Water ingress and damp are common problems for many properties. Water will inevitably find the path of least resistance into homes. The presence of damp can often confuse people, especially as to its source and how to fix the issues. We will discuss how water ingress occurs and how to prevent it in this blog.
What is water ingress?
Plainly, water ingress is the entrance of water into your property. The ingress can occur in various places, but tends to locate any minor weak points or openings. The major parts of your home that are susceptible to water ingress are the roof, the walls, and the internal.
- Blockage in gutters
- Defective roof surface
- Loose or displaced slates or tiles
- Faulty flashing around chimneys
- Missing or defective DPC (damp proof course)
- Deterioration of mortar in joints
- Blocked air bricks
- Bridging over the DPC
- Broken or cracked waste pipes
- Faulty sealant around windows
- Climbing plants – these can grow into the mortar and brickwork to create avenues
- Condensation – high atmospheric moisture
- Plumbing issues
- Various trapped moisture issues in flooring
Rising and penetrating damp
Any form of water ingress could well result in damp forming within your property. Rising and penetrating damp are the two forms.
Rising damp stems from the moisture present in the ground. This enters the walls via capillary action and rises up the wall, hence the name. Rising damp will usually climb to a level of 1 metre; as a result of this, windows tend to be installed above this level.
Penetrating damp focuses mainly on the above listed failings, as it relates directly to the failing property structure or damp proofing. For example, any bridging or deterioration issues with the DPC will allow moisture to saturate the walls and penetrating damp to form. Timberwise stresses the issues around windows and penetrating damp. Gaps can form around the frame, either due to material deterioration or sealant issues. Water will seep in through these gaps.
What about condensation?
The GreenAge discusses why condensation forms on the outside of new windows and on the inside of older double glazing windows. Internal condensation will form as a result of deteriorating materials around windows, creating avenues for air to enter, and in turn interact with the warm air inside the property. When this warm air comes into contact with lower temperatures, that gas is no longer going to be able to retain its state, and the moisture will revert back to its liquid state, coming to rest on the closest available surface.
How can I spot water ingress and damp?
The tell tale signs are usually glaringly obvious:
- Damp patches
- Musty, damp spell
- Peeling off plaster
- Mould growth
- Wet & dry rot
- Peeling off paint
EWI Store’s solutions
One of our solutions to the issue of permeable window frames is the application of basecoat and beading to seal in the external joint. Window reveal bead is the professional way to finish around windows and doors, creating a long-lasting weatherproof solution. Installers will often use silicone sealant around windows and doors, however with a lifespan of only a few years, the sealant often fails long before any maintenance is required on the rest of the thin coat render system.
EWI Store also offers a vast array of verge trims and over-sills. All of our over-sills are angled to ensure that the water droplets that drop from the top of the window due to the window head beads consequently roll off the front. The over-sill is also designed to extend the length of an existing window sill, ensuring that it overhangs the insulation. The purpose of this particular type of verge trim is to prevent water ingress behind the insulation, which can cause serious damage. We also stock Dropdown Verge Trims, designed to go under sills, soffit boards and applications that require fixing from below. The Dropdown Verge Trim effectively ensures that water falls away from the system but minimises the requirement of expanding foam tape and/or a silicone sealant to ensure it is completely watertight.
Insulation will also play a part in water ingress and damp accumulation. External wall insulation should cause no issues with damp if properly installed. Many options like K5 and EPS remain vapour permeable. Cavity wall insulation can cause problems; the process of injecting the solution into the cavity wall can move water to areas that are more exposed to ingress already.
If you have any other queries, drop us a comment below or call our sales team on 02045716484