Don’t Ignore The Conditions In Your Attic
Damp is a common problem in loft spaces. If you suspect that it’s taken hold in yours, then find out why it’s occurring and what you can do about it.
Unless you’ve converted your attic, the chances are that this is an area of the house that is visited infrequently – perhaps when you’re getting the Christmas decorations out, or need somewhere to store that extra summer holiday luggage set. So, it may come as something of an unpleasant surprise when you stick your head up into the loft space and notice that damp has formed up there. So, how does damp get into your attic and what can you can do about it?
Defective Roof Covering
If there is a problem with your roof, if for example a tile has slipped or there is a crack in the roof covering, then you would of course expect that water will penetrate through the hole when there is a period of rainfall. When there is moisture in the attic, there is the likelihood that damp will form. If the gap in your roofing allows enough water through, then you would likely see patches of damp forming on the ceiling of your upstairs rooms, so this would be a key sign that something is amiss.
Condensation Forming Due To Warmth
However, the less obvious reason for damp forming in your attic, is when warm, moist air rises up from the ceiling below it. If the attic is not adequately ventilated, then the moisture cannot be released, and condensation is likely to form on the roof timbers. This will result in damp stains and potentially even mould staining the wood, which can lead to rot.
Many homeowners choose to add insulation at the top of the ceiling, to keep their homes warm. While this is effective, it is also a major cause of damp being formed in the loft space, as the more the ceiling area is insulated, the colder the air is above it. Cold temperatures such as these, means that the chance of damp being created is even higher.
Steps To Reduce Damp Formation
Assuming that you’d like to keep your ceiling insulation to ensure a warm home, there are several steps that you can take to reduce the risk of damp forming in your attic.
First of all, make sure that your home is well-ventilated every day. Allow the air to circulate by opening windows, turning on your extractor fans and dry clothes outside where possible. Next, check that your attic has proper ventilation – you should check that the vents aren’t blocked so that the moist air can be released.
You might also consider controlling the temperature in your loft space, by providing a constant low wattage background heat. Tube heaters are an effective means to achieve this – they can simply be plugged in and left to produce a steady temperature of roughly 150W per foot. The devices can be linked to your thermostat and will only kick in when the temperature drops below a pre-defined level, making this a convenient and cost-effective option for your attic.
Damp isn’t just an unpleasant condition, it’s also dangerous both to human health and to the state of your property. If you suspect that damp has formed in your attic, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Instead, take immediate steps to eradicate the problem – go up there today and check out the extent of the problem.