Most people start to notice issues with damp in the winter months but it can still occur anytime in the years, especially in dark areas of your home that is not well ventilated. The following checks should help you to identify the location of the problem;
Walls – Hold your hand against the wall, does it feel very cold or damp? Look for signs of mould or fungal growth which will appear as black speckled marks or grey growths on painted walls, woodwork and wallpaper. Flaking paint or curling wallpaper can also be an indicator.
Ceilings – As well as looking for signs of mould, pay close attention to the colour of the ceiling. Is it discoloured or stained in areas? Brown patches in the external corners and near chimney breasts can indicate damp.
Windows – Condensation on windows in the morning, along with small puddles of water along window sills, can indicate high moisture levels within your house. This can be both a cause, or symptom, of damp. Black mould may also develop on wooden and PVC window frames, and silicon sealant used around the edge of frames.
Bathrooms and kitchens – Inspect the grouting and sealant for signs of black mould. Check around window frames and on ceilings for similar damage. Look inside cabinets and cupboards to identify any areas of staining and mould growth, and pay attention to musty smells.
Furniture and soft furnishings – Black mould can grow on the inside of curtains, blinds and on upholstered surfaces such as sofas. Check the back of furniture for specks of mould and also for cloudy condensation on wooden and plastic surfaces.
Basements and unheated storage spaces – A musty, damp smell is likely to be first indicator of a problem here. In addition, check for staining and mould on painted walls and woodwork.