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How to check for damp when buying a house

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How to check for damp when buying a house

A house will be one of your biggest investments, so you want to make sure you’re getting the best quality for your money. If left unaddressed, damp is one of the greatest threats to the quality of a property and the health of its occupants, that’s why you need to know where you stand with it before signing on the dotted line. 

In this article, we’ll offer up some handy tips on how to check for damp when buying a house, and especially what to look out for when viewing a house. We’ll then also cover how to treat damp if your heart is set on a particular property.  

How to spot damp during house viewings 

A house viewing is the perfect chance to peruse a potential home and spot any current or developing problems. Here’s what to look for regarding signs of damp: 

  • Check walls for tide marks: A sure sign of rising damp is tide marks up the walls, so make sure to carefully examine all walls for signs of rising damp or more serious penetrating damp. If water has risen above half a metre from the floor, then this could be an indication of ineffective damp proofing and/or missing or damaged components outside, such as tiles or bricks. 
  • Examine the outside of the property: Following on from the previous point, the exterior of a property can tell us a lot about what might be going on within. Any missing or cracked tiles, bricks, or overflowing gutters could potentially be causing issues further into the property. Also, keep an eye open for damaged flashing, rendering, pointing or ill-fitting doors and windows, as all are an opportunity for water ingress. External issues could result in penetrating damp, which may be more complicated to fix than other types – so it’s always worth getting a professional out to carry out a proper assessment. 
  • Mould: A moisture-rich environment will probably make mould thrive. The presence of mould behind furniture or in corners could be a signal that the home is high in condensation – and look out for water droplets that may accompany the mould in these cases. Sometimes condensation is just an easy fix, requiring proper ventilation of a structure or investment in better insulation. 
  • Patches on walls and ceilings: Obvious moist patches on ceilings and walls may be a cause to question the current owners or estate agent on their presence, especially if these patches are damp to the touch or even physically dribbling water. 
  • Peeling wallpaper: Paper that is peeling could just be a lack of maintenance, but it could also be an indication of damp, as can flaky paint and rusty nails. 

What should you do if you spot damp? 

The good news is that damp is not a barrier to buying a house. Most cases of damp can be easily cleared up with help from a professional damp proofing company, such as the team here at Avant Garde. We provide tailored, intelligent solutions to each and every case of damp. This way, the problem is corrected swiftly in order to futureproof the quality of your house and transform it back to buyable quality once again. 

Our solutions will include full surveys of the home to ensure nothing is missed. Once completed, we’ll create a bespoke long-term solution that may include damp proofing, injection of damp treatment and replastering. 

If your dream home is suffering from damp, it’s an easy fix with help from Avant Garde Damp Solutions. As one of London’s most reputable damp proofing companies, you can trust in our experts for quick diagnosis and correction of any issues. 

Simply get in touch to arrange your survey today – or just to get some friendly advice. 


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