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Damp walls in old houses

Portugal is not alone when it comes to damp walls in old houses.

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Damp walls in old houses

Portugal has a warm and sunny climate so we dont usually think about rain and high humidity until it arrives in the winter months.

When the winter rain comes the rainfall is often heavy and prolonged it is then that we start to notice the damp patches spreading and internal walls having a glazed/wet look as if they had been sprayed with water.

Some unfortunate people also have water running into their homes through a light fitting or flooded basements which often cause people huge distress.

These mini floods transform a comfortable home into a dank, humid, smelly space and is a horrible experience for any home owner.

Driven and standing rain water has a habit of appearing in the home when and where we dont want it.

If you have ever sat in your Portuguese home watching bowls and buckets trying to catch the drips and towels to catch the water streaming down the walls you will know how demoralising this can be.

All it takes is the first heavy rains to find the new faults and cracks which have appeared in your stairs, outside steps roof terraces and verandas.

Now you must just sit and wait. Wait for the rain to stop and the problem to ease for a while.
We know that water can cause problems such as electrical shorting and is an electrocution hazard.

The water will have soaked into the structure of the building causing paint and plaster damage, damp walls and ceiling and that awful damp smell.

What to do about the problem.
Understand what it is – It is called Penetrating damp
Understand what it causing the problem and also where it is entering the home – This may not be as obvious as you first think and can require some experience to spot the source of the problem.

Understand what materials or systems are required to stop this happening again.

You’d think it would be fairly easy to locate the ingress of water into your property but the problem is that it can often be weeks or months before any damp appears.

Typical signs of penetrating which damp are:
Growing circles of darker damp patches on walls or ceilings
Raised blotchy patches on walls
Wet and crumbly plaster near the skirting board
Signs of black spots, stains or mildew
Water drips and puddles after it rains

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