28 Nov How to Protect Walls from Moisture
Moisture on the walls of your home is unavoidable and should not be of large concern to homeowners. Rather, it is dampness that must be taken seriously as it is a symptom of a water leakage. To protect your home from dampness, a range of waterproofing techniques can be used. This includes installing a waterproofing membrane, having proper drainage paths and sealing any cracks.
An Introduction to Moisture
It is nearly impossible to have no moisture within your home. Be it running hot showers, boiling water or even breathing, moisture is constantly being introduced. Humidity, which is a measure of how much moisture is in the air, is always existent. Yet, you may have often being told to be wary of your house’s walls being coated with moisture.
Should you be nervous when you see droplets of moisture on your walls? Not really, assuming that your house was constructed in line with proper building practices, then the walls should be resistant enough against moisture. The key here is that the rate of condensation of water vapor in the air is insufficient for real penetration past existing waterproofing measures.
However, if there is a water leakage, the protection may not be sufficient. If so, water will quickly soak the wall material and penetrate beneath the surface. How can you tell if your wall merely has moisture on its surface or if water has seeped past it and resulted in dampness?
2 Types of Damp
Rising amp refers to moisture that is pulled vertically upwards through porous materials by a capillary action. Similar to how a plant pulls water up from the bottom of its stem, certain building materials have characteristics that result in capillary action. Both plaster and drywall are vulnerable to moisture from the ground, that creep up over time.
Penetrating dam refers to moisture that leaks out from a source rather than from the bottom. Nonetheless, it shares similar characteristics in how a capillary action pulls damp across the surface.
From the descriptions of these two types of damp, you can infer the trickiness of water penetration in your home. Even without an obvious path, water in the form of damp can still travel large distances, both horizontally and vertically across your home. As such, mold, mildew or rot formation in one part of your home may be due to a water leakage in another area.
Detecting Excessive Moisture
Excessive moisture or damp can be detected by following the following 6 steps.
- Conduct a visual inspection of your wall’s surface. Look for discoloration, in particular any yellowing material or rounded brown spots. These discolorations are indicative of mold or mildew that is growing between the surface and the inner layers of your wall. Furthermore, you can should also pay attention to any paint peeling. Typically, peeling paint is a strong indicator of damp hidden behind your walls.
- Next, you need to use a little force to push against the wall; checking for its texture. Damp-damaged walls will feel soft and spongy, which is indicative of a compromise in their structural integrity. If you don’t mind minor damage, you could use a butter knife or screwdriver to scrap across the wall. If the wall has been weaken by damp, damaged wood will be revealed during this action.
- As strange as this sounds, you could smell your wall for damp. When water successfully penetrates your wall, it accumulates in pockets of hidden space. These dark and moist environments in turn start to grow mold or mildew, leading to rapid rotting. If the wall smells musty, then you should be wary of damp.
- Finally, you could drill two small holes into your wall, and insert probes from a probe moisture meter. From here, you should follow the moisture reader’s manufacturer instructions, adjusting as required to attain a steady reading. Additionally, it would be best if you took multiple readings over a period of time. This would allow you to improve the accuracy of the results. Finally, you should take all readings and compare them against typical moisture levels in homes. As a gauge, normal readings for households range between 7 and 13 percent.
Seal Any Cracks That Appear In Your Walls
Over time, as your house’s waterproofing systems deteriorate, cracks will likely start to develop. Areas that are vulnerable cracks include those near your door and window frames. Cracks are dangerous as they allow moisture and water to quickly penetrate into the structure of your building. Subsequently, damp patches are formed.
To seal a crack, you could fill it crack fill putty or grout. Once these gaps have been filled, you may proceed to remove all loose plaster before repainting over the surface.
Waterproof External Walls, Surfaces and your Roof
Your weather exposed surfaces are constantly under threat from water seepage. In fact, many exterior paints are permeable and allow some degree of water to seep from the exterior into your interior. To prevent water seepage, multiple coats of waterproofing membranes should applied to the surfaces.
A waterproofing membrane helps to create a barrier to both rain water and moisture, thus preventing water seepage from external sources. It is highly recommended that a professional waterproofing company in Singapore be engaged for all waterproofing works. Other than quality materials, a correct application of the waterproofing membrane is required. Failing to do so will result in gaps that are permeable to water.
Roofs are the single most vulnerable spot in your home to water leakages. They are highly exposed to weather elements and are a risk of being hit by debris. As such, regular checks must be conducted to ensure that they are in good condition. Particularly, drainage paths must be maintained free from debris while no ponding should be taking place.
Choose ProSeal Contracts For Your Waterproofing Needs
ProSeal Contracts is a waterproofing company in Singapore with more than 20 years’ experience. As one of the leading waterproofing contractor companies, we use the highest quality of materials to ensure long lasting results. Trust us to assess, choose and apply the right waterproofing procedures for your building’s needs. Enquire about our water leakage repair Singapore services today.
Experiencing leakages in a different part of your home? Unsure how to find the source of the leak? Read our article: “How to find a water leak in your house?”