • check for any blockages in the gutters
  • check rainwater drains for blockages
  • look for damage to gutter parts

Doors and windows

  • ensure that they have drip grooves to prevent water from hitting the walls
  • ensure the doors and walls don't have any splits, cracks, or missing parts.


  • check for cracks or missing parts
  • seal any holes in cables going into your home
  • ensure cables have drip loops to prevent water from leaking into your home

Property care

The Property care Association is a leading association within the UK and Wales representing specialists in property care areas such as damp treatment, domestic ventilation, and flood restoration. Gateshead Homeowners should consult with the property care association when looking for damp treatment specialists, to ensure they get high-quality work.

Penetrating damp treatment

Here are some treatments you can use to fix areas on your property with penetrating damp:

Treatment with Stormdry

Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream and Stormdry Repointing Additive is the perfect solution. It provides protection against penetrating damp without affecting the visual appearance of brickwork or stonework.


Carry out a thorough property inspection, on both the exterior and interior. Check the walls to find any areas with cracks where water may seep through. Once you are done with the exterior, turn your attention to the plumbing; leaky pipes may be the culprit behind the damp and mould growth on your property.

Sealing points of water ingress

Sealing all entry points where water can seep into your property is a crucial step in the course of treatments for penetrating damp. It's the first step to property care and can range from time-consuming to quick, depending on the extent.

Replacing and repairing damaged parts

Defects are the reason for penetrating damp on your property, the solution is to correct these defects as soon as possible. All moisture-affected materials should be removed, regardless of the source, which usually entails stripping back damp paint and plaster all the way down to the brickwork and allowing it to dry. We will need to brace the building in more extreme cases where timbers have rotted to provide additional support as the rotting timbers are removed.


Penetrating damp is caused when water develops through the walls, foundation, and roof of a building. It is a common problem for old structures but can also develop on properties of any age. The three main causes of lateral damp on your property include building defects, porous bricks, and damaged brickwork.

Signs of water ingress include dry and wet rot, patches of dampness, mould growth, and damaged plasterwork. Treating lateral damp is easy, you can do it yourself for mild cases, but severe ones may become a problem and require you to contact a professional like Damp Hero.

There are three major steps to penetrating damp treatment: first inspect your property for areas where water may seep in. Second, seal all entry points, and lastly, repair or replace all defective parts. To avoid additional costs, it is wise to get advice from an expert in the field of damp control before beginning treatment on your own.

Penetrating Damp In Gateshead
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