There is no denying that penetrating damp is unsightly, but not only this, it can cause structural damage and create health complications. If left untreated, penetrating damp can lead to dry rot and wet rot. In order to solve damp issues, you need to find the source of the problem as quickly as possible. So, what are the most common penetrating damp causes?

Cracks In The Walls

Quite simply, cracks in exterior walls can allow rainwater into buildings. Upon the initial discovery of the crack, it may appear small and harmless, however, even the most hairline fractures will almost always grow and widen. Most commonly, cracks will be found around the edges of door or window frames as a result of not being properly sealed or constant movement. Be aware that cracks can be caused by vibrations from the movement of vehicles or even poor ground quality. If you do find yourself noticing new cracks in walls or ceilings, be sure to investigate, as they could indicate severe problems.

Leaking Roofs Or Chimneys

Like cracks in a wall, missing tiles, damaged rafters, and inadequate drainage give rainwater gateway into properties. However, the site where the damp is visible may not be the same as the site of the leak. This is because the water will often travel along the structure and pool elsewhere, such as the edge of the walls or around light fittings. Much like doors and windows, the point where the roof meets the chimney breast is often poorly sealed; this allows water to seep into the attic. Additionally, the chimney pots may not have cowls installed or its cowls may be damaged, allowing water to fall straight down the chimney.

Decayed Pointing

Deteriorated or poor-quality cement/mortar can also allow rainwater to seep between the bricks. Once the water enters through the pointing, it can seep into the walls and create cracks by freezing and thawing. If you find that you can remove chunks of cement with your fingers or scrape it away with a butter knife, then your brickwork will need to be repointed. When untreated, the walls and the rest of your house are left vulnerable to damp problems. Similarly, decayed pointing can contribute to chimney leaks.

Blocked Or Cracked Gutters Or Plumbing

The point of pipes and guttering is to move water through or away from the building, however, if blocked or cracked, then they can invite damp. Gutters are simply unblocked by removing the debris, whilst cracked gutters are easily replaced. On the other hand, plumbing can be more complicated; the exact source of the blockage or breakage may be buried deep in the walls. This requires invasive building work which can be expensive and time-consuming.

Penetrating Damp Treatments

Firstly, a professional would identify the source and extent of your damp problem before proposing a course of damp treatment. They will consider factors such as budgets and the property being treated. Next, they will carry out a programme of treatment to address the source of the problem. Additionally, they will advise and treat any subsequent rot, as well as providing advice and support on an ongoing damp treatment programme. Finally, they will complete the treatment and clean the property.


Ultimately, the maintenance of your home is imperative and in the presence of damp, the structure may be in jeopardy. The faster you act, the easier the problem will be to treat, and you lessen the chance of health risks. Ensure to regularly glance over your property for any new cracks or blockages in order to keep on top of any potential impending problems.

This is a collaborative post.