bad water ingress example and damage

Many homeowners often ask us "what is water ingress, and how can I solve it?"

Water ingress is one of the most popular damp problems affecting homeowners in the UK.

If you have heard water ingress horror stories, high chances are you wouldn’t want to experience them. It begins with mild dampness, stuffiness, unpleasant odours, poor indoor air quality, mould growth, and suddenly, in no time, if you don't act fast, you realize you are developing respiratory issues. 

You don't want to experience this. Lucky for you, we’ll discuss what water ingress is, how to detect it, prevent it and solve it.

Let’s dive right into it. 

What is Water Ingress? 

Water ingress is when water penetrates its way into a building allowing water into unwanted areas. It is also referred to also penetrating damp. There is a lot of damage that can occur when water enters your building. But, significant problems come in the future, and this is why you need to resolve any defective drainage problem quickly before more serious structural issues occur. 

The best way to deal with water ingress is to contact Damp Hero your local damp proofing specialists. And you want to do it as soon as you notice the first signs of water ingress. The faster you solve it, the better for your health and property. 

What Causes Water Ingress? 

The leading cause of water ingress is faults or defects in the building from where water infiltrates. What does this mean? Take care of your property to avoid defects that could lead to dampness penetration. Ensure you carry out regular property maintenance to keep your property and plumbing system in good shape. 

Water ingress issues to look out for in your regular house maintenance? 

  • Roof damage: inspection of the roof for leaks, defective surfacing and identify missing broken tiles and chimney problems. A faulty flashing chimney could let water in or deteriorating mortar. Have a professional inspect your flat roofs to prevent water ingress damages.  
  • Walls: blocked air bricks, building defects, missing damp proof course (DPC) in cavity walls where access is often a major issue, damaged pipework will make your mortar porous. 
  • Faulty or blocked gutters: You need to ensure your gutters are well functioning. If your valley gutters are faulty and blocked or you have cracked guttering, water will start to penetrate your building through your walls making them damp. 
  • Windows: If your windows have faulty flashing around the window frames may allow water into your house causing damage and so should be carefully investigated
  • Rising damp: Always keep an eye on rising damp. If there is a failure in the damp proof course or a missing DPC, you will end up with penetrating damp coming from the external ground level near the skirting boards. 
  • Plumbing issues: Be keen on the plumbing system in your house. If you have a faulty internal plumbing problem like water pipes, you can end up having penetrating dampness
  • Wall ties: if made of metal then wall ties can become corroded, or simply incorrectly positioned

Signs of Water Ingress or Penetrating Damp

How will you know there is water ingress in your property? What are the signs to look out for? 

Watch out for these common signs of water ingress:

  • Plaster peeling off the wall & loose building materials
  • Damp, musty smell
  • Damp patches on the wall or ceiling 
  • Mold growth or fungal decay on the wall
  • Water ingress in the basement or cellar 

Property owners, if you notice any of these signs, take quick action by contacting a specialist. 

Water Ingress in a Cellar or Basement

Water ingress in the cellars and basements is a significant issue for property owners in the UK. 

If you were primarily involved in the designing phase of your building, chances are you know about the waterproofing process. However, this is not usually the case. Some buildings are not waterproofed in the designing phase. Besides, a lot of old buildings lack a proper waterproofing system. 

Also, your building's waterproofing system may get damaged over time. So, be on the lookout to fix it when the need arises. 

If your building has no waterproofing system, you need to find:

  • Drainage membrane
  • Perimeter drainage channels 
  • Sump pumps

These will help you prevent water penetration. 

What if you cannot find these items? You can go with this other alternative; the use of tanking the cellar. This involves the use of waterproof slurry coating on the walls. 

Water Ingress Prevention

Water ingress can cause significant health problems, especially to your respiratory system. Do you need any other reason to prevent it? No, you don’t. If deterioration of your health is involved, that’s already a solid reason. But another reason to prevent water ingress is it will cost a lot of money to repair the damage. 

The most ideal way to prevent water ingress is to improve your property maintenance game. We cannot stress this enough. Be on the lookout for:

  • Defective drainage
  • Gutters- blocked gutters splash water to the wall or make water run along the wall, and the result is, you guessed it correct
  • Roof damage
  • Missing or broken slates
  • Waterproofing systems
  • External wall cavity

If you notice such troubles early, you can fix them before having to deal with water ingress. 

You don't want to deal with water ingress after it has caused serious structural issues. The earlier, the better. 

An occasional thorough inspection by professionals is also a good idea.

More Ways To Prevent Water Ingress

Want another way to stay ahead of water ingress? 

Sometimes, even proper maintenance may end up disappointing you. Well, how about you get some products that can help you stay ahead of a penetrating damp? You can use water repellent or facade cream to prevent water ingress. 

Wondering how water repellent or facade cream works? They penetrate the brick, stone, or concrete. The penetration makes the walls resistant and prevents the damp from spreading. 

Remove vegetation from your house

Plant lovers—We know how devastating this can be to you. However, climbing plants hold moisture against your wall's surface. With time, such plants will have moisture penetrate your walls. If you have climbing plants on your exterior wall, you may want to reconsider that. 

Fix any faulty internal plumbing issues

If you notice any sign of water ingress on the internal group level of the house or the external ground levels of the house, find out whether it could be the result of any plumbing issues. If so, this could be easily fixed by fixing the plumbing issue.

How Do You Treat Water Ingress?

You worked so hard to prevent water ingress, but it still happened. 

You were so good with the maintenance, but here we are; again! Or perhaps, you did not know how to work around it. And the damp spreading is quickly getting out of hand. 

Now that we are here already, how do you treat it? Follow these steps:

  • Find the root cause of water ingress and fix it. You cannot solve the problem without fixing the causes of water ingress
  • Give the affected areas time to dry out
  • Have professionals repair the damage

Final Thoughts 

Water ingress can be a headache when it hits your property. Preventing it is the right strategy. However, if it has hit you already, you are not helpless. You can treat water ingress and get your comfort back. Maintain your property, and always be on the watch for any defects. However, if you notice any signs of water ingress, contact waterproofing specialists quickly. 

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